Fantagraphics is bringing one of the pillars of South American comics to the United States for the first time.
In August 2015, Fantagraphics will publish an English adaptation of the first storyline of El Eternauta, aka The Eternonaut. Created in the late 1950s by writer and revolutionary Héctor Germán Oesterheld alongside artist Francisco Solano López, The Eternonaut is a rollicking sci-fi tale about a group of people living in the midst of an alien invasion. The story is post-apocalyptic, but veers into the weird with mutated animals, insects and even humans that the group fights just as much as the alien invaders. Midway through the story, the group is split apart due to a malfunctioning time-travel device on one of the alien’s ship, stranding some of the heroes in time and sending them on a new quest to find each other.
The story of The Eternonaut‘s creator is just as interesting as the story itself: Oesteheld created the strip while his home country of Argentina was undergoing a series of bloody political coups. In the 1970s he began writing the series from hidden locations, as he was on the run from the Argentinian government, until he was captured in 1977. He’s believed to have died in 1979 while still under arrest; both of his daughters and their husbands were also abducted. After his presumed death, original artist Solano López published new installments intermittently with other creators, as recently as 2008.
Here’s a sample of pages from The Eternonaut: