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Graphic journalism of the highest order

My Comrade, Che Guevara

Jeroen Janssen & Hilde Baele

In 2008 journalist Hilde Baele was sitting on a bench in Kigali, Rwanda, when she met Mzee Jerôme Sebasoni, a gardener, who told her his incredible life story. He claimed to have fought against the Belgians and to have been a close comrade of Che Guevara’s in the struggle to oust the Congolese dictator Mobutu. Later, Guevara took him to Cuba, he said, where he found a wife and had a child. Baele couldn’t find out any more though: soon after their conversation Sebasoni disappeared without a trace. Baele roped in her illustrator friend Jeroen Janssen to help her find Che’s guide and get to the bottom of his claims. 

A haunting history that fills one with admiration

They found him in Nyamirambo, Rwanda, and went in search of proof of his tall tales. Their quest took them from Niyamirambo to Bujumbura and from Havana to Varsenare, Flanders. Gradually they pieced together a picture of Sebasoni’s life. All the powerful graphic material in this impressive book was sketched and painted on the spot by Janssen. Baele and Janssen tell the story of their Herculean detective work with a mix of gravity and humour. This is a remarkable testament to an extraordinary life story.

Four books for the price of one: an adventurous travelogue, a suspenseful whodunit, a biography and a history book
Gazet van Antwerpen
This big, beautiful book is as yet only available in Dutch, but I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t soon find a French publisher
Charlie Hebdo