Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Kiosco by Juan Berrio Review

Juan Berrio’s Kiosco is a Spanish comic but it’s wordless so there’s no translation issues! It tells the story of a man who runs a small kiosk in a park having a really slow day without customers – until a woman walking her dog appears to brighten him up.

I really loved the simplicity of this one. The man’s life isn’t very dramatic - he lives in a studio flat, he paints for fun, he enjoys his work – and the story is very straightforward but there’s an elegance and beauty to that structure I admire. I feel like most of us are striving for more, for better than what we have, rather than appreciating what we do have and taking pleasure in the small things of life, and more often than not that dissatisfaction makes us miserable. This man is content with what he has and that’s why he’s content.

It’s also got a great message about looking at the bright side of life and taking the rough with the smooth. During the day it rains and scares away the man’s prospective customers which makes him sad but when the shower’s done, the woman and her dog stop by making him happy. Without the rain, the man and woman might never have met. Is this the beginning of a romance or just a moment of everyday pleasantness? Berrio leaves it up to the reader to decide.

Kiosco is a very brief read but I found it enormously charming and enjoyable. It reminded me a lot of the wonderful Disney animated short Paperman from a few years ago (highly recommended if you’ve not seen it) – anyone who liked that or slice-of-life comics will like this book.

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