Flores, Manuel

I was born in Huelva on a very hot day in the summer of 1952, at a time when sticks do not cast shadows. ‘Do not worry, madam!’, said the doctor; and my mother cried. So, dried and curled up in the cot, it has taken me over fifty years to grow up and bear a fruit. A tiny one, one must admit, since it is not right to exaggerate. Now, when it rains, and even when it does not, I scribble some drawings out of vice. Obsessively. Well, due to a vice and because I cannot write.

‘Vice’, says the Dictionary of the Royal Academy, is ‘a special taste or great appetite for something, that incites to use it frequently and in excess’; ‘obsession’, ‘an idea that assaults the mind with tenacious persistence’. The vice and obsession has been to illustrate books of an uncertain destination. Some, few, have seen the light of day. Fortunate! It has been said before: it is not right to exaggerate.

Manuel Flores

Self-portrait of the author


Below we provide a list (most likely incomplete) of Manuel Flores’ illustrated works that remain unpublished:


* El ente plástico (The Plastic Entity), by Ramón Gómez de la Serna, is a project from 2012 or 2013 based on a previous project related to Ramon’s novel The Circus and which has finally focused on one of his ‘caprices’.

* Chloe (2012), lyrics to a jazz standard.

* El cometa del rey (The King’s Kite; 2013) is a short puppet play by Edmond Duranty that was performed in mid-19th century Paris. The publication is scheduled for 2021.

* The Puppet Play of Don Cristóbal, by Federico García Lorca, is another —rather brutal— puppet play. One of the illustrator’s favourite books, from 2014.

* Punchinela, by Jules Rémond, also from 2014, is the best synthesis of the famous English Punch (which is none other than the famous Punchinello brought to the island), although at times, more than a translation, it is a version that even includes verses by Quevedo and something on popular Spanish literature.

* El desafiu (The Challenge), by Ezequiel Vigués ‘Didó’, a Catalan puppeteer who wrote, like most, his own shows. Play in Catalan, from 2015.

* Los locos (The Madmen), anonymous interlude from the 17th century that ends with the words of one of the madmen referring to the protagonist, the incredibly famous Juan Rana: ‘He does not want to go home, that at this time, those who can be mad, must not be sane’. Also from 2015.

* Polinchinela preceptor (Preceptor Punchinello), by Edmond Duranty. Back to puppet theatre and 19th century France. From 2016.

* Don Sandalio, Chess Player, by Miguel de Unamuno. 2017 project.

* The Man on the Boulevard, by Georges Simenon. Illustrated in 2020, during the pandemic.

* Prologue in Heaven (Faust), by Goethe (2020). Second child of the pandemic.

* Don José y otros cuentos (Don José and Other Stories), by Rafael Azcona. Also from 2020, the third child of Covid-19.

* Trip to the Moon. Again, Federico. Last offspring of the year 2020, so fruitful for unpublished literature.