Encruzilhada by Marcel D'Salete

Marcelo D'Salete is a Brazilian comic artist, whose main works address the issue of Afro-descendants in Brazil. He is one of the most prominent Afro-Brazilian artists to specifically treat this issue in comics.

Early life and career
D'Salete was born in 1979 in São Bernardo do Campo, and graduated in Plastic Arts from the University of São Paulo (USP). He began working as an illustrator in 1997. He had been interested in comics since he was four years old. Some of his main influences are Alberto Breccia and Flavio Colin, especially for the way they both work with black and white in their comics. In 2001 he published his first comics in Brazilian independent magazines like Quadreca and Front, while also illustrating children's books.

Noite Luz , by Marcelo D'Salete
'Noite Luz'.

Graphic novels
In 2008, he released his first graphic novel, 'Noite Luz', through Via Lettera. It was followed by 'Encruzilhada' (LeYa, 2011), 'Cumbe' (Veneta, 2014) and 'Angola Janga' (Veneta, 2017). All works deal with the history of the Afro-descendant population in Brazil. Brazil was the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery (in 1888). Today, despite having the largest black population of any non-African country in the world, the vast majority of Afro-descendants lives in poverty and suffers from racism. D'Salete's comics were therefore interesting, as few books, particularly comics, have addressed the history and issues of the Afro-descendant population in Brazil from their point of view. This is especially astonishing considering the fact that a large part of Brazilian culture had a direct influence from African culture (mainly in the Brazilian Northeast).

D'Salete's graphic novels all share a long creation period, especially those with historical themes. It took the artist for instance 11 years of research and development to create 'Angola Janga'. The book talks about Quilombo dos Palmares (a fugitive community of escaped slaves in colonial Brazil that existed from 1605 to 1694). 'Cumbe', his graphic novel about slavery in 19th century Brazil, was published in the United States by Fantagraphics under the title 'Run For It' (2017).

In 2018 his graphic novel 'Cumbe' won the Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material.



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