All stories deserve to be told, but not all stories are glamorous, enjoyable, or easy to tell, so they are not told as often as others. The stories about the evils of our society, injustice, sewers and the underground are exactly of that type. But that does not mean that no one wants to read them, or that it is better if we do not highlight them, but the narration requires a sensitive and sincere approach. Ademar Vieira is a master at this type of storytelling, and he uses the medium of comics to tell heartbreaking stories that come up close. And he does it so subtly that he doesn’t even need to use words.
#1 We’re not enemies
How does Ademar do it? How is he able to do so much in so few words? Well, maybe the fact that he works as a journalist, screenwriter, as well as being a great illustrator, can give you a clue. When you think about it, this is probably the best match for a task like telling a compelling story about life in pictures.
#2 When worlds collide
Some cynical critics might say that Vieira’s work exploits our empathy, but this observation is nothing but cynical in the worst sense. I would even argue otherwise, his works don’t dance around their subject matter and are sometimes even brutally honest, considering that most would prefer to soften the edges of the social issues they are portraying. This is life sometimes. Isn’t life often tragic? Isn’t it terribly painful sometimes? It is important not to lose this understanding.
#3 A Christmas story
Once when I was working at a newspaper, my editor asked me to write a story about Santa Claus. At first, I thought the story would be silly, but then I realized that Santa might have good stories to tell. I interviewed some of them, and a Santa Claus from a large shopping center told me this story, which happened in my hometown, Manaus, a few years ago.
The delicate social issues explored here can sometimes be unforgiving for a storyteller – there is a risk that these stories will turn out too raw, harsh, too dark, and seemingly hopeless. But still, Vieira has her ways of approaching these issues with a sensitive perspective and a gentle touch. Maybe it’s the watercolor he uses or the way he draws his characters and establishes the narrative, or the way he could find a glimmer of hope in the dark clouds of work. Whatever it is, it works like magic. We hope you never lose this spark of talent!
#4 Keep moving
Our lives are constantly changing. Nothing lasts forever. Things change and losses are inevitable. It is painful, but there is no recipe for eternal happiness and we can only adapt to whatever lies ahead. This strip is called “Keep Moving” and I dedicate it to all the people who needed or need to reinvent themselves to get ahead.
But like most great things, Ademar’s passion for creating these stories began as a humble hobby, “just a way to exorcise my demons during a very difficult phase I was going through,” he said. But what he quickly noticed is that many people connect with and identify with his stories. The artist’s popularity skyrocketed overnight, first in Brazil and then around the world, as he received hundreds of thousands of likes and 20,000 followers in just one week. The artist now has more than 60,000 followers on Instagram, which is a very solid number by any artist’s standards.
#5 It is not over yet
What is happening in my hometown, Manaus, is mainly the result of incompetence and lack of planning by government officials at all levels, but a few other factors contributed to this tragedy. Ignorance, denial of science, fake news, and the unfounded notion that the worst is over is leading to the death of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Let us stay alert and careful and take care of the welfare of others.