You may have seen Edel Rodriguez’s artwork already, especially floating over social media during some of the nastier of the last 10 years: his political cartoons have featured Trump in KKK hoods, holding a decapitated Statue Of Liberty head, or simply melting, orangely, into a scream. Worm, his (naturally) graphic novel-formatted memoir, shows not just his evolution to unfortunately iconic artist, but also his upbringing in smalltown Cuba, and his family’s escape to Florida during a small, Castro-allowed window of opportunity.
Worm is a long and brilliant read, its artwork immediate and dramatic in its reduced alette of red, green, white and black, its writing tense and touched with a great talent for telling detail. Rodriguez’s family attract suspicious government eyes largely through his non-conformist father (even his sideburns are suspect) and the first third of the book excels at evoking the grumbling and danger of Cuba’s supposed socialist paradise.
The final escape, with other Cuban ‘worms’, likewise captures the chaos, fear and excitement of a child only partially understanding his life. America brings confusion, opportunity, and eventual success, towards a MAGA-inspired commitment to kick against the pricks, one Time cover at a time. A wise and life-stuffed memoir.
Worm: A Cuban American Odyssey, Edel Rodriguez (Weidenfeld & Nicholson)
Price: £20. Info: here
words WILL STEEN