Power Paola, pseudonym of Paola Andrea Gaviria Silguero (Quito, June 20, 1977) is a Colombian-Ecuadorian comic artist and author of graphic novels. Among her most noteworthy works is the 2011 graphic novel “Virus Tropical,” which has been widely praised. It was later translated into both English and French by Random House / Mondadori. Paola also contributed to the adaptation of this novel into an animated film in 2017, which subsequently won the 2019 Quirino Award for Best Ibero-American Animation Feature Film. Paola’s other notable works include “Por Dentro” (2012), “Diario” (2013), “qp” (2014), “Todo Va a Estar Bien” (2015), and “Nos vamos” (2016). Power Paola’s body of work deals with diverse themes including sexuality, feminism, family dynamics, and personal identity. She’s a member of a comics collective called Chicks on Comics.
Born as Paola Andrea Gaviria Silguero on June 20, 1977, in Quito, Ecuador, the celebrated cartoonist better known as Power Paola has risen to prominence through her powerful works in graphic literature. The origin of the title of her debut graphic novel is interestingly linked to her birth: during her mother’s pregnancy, a doctor told her that she wasn’t expecting but was suffering from a “tropical virus.” At the age of 13, she and her family relocated to Cali, Colombia. It was there that her artistic journey began at the Fundación Universitaria de Bellas Artes in Medellin, where she co-founded the art collective, Taller 7. A self-proclaimed “nomad,” she has lived in various cities across the globe, such as Sydney, Paris, San Salvador, and Bogota, before finally settling in Buenos Aires.
Origin of her pseudonyn
In a 2023 interview with the Zurich-based magazine, Ron Orp, Power Paola revealed the unique origin of her pseudonym. The story unfolds in 2003, at a moment of vulnerability in Paris. Lost and tearful at the Montreuil metro station, she encountered an Afro-descendant man who asked her name. When she responded, “Je m’appelle Paola,” he misinterpreted it as “Power.” Despite her attempts to clarify, he persisted in referring to her as “Power.” He even penned “Power Paola” on a ticket. From that day forward, the unexpected moniker stuck, becoming a distinctive signature for her and her work in the comic realm.
Career and Notable Works
Power Paola embarked on her career as a painter, but later found her true calling in the world of comic artistry. Her engagement with comics started when she was 27, seeking a form of self-entertainment and life documentation while working in a Sydney kitchen. Initially, she self-published her works on Flickr and as print zines. Power Paola’s body of work deals with diverse themes including sexuality, feminism, family dynamics, and personal identity.
One of her most recognized works is the graphic memoir “Virus Tropical” (2011), which was published by Argentinian publisher Editorial Comun. It paints a vivid picture of her childhood experiences, where she navigates life as a defiant daughter in a traditional Colombian family dominated by influential women. This book, critically acclaimed, was later translated into English and French by Random House / Mondadori. Critics have lauded her for her loose drawing style and intimately authentic voice, creating a personal comic narrative that feels distinctly feminine and relatable.
Paola’s other notable works include “Por Dentro” (2012), “Diario” (2013), “qp” (2014), “Todo Va a Estar Bien” (2015), and “Nos vamos” (2016).
Recognition and Impact
In 2017, Power Paola’s work was exhibited at the Fundacion PROA in Buenos Aires as part of the Chicks on Comics exhibition “Long Distance Relationship.” The same year, “Virus Tropical” was adapted into a film, cementing her influence in the domain of graphic memoirs. As a member of the international comics collective Chicks on Comics, Power Paola continues to contribute to the field, championing themes of female empowerment and personal exploration through her unique artistry.
- Virus Tropical (2011)
- Por Dentro (2012)Josep Oliver
- Diario (2013)
- qp (2014)
- Todo Va a Estar Bien (2015)
- Nos vamos (2016)