In full search of Argentinean submarine ARA San Juan appears in Spain a comic in which emerges one that surely is most famous disappeared submersible of history, German U-47 that commanded Captain Günr Prien, without doubt ace of most famous depths Of Second World War. It is given circumstance that draughtsman of U-47 — a spectacular comic, in which all emotion and all horror of underwater war are masterfully embodied — is Argentinian, Gerardo Balsa (Rosario, 1973).
Balsa (and also worth surname), who lives in Barcelona, considers a terrible coincidence and says that it follows with special interest and emotion news on disaster of ARA San Juan. "When you know well what a submarine is and life on board you are very aware of how creepy it is to get caught and drown in one of those steel coffins," he explains. To draw U-47, which is a series with screenplay by Mark Jennison and of which at time have appeared in Spain, at same time, two titles, Bull of Scapa Flow and Survivor (published by Coeditum), Balsa has been so thoroughly documented on submarines , especially those of type VII B and or models of III Reich fleet, which, he says, "could walk blindly inside one."The Argentinean draughtsman and ARA San Juan
The draughtsman of U-47, Gerardo Balsa, who is Argentinian, appreciates many contradictions in me of ARA San Juan. "I don't know if you'll ever know whole truth." The lack of information has caused conspiracy ories to spread. My opinion is that it was a very old submersible and that re had been no good maintenance. "Maybe Germans could have kept it to point, but we're more of an improviser."
The U-47 is one of most legendary submarines in history, and his disappearance in 1941 with all his crew during attack on a convoy south of Iceland riveted his dark celebrity. Nothing has ever been known about vessel, a victim of depth charges, an immersion accident or a defective torpedo (his or a colleague). With U-47, Prien managed to enter 1939 in impregnable anchorage of Royal Navy in Scapa Flow and to sink battleship HMS Royal Oak, in one of great feats of Second World War. Decorated by Hitler himself with newly minted Knight's Cross, Prien became icon of underwater weapon and a magnificent instrument of Nazi propaganda. He was baptized " Bull of Scapa Flow", which led to draw emblem of a raging bull in turret of his submarine.
In first album we observed how U-47 sneaks in Scapa Flow under a sky in which it flashes on gray Wolf of Kriegsmarine aurora borealis (it was thus true), to torpedo to gigantic enemy vessel, in which died nine hundred Marines. The plot follows more or less historical paths until sinking of U-47 that in comic is not such: The submersible is saved by a ruse and reafter participates in imaginary secret missions throughout war, like attempt to support flight of P German Risioneros of a field in North America.
The editorial operation of Refloating to U-47 resembles that made with Red Baron and his Fokker Triplane in anor comic of Topicality: to rescue a history and a character to endow m with new life. "The idea was of French publisher Zéphir, in consideration that re was quite a comic of airplanes but very little of submarines", notes Balsa; "We formed that team with Mark and colorist Nicolas Caniaux, and it worked so well that in France re are 11 titles of series and I'm finishing 13th, which takes place in February 1943." "The fact that U-47 disappeared gives us freedom to invent." Any mission in Argentina to curl curl of artist's nationality? "Not at moment;" In fact, U-47 model submarines did not have enough autonomy to arrive, although we could make it a high-seas refueling.Page of ' U-47 ', with drawing by Gerardo Balsa.
Prien, a convinced and spoiled Nazi of Doenitz, who called him affectionately Prüntje, is not a very likeable character (not even for his crew). "It is true, and it was runt, but we have given it a turn of nut turning it into an individual apolitical and with look of old sea-wolf that he did not have." The artist says that in any case y do not care who was Royal Prien: "This comic is fiction and is not intended to be a biography of Prien but only war adventures in submarine."
The veracity of submarines is guaranteed. "That yes, reliability in technical is total, we had as advisor to a French admiral who served in submarines, and I assure you that I know what every crank of submersible is for." The albums include a second part after drawings in which historical dossiers are presented with photographs on U-Bootwaffe, German submarine force.
What is hardest thing to draw from a submarine? "The submarine itself is not difficult, it is patience and documentation;" "The real challenge is to draw seamen inside."
By comparing submersibles of Second World War with present, Balsa points out that "y have evolved a lot, y would have to be safer, but look what happened to Kursk in 2000." "It's creepy, but death, and worst species, is always re when it comes to submarines."
' U-47 ' vignette.