##24/7 VALENCIA: Tell us something about your life and your career as an illustrator in the world of comics.

PACO ROCA: Like all children, I loved drawing. In my case, I never stopped doing it and eventually it became my job, first as an illustrator for advertising and later as an author of comics. Comics represent a creative freedom for me that many times other media don’t have… like the cinema world, for example. Making comics is a job for me, so it’s very important to choose the right theme. I look for stories that say something to me as a creator of comics as well as a person on the street.

24/7 VALENCIA: What is a typical day for Paco Roca?

A perfect day for me would be to have the possibility of working in my pyjamas at home, nice and relaxed. Unfortunately, that is not my typical day.

24/7 VALENCIA: How do you see the future for Spain and its new generation of creative people?

The new generation will continue to be as creative as previous generations, despite the crisis. In fact, this generation may be even more creative given that there are no longer ‘secure’ jobs, so people with artistic tendencies will be less likely to look for and find well-paid jobs that distract them from their art. But in terms of the market, as far as projects and publishers, they won’t be forced to look for work abroad.

24/7 VALENCIA: Could you tell us about your illustrated book, ‘Los Surcos del Azar’?

I’ve always been interested in the exile of the Spanish republicans at the end of the Spanish Civil War. It’s a little-known part of Spanish history, especially their exile in north Africa. When I read about the history of ‘La Nueve’, the battalion that was part of de Gaulle’s Free French army and almost entirely made up of Spanish republicans, it seemed like an incredible story to me. It’s not just because they were the first to enter Nazi-occupied Paris as liberators on 24 August 1944.

These republicans had suffered a long camino of suffering and injustices: the arduous escape from their homeland of Spain, the concentration camps in the Algerian desert, the war against Rommel. Their fight against fascism was the longest in Europe. It started with the coup d’état of Franco in 1936 and continued with the battle to defeat Hitler and Mussolini until 1945. Although they managed to get as far as the Eagle’s Nest of Hitler, they didn’t win their final battle – the plan to enter Spain to liberate the country from fascism of Franco.

Interview by Owl
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