Roca moves back and forth in time, from one chapter to the next, juxtaposing the origins of the cartoonists’ rebellion against its sad end, successfully deepening the tragedy, especially as a character who appears absolutely despicable at first is revealed to be deeply sympathetic by the final scene ... While structurally challenging, Roca’s massively appealing illustration and masterly sense of narrative make this true story exceptionally compelling.
To begin at the end is to gather the background—cultural context, short biographies of the vast cast—that further elevates and illuminates Roca’s graphic history, deftly translated into English by Rosenberg ... Page after page, Roca excels at show-don’t-tell, keeping dialogue to a minimum, deftly relying on detailed expressions to radiate hope, frustration, determination, and, of course, rebellion.
... elegantly drawn but moribund ... Their collaboration is nicely composed in cheery urban detail, the tie-wearing cartoonists smoking, gabbing, and nibbling on tapas. But the backdrop of Franco-era oppression is only lightly sketched and the central drama is almost over before it begins ... Roca has a gift for conveying personalities and camaraderie, and while this will appeal to independent-minded artists invested in intellectual property issues, there just is not enough at stake in either the characters or the slim story line to sustain the attention of a broader readership. This snappy tale of creativity under pressure aims to inspire but is too thinly plotted to leave an impression.