Totem (Hardcover)

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Totem By Laura Pérez, Andrea Rosenberg (Translated by) Cover Image
By Laura Pérez, Andrea Rosenberg (Translated by)
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Staff Reviews

A haunting and dreamlike meditation on love and death whose structure of free associations gives it the feel more of a poem than a story. Beautiful and fascinatingly opaque.

— From Stephen


Blurring the lines between the real and the spiritual, Spanish cartoonist Laura Pérez leads the reader through a dreamy journey from the Arizona desert to the land of the dead.

Two young women road trip through the Arizona desert in search of a spiritual awakening. Crowds gather to see the village wise woman commune with the dead. Strange bright lights flash across the night sky, provoking all manner of interpretations. A mosaic of experiences, Totem offers tantalizing glimpses of characters on their own journeys connected by some ethereal thread. The narrative slips through time and space, delicately drifting from reality to different states of consciousness. Like a vivid dream, this story is rendered through eerie settings and potent symbols, a spiritual puzzle inviting the reader to piece together.

With Totem, this self-assured graphic novel by Spanish illustrator and comics artist Laura Pérez is presented in English for the first time. Pérez presents an entrancing, contemporary vision of magic and mystery, aptly rendered through her wispy, atmospheric pencil lines.

About the Author

Laura Pérez is a Spanish illustrator and comics artist whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, National Geographic, and Vanity Fair, among others. She’s created several award-winning graphic novels, and Totem is her English debut. In 2022, she was nominated for an Emmy Award for her title design for the TV series Only Murders in the Building.

Andrea Rosenberg is a translator who has worked on a variety of novels and graphic narratives in Spanish and Portuguese. Her translations of the graphic novels Run For It by Marcelo D’Salete and The House by Paco Roca won Eisner Awards in 2018 and 2020, respectively.

Praise For…

'In some places, everyday life is extraordinary,' claims a character in Pérez’s crisp and imaginative narrative, following two intrepid young lovers on a road trip through a menacing and magical Arizona desert.
— The New York Times

Perez immerses readers in the intermingled realms of the living and dead [in her] macabre, visually mesmerizing English-language debut.
— Publishers Weekly

In Laura Pérez’s beautiful, bewildering graphic novel, a flashback begets another flashback, unidentified characters drift in and out of the spotlight, and mysticism adds supernatural elements. ... Wildly original and visually striking.
— Cinema Sentries

Beautifully drawn, this surreal story begins with a crow locating the body of a missing architect. Eerie, yes. And the hauntingness continues.
— Book Riot

Spanish cartoonist Perez constructs a world of her own with sharp-but-delicate pencil lines, boldly subdued hues, and minimal dialogue, and her narratives are as finely-textured as her art. As subtle as they are stunning, these are stories that work their way from the front of your brain toward the back, and really get their hooks into you.
— Four Color Apocalypse

A work that is deep, sinister and beautiful at the same time. Laura Pérez manages to link impossible realities with the natural mastery of a desert rose.
— Javier Pérez Campos

The beauty and delicacy of Totem takes us to a state of consciousness that I didn't know I could reach with a comic.

— Laura Barrachina

Each Laura Pérez story is a kind of bridge that allows you to go from the visible world to that other world where thoughts and dreams are capable of transforming our reality.
— Jesús Callejo

Product Details
ISBN: 9781683968979
ISBN-10: 1683968972
Publisher: Fantagraphics
Publication Date: September 12th, 2023
Pages: 144
Language: English