Illustrator and writer Bernat Cormand dies at 48

The news leaves the publishing sector in a state of shock, because he had just published the children's novel 'El cap als núvols'

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The author and illustrator Bernat Cormand (Barcelona, 1973)

Barcelona"My style is striking because it has a palette of soft colors and a fine line, but I talk about strong things", recalled Bernat Cormand now three years ago, shortly after publishing his last album, Happy Days (A Buen Paso). The illustrator, writer, university professor, literary critic -he had collaborated in the magazine ARA Llegim - and director of the magazine Atril has died in Barcelona at the age of 48 and has left the children's and young adult book sector, where he was well known and appreciated, in a state of shock.

Born in Barcelona in 1973, Bernat Cormand studied Catalan philology and later did a master's degree in comparative literature. "As an artist I have no formal training, but at home we drew from an early age because we came from a family of artists", he recalled in 2018. His mother, Fina Rifà, in addition to illustrating numerous books, had collaborated with Cavall Fort since its second issue. Cormand put drawing aside "for professional reasons": for years he worked at Edicions 62, where he specialised in foreign narrative collections. "I really liked editorial work, but in 2007 I gave it up: it was at that moment of crisis and rethinking that I took up drawing again", he admitted. Thanks to this change, he began to publish illustrated albums: he debuted with El dibujante de osos (SD, 2008), in which he told the story of a cartoonist who travelled to the North Pole to paint the last remaining species of bear; he continued with The Perfect Child (SD, 2013), about a model young man who, at night, when no one sees him, dresses up, and five years later came The Happy Days (2018), centered on a boy's discovery of homosexual love.

One of the illustrations of 'Los días felices', by Bernat Cormand

An edition of Rodoreda and the novel's debut

While he was preparing the novel El cap als núvols published a few weeks ago, Cormand illustrated books like La mà del senyor Echegaray (The Hand of Mr. Echegaray) by Daniela Ortiz (A Buen Paso, 2020) and Viatges i flors by Mercè Rodoreda (Nórdica, 2020), one of his favourite authors. Throughout the book there is an undercurrent of misery and war in a metaphorical sense that has caught my attention", he explained shortly after last year's confinement. "More books for adults should be illustrated. It's the first time I've done it and the experience has been very positive". El cap als núvols explains the relationship of friendship and the discovery of love within a triangle of eleven-year-old children, Elies, Vane and Tomàs, with the sensitivity and taste that Bernat Cormand devoted to his characters, until recently written and drawn, but here beating with the force of a novel that, unfortunately, closes the production of its author.