Every tale deserves to be shared, but some stories aren’t as glamorous, pleasant, or easy to tell as others, therefore they don’t get told as often. Stories about our society’s flaws, injustice, the gutters, and the underground are all of this. That isn’t to say that no one wants to read them or that we shouldn’t promote them; rather, the storytelling deserves sensitivity and emotional treatment. Ademar Vieira is a master of this style of storytelling, and he utilises comics to depict heartbreaking experiences that are all too familiar. He does it so subtly that he doesn’t need to say anything. The previous instalment of his comics was well-received, so check it out if you haven’t already!
Credit: IG | ademar__vieira
He began by praising his diverse skill set, which includes screenplay, journalism, and illustration, and how they complement one another when he develops comics. “I believe that is exactly what comic strips are! The culmination of all of the abilities I’ve acquired over the course of my life. I’ve been drawing since I was a child, but I stopped when I began my journalistic studies. I worked as a journalist for 13 years before deciding to pursue audiovisual scripts full-time. At the same time, I resumed drawing, and through comic strips, I was able to bring the three things together. I employ my journalistic eye, as well as the graphic narrative I gained as a scriptwriter, and, of course, the pictures, to bring the stories to life and charm.”
We asked him what made him so sensitive to social issues in the first place, and his response made perfect sense given the circumstances. “When you live in Brazil, you are constantly reminded of social inequality. Brazil is far from being a poor country, yet it is extremely uneven. Condominiums and shacks coexist on the same street in my city, which has always bothered me. I believe it is critical to bring attention to this issue so that people can reflect and discuss it further. When someone shares a cartoon and comments on it, it makes me happy. That is my main objective.”
While global issues are essential, Ademar is primarily affected by events in Brazil. “I’d like to tell you that everything is well, but it would be a lie. In practically every area, Brazil has had its worst year in decades. Our two richest and largest biomes, the Amazon and Pantanal, are being devastated by fire and given away to pastures. Unemployment and inflation are at historic highs, compounded by the government’s complete lack of interest, if not outright denial, in combating the pandemic. I could go on for hours explaining what’s wrong, but that would only infuriate the audience, so I’d rather just wish for better days to arrive soon.”
How does Ademar manage to do so much with so few words? Perhaps the fact that he is a journalist, a scriptwriter, and a fantastic cartoonist will give you some insight. When you think about it, this is arguably the finest mix to have for a task like creating a fascinating storey in visuals about life.
When worlds collide
Some cynical detractors would argue that Vieira’s work takes advantage of our sensitivity, but this is cynical in the worst sense. I’d even go so far as to say that his works don’t dance around their subject and are occasionally even brutally honest, despite the fact that most artists would try to soften the edges of the social issues they’re depicting. It’s just how life goes at times. Isn’t it true that life is frequently tragic? Isn’t it poignantly painful at times? It’s critical not to lose sight of this.
A Christmas story
“When I worked at a newspaper, my editor once ordered me to write an article about Santa Claus. I thought the storey would be silly at first, but then I realised that Santa might have some interesting stories to tell. I spoke with a couple of them, and a Santa from a large shopping mall told me about an incident that occurred in my hometown, Manaus, a few years ago…”
The sensitive socioeconomic issues that are tackled here can be difficult for a storyteller to handle: there’s a chance that these stories will come out as a little too gritty, tough, gloomy, and depressing. Vieira, on the other hand, has his own style of handling these subjects with sensitivity and a soft touch. Perhaps it’s the watercolours he employs, or the way he sketches his characters and sets up the storey, or the way he finds a silver lining of hope in the midst of adversity. It works like magic, whatever it is. Let us hope he never loses his creative spark!
“Our lives are in perpetual flux. Nothing lasts indefinitely. Things change, and losses are an unavoidable part of life. It’s unpleasant, but there’s no such thing as permanent happiness, and we can only adjust to whatever comes our way. “Keep Moving” is the title of this strip, which I dedicate to all those who have required or are still requiring to reinvent themselves in order to move forward.”