Time travelers are always looking to save lives. Alexander Hartdegen, H. G. Wells' character, designed a machine to keep his beloved safe. McFly returned in a DeLorean to his parents. John Connor will be the leader of the future, and the T-800 said goodbye. Gustavo Gomez and Jesus Lens created the Gravite festival in order to bring together art, culture, and time. Fernando Marias, the writer, has been a totem and a gravitational supporter since its inception. Marias was tragically killed in February this year. Maybe this is why Lens and Gomez made the Fernando Marias Memorial to honor him.
Javier Olivares (Madrid 1964), National Comic Award Winner for 'Las Meninas’ in 2015, was the first recipient of this award. He collaborated with Marias on many projects and enjoyed a deep friendship since day one. Olivares has just published The War of the Worlds’ (Astiberri 2022), a twist on the story of H. G. Wells. He reviews the "bittersweet” experience in Granada and gets a standing ovation.
-Fernando Marias was his best friend.
Fernando and I met fifteen years ago. They hit it off. He called me years later to show me 'Silence moves.' We became culturally close friends and collaborated in many adventures together. There were many projects in the works... and some will be realized.
- What was your reaction to the award you were given?
It's a strange mixture of joy and sadness at the same moment. It is a great honor and a source of pride for me. However, it also makes me sad about the circumstances in which it was given. The award is bittersweet because he is no longer with us. It's bittersweet.
Your latest comic, "War of the Worlds", gives a fresh perspective. What are you talking?
It has an up-to-date reading with Ukraine.
It was just a coincidence. While we were making the comic, war broke out. We soon realized that "Cholera" was a book about war-makers and this was one of the victims.
-It is very powerful to change your perspective. I wish it was more common.
It is not accepted by anyone. It is something we see every day on social media, as others are being attacked. How would it be if it was the other way? Because arguments would tumble one after another, nobody makes this reflection. You are constantly confronted with things that you wouldn't like if they happened to you. Because no one is in their place, we live in a stressful society.
Look at what happened to Moses Ingram (actress of Obi-Wan Kenobi), who is being hated for being black and a female in 'Star Wars.
Some people believe everything must be the same as it was always. It is because someone invented it. It's a fiction. It is frightening that people get mad about fiction. Think about how they'll be treated by real cases. This is when wars seem possible, and you feel scared. Social conquest is a way to win the hearts and minds of many people over many years. A politician can take just one day to repeal something that took 30 years. This is scary. These concerns are reflected in 'War of the Worlds.
-His name, Javier Olivares. How many times were you confused with the screenwriter?
-A media outlet published the news about the award on Gravite the other day with a photo (laughs). It happens to me and him all the time. They write to me to discuss the 'Ministry of Time', and to him to tell about my comics. It's a curse.
- Do you actually know each other?
Yes, we did meet just before the release of 'The Ministry of Time. He shared his ideas about time travel with me and I gave him "Las Meninas". Both of us rose to fame simultaneously, he for his series and I for my National Award. Both with Velazquez, a fictional character.
- I interviewed Olivares one year ago through Gravite.
-It's true! Yes, she was there. We live in parallel. We are the Spider-Man meme. We even gave a talk called "Who is Javier Olivares?"
Granada is a great alternative.
-I love the city. It is my escape. Every time I visit, it's a treat. I first came here in the 90s, and have made great friends: Paco Quiros (Joaquin Lopez Cruces), Ruben Garrido (Rubin Garrido), Sergio Garcia...
-You've only named four. But in Granada, we have an army comic book writers. Which do you think is the due?
-No idea. It is possible that you have seen that there were once a few artists who created Paper Pomegranate. People who helped to create a movement that influenced the young. The comic is part Granada, and Granada creates cartoonists.
Readers in general, it seems like there are not many Spanish...
Spain is not the country you read most. There is a lot of information published, but it is not read as much. It is something I believe is changing, and there are more readers.