Robert Capa: A Graphic Biography by Florent SillorayRobert Capa: A Graphic Biography by Florent Silloray

Robert Capa: A Graphic Biography

byFlorent Silloray

Hardcover | September 1, 2017

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"If your pictures aren't good enough, you aren't close enough.
--Robert Capa

Robert Capa: A Graphic Biography is a brilliant portrayal of the career of the great war photographer who, at the time of his death in 1954, had only one wish: to be an unemployed war photographer. "It is not always easy" he said, "to stand aside and be unable to do anything except record the suffering."

Born in 1913 to a Jewish family in Budapest, Endre Friedmann left home at 18 for Germany where he studied journalism and political science and worked in a photo agency darkroom. In 1933, Friedmann went to Paris where he shared a darkroom with Henri Cartier-Bresson and lived with Gerda Taro, also a photographer. Together they contrived the name and image "Robert Capa, famous American photographer".

Capa made several trips to document the Spanish Civil War, where he took the seminal image, "Death of a Loyalist Soldier" for which he was heralded as "the greatest war photographer in the world".

By the start of World War II, Capa was in New York freelancing for LIFE, Time, and other publications. He went abroad with the US army to record Allied involvement in WWII, including D-Day on Omaha beach. Disembarking from a landing boat, he took the only images of the invasion. He went on to cover the war in Leipzig, Nuremberg, Berlin, London and Paris. Even now, it is the D-Day images that marked him as the world's greatest war photographer.

Robert Capa: A Graphic Biography, written in the first person, follows his personal and professional life and through his eyes, the social upheaval and earth-shattering wars of the 20th century. It shows his intimate life and his relationships with the day's larger-than-life personalities: Ingrid Bergman, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, and many others.

Sepia watercolors wash the book in the fog of war and recall Capa's generation on the cusp of color film. They show his professional work, his personal battles, his victories and struggles, and his legacy: the founding of the Magnum, a cooperative photo agency which gives photographers control of their work.

In 1954, having sworn off war photography but in need of money, he left to cover his fifth war, in Indochina. Driven by his conviction that "if your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough," he was with a French patrol when he stepped on a landmine and was killed, camera in hand.

Florent Silloray is the illustrator of six books published in French, and the author and illustrator of The Book of Roger, a graphic novel adaptation of the memoirs of a soldier who spent World War II in a prison camp. Written and illustrated by Florent Silloray
Title:Robert Capa: A Graphic BiographyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:88 pages, 11.75 × 8.5 × 0.5 inPublished:September 1, 2017Publisher:Firefly BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1770859284

ISBN - 13:9781770859289

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Editorial Reviews

French author and illustrator Silloray offers a quiet, simmering take on Robert Capa (1913-54), one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. Renowned for his war photography, the Budapest-born artist once said, "If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough," and he lived these words, often crawling in the grass next to soldiers in combat, documenting the Spanish Civil War, World War II, and many other major conflicts. Haunted by these encounters, Capa continued to push himself, seeking to capture the reality of some of the most brutal scenes in history. This biography focuses on the latter half of Capa's life, beginning with his relationship with Gerda Taro, who was herself a fearless photographer, and ending with Capa's death while on assignment in Indochina. Throughout, Silloray shows Capa reworking his own image to be successful, struggling with the deaths of loved ones, grappling with the concepts of mortality vs. mediocrity, and making the ultimate sacrifice for his art. Sepia-toned watercolor-washed illustrations, arranged in smaller panel grids, give the work a gritty, dirty look as Capa moves through the dust to get the next shot. A fine volume that brings to life a great artist who wanted to show people what was happening in the world around them. For fans of war photography and artist biographies.