Kiosco by Juan Berrrio cover header art

“Kiosco” by Juan Berrio

Everthing: Juan Berrio
Published by: Dibbuks/Europe Comics
Number of Pages: 143
Original Publication: 2014

 

And Now for Something Completely Different

“Kiosco” is the story of a young gentleman who runs a kiosk in the park.  Accompanied by a pair of tables, he rolls up the iron curtain every morning to sell coffee and baked goods (croissants, of course!) to the passers by.  Dressed all fancy in his striped vest and bow tie, with matching suspenders, he waits for the world to come to him and recognize his business genius.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen much.  Instead, he’s a people watcher. He stands by and watches the world go by.  All day long.  Left and right.  To and fro.

Nobody sees him.

People walk through the park in Kiosco

The crowds hustle through the park, past his kiosk, and ignore him all the while.  And then, in the rain, a young woman and her dog seek shelter and a drink.  This makes his entire day worthwhile. His customer service is top notch.

Then he goes home and relaxes by painting.

That’s the entire comic.

It’s a simple story, featuring a charming if a bit naive young man doing his best to make a living.  But the whole point of this book is in how it’s told.

 

The Format Is the Trick

The man thinks in multiple panels.

It’s 140 pages of silent comics.  There are four word balloons in the book, and they’re all filled with images to convey the idea. There are a few sound effects, but no words.  The closest things come is when the man offers the woman a choice of waters and his speech balloon is filled with various water companies’ logos.  That’s it.

There are none of the usual cheats you might see in a silent story.  This one is honest.  It doesn’t start with a newspaper headline and article to give you an exposition dump to explain the story.

Additionally, there are no panel borders.  Most every page is a single panel.  Some pages get two or three “panels.” Many pages show multiple moves happening on the same background.  There are lots of single image pages with the crowds of people walking back and forth, avoiding him completely. Some pages are down to just a single reaction shot of the kiosk owner’s face.  Some pages are six or eight images of his face, thinking about his next move.

Berrio likes to show movement by drawing extra body parts

The see through arm is in motion…

Berrio does a lot of pages with multiple motions on a single page.  You get used to it so fast that you buy it when the man’s third arm shows up on the panel, because the extra limbs are transparent.

On top of all that, the book is sideways. The pages are wider than they are tall.  I love a good sideways story, and I think Berrio uses it well here to spread the motions and actions strictly left to right on the page.  He could have told this exact story in the standard portrait orientation, but moving images down the page instead of across would not have worked as well. It would rob it of some of its flow.

 

 

Recommended?

Kiosco by Juan Berrrio cover art

It’s quaint.  It’s charming.  It’s a cute little experiment in the art form. It’s a relatively quick read.

There are better options competing for your comics dollar, though. But, hey, if this sounds interesting to you, it’s here and you can grab it.

Buying tip: It’s a couple bucks cheaper on comiXology ($5) over Izneo ($7).

(This is Pipeline BD 100 review #95.)

 

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