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Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush by Luis…

Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush

by Luis Alberto Urrea

Other authors: Christopher Cardinale (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
675286,238 (3.13)15
Tells a story of a graffiti artist, Mr. Mendoza, who goes about the Mexican village of Rosario creating masterpieces that reflect the social ills of the city. One day his paintbrush creates a miraculous event that no one in Rosario ever forgets.



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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
Graphic novel treatment of Mr. Urrea's short story. Lush, dark art draws you into the village of Rosario where Mr. Mendoza works his grafitti magic. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Mr. Mendoza is not only the self-proclaimed "king of graffiti" of his tiny Mexican town of Rosario; he is a prophet and a challenge to the society's sleepy complacency. The first example of his graffiti given to the reader is a painted on the corpse of a monk: "Deflate your pomp or float away!" Even as he seems to be a marginal and disliked character of Rosario, the society subtly shifts in its increasing anticipation of Mendoza's next 'proclamation' and anxiety about the ethos he is championing. A gorgeous graphic novel, the size of a children's picture book, which portrays quotidian humanity through its contrast from magical realism and a challenging prophetic perspective brought forth from a marginal and misunderstood social figure. ( )
  the_awesome_opossum | May 10, 2011 |
This is a graphic novel. First of all I have to admit to being a fan of the author, Luis Alberto Urrea.
The artist is Christopher Cardinale. I have never read a graphic novel before this one. I admit that I may never read another, I just do not think that they are quite my cup of tea.

Mr Mendoza's Paintbrush is about a small town, filled with the usual small town charachters. This town however, like so much that Urrea writes, has magic. The magic is mostly in the person of Mr Mendoza,
an eccentric and enigmatic prankster who uses his paintbrush to keep the townsfolk on the straight and narrow.. and to keep them aware of the magic. And that is his primary job, I think. To keep folks aware of the magic.

One day, he decides to take his leave .. and it is worth reading to see him go.

The writing is typical of Urrea, meaning it is magical. The words tumble and flow and roll around each other
and create a magic of their own. The artwork? Well, that is absolutely beautiful, and has magic as well. This is an altogether satisfying read.

Downside? Too short. Perhaps that is also its beauty. ( )
1 vote mckait | Nov 23, 2010 |
The narrator of this short graphic novel is a young boy growing up in the Mexican town of Rosario. His town is home to lovely young women (of particular interest to our narrator!), sharp-tongued grandmothers, gossipy men—and Mr. Mendoza, an old man who, with the help of a paintbrush, covers every convenient surface with his moralizing epigrams and scathing rebukes. At once point, he even paints his graffiti on the narrator’s body when he catches the boy peeping at girls bathing in the river! This continues until one day when Mr. Mendoza decides his work is done and uses his paintbrush to find a surprising exit from Rosario—and perhaps from the world. The artwork accompanying this charming, magical-realist fable borrows from both traditional Mexican folk art and from woodcuts, creating an appealing mix of the realist and the fantastic to complement the story’s own similar mix. ( )
  kmaziarz | Jul 6, 2010 |
Mr. Mendoza’s Paintbrush by Luis Alberto Urrea is set in Rosario, Mexico. The story is narrated by a boy, one assumes now a man, reminiscing about his childhood. It consists of short anecdotes about local events which, at first, don’t seem particularly extraordinary. And then you discover exactly what it is that makes the town unique: Mr. Mendoza – the self-proclaimed “graffiti king of all Mexico” – whose messages appear on walls, mountains, bridges and even the corpse of a monk. He uses graffiti as a tool to critique the town and the townspeople. “Upend hypocrites today.” “Deflate your pomp or float away.”

Little by little a picture emerges of Rosario. It’s not necessarily a pretty one, though I can’t say whether or not this was intentional on the author’s part. Mr. Mendoza has appointed himself Rosario’s conscience – to which no one seems to be listening. Until one day he decides he has had enough and leaves the town in an unforgettable fashion.

See full review at -
http://booksexyreview.com/2010/06/06/mr-mendozas-paintbrush-by-luis-alberto-urre... ( )
2 vote tolmsted | Jun 16, 2010 |
Showing 5 of 5
This tale, in their steady hands, becomes a cheeky tour through elements of Latin pop culture: Hints of Romero’s horrors, Rivera’s aesthetics and García Márquez’s magical realism all make their appearance here. An enchanting exploration of life’s myriad mysteries.

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Luis Alberto Urreaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cardinale, ChristopherIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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