18.01.11 > 27.02.11

José Carlos Fernandes

A pior banda do mundo (The worst band in the world)

Just like his famous compatriots Vasco de Gama and Magellan, the Portuguese comic strip artist, José Carlos Fernandes, set out to conquer the world.

Not on the seaways, nor using a compass, but with pencil and paper.  With his series “A pior banda do mundo” (The worst band in the world), Fernandes succeeded in making readers the world over entertain dreams.  He has even won the admiration of literary critics with his allusions to great authors such as Borgès, Melville or Pessoa.  Furthermore, his many references to the world of jazz will long remain etched on the memories of his readers.  For all these reasons, the BCSC, the Belgian Comic Strip Centre, is delighted to welcome the superb José Carlos Fernandes into its gallery.

Willem De Graeve, BCSC

Born in 1964 in Loulé, José Carlos Fernandes has devoted himself to comic strip since 1989, and has made a name for himself through what today constitutes his major work, namely A Pior Banda do Mundo (The worst band in the world).  Since 2002, six volumes have been published in Portugal by Devir.

Since 2009, Cambourakis has undertaken publication in French of the entire series in three albums of two volumes each.  In the first few pages, the reader learns of the life of the inhabitants of a city about which practically no detail is given.  The city is unnamed and its geographical position vague.  No age is given, and the author depicts it as yellowed, like an old press cutting.  Within this decidedly black and urban setting, the worst band in the world is formed, the outcome of an unbelievable blend of ineptitude and a total absence of musical awareness.  Using his perfect mastery of the art of narration, José Carlos Fernandes depicts a world bearing a strong resemblance to ours.  The stories, each a separate tale in its own right, tell of destinies that brush shoulders with each other, that collide as it were, without ever really intertwining.                                                                                                                                                        

In the second volume, the members of the worst band in the world wander through this strange town, going as and where their engagements take them.  As in the previous volume, the author gives free rein to his unbridled imagination, yet each tale has a unifying thread.  In “Les Ruines de Babel” (The ruins of Babel) the emphasis is on matters relating to language and literature, and in “La Grande Encyclopédie des connaissances obsoletes” (Large encyclopaedia of obsolete facts), on the poetic nature of the imaginary associated with the sciences.

A world of bitter-sweet humour, enhanced in each volume by amazing tales of fancy.              

Cambourakis Publishers

In collaboration with the Embassy of Portugal in Belgium and with the support of the Instituto Camões, the BCP Bank and Cambourakis publishers


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