What comics originating in Spanish should I read?
July 17, 2013 10:16 AM   Subscribe

I'm attending San Diego Comic-Con this year, and it occurs to me that while San Diego is right next to Mexico, I know nothing about native comics in Spanish-speaking countries. This prior AskMe is more interested in learning Spanish, what I'm more interested in is works originating in Spanish rather than texts I'd be familiar with. I've read comics originating in Europe and in Japan, and it surprises me to think I can't think of any originating in Spanish. Older, new, comic books, comic strips, editorial cartoons, even webcomics would apply.
posted by artlung to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
posted by resurrexit at 10:17 AM on July 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

posted by vacapinta at 10:36 AM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mention this one with a bit of trepidation (which you will understand once you see the way the characters are drawn) but Memín Pinguín has been popular for decades. I link to the Wiki because it gives some context that might help balance out the characters' appearance. I remember finding it really interesting and surprisingly willing to tackle racism, a subject that was always very taboo.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 10:41 AM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

El Santos (Mexico)
Boogie el Aceitoso (Argentina)
posted by subajestad at 11:18 AM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Older and influential Mexican series I grew up on: Kaliman
posted by vacapinta at 11:31 AM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: These are all great -- and I'm ignorant of all of them. ¡Muchisimas gracias!
posted by artlung at 11:41 AM on July 17, 2013

Thirding Mafalda, and everything you can find from Quino. He is great.

Mexico has a long tradition of comics, including newspaper strips, comic books, political cartoons and now webcomics. This is a brief list of my favorites.

La Familia Burrón: comic book about the life of a poor family, with a lot of supporting and interesting characters. Very funny and with a lot of slang. It started publishing in 1948, and stopped in 2009, but it's being published again in collectable books (although in black and white).

El Cerdotado is a pretty fun newspaper strip, about a pig superhero, or perhaps more accurately, anti-hero. It has a lot of double entendres (known as albur in Mexico). It's being published in the Milenio Newspaper, and this is the Deviant Art profile of the creator.

Mexico also has classic superheroes, such as Kalimán, Fantomas and El Pantera.
I found this page with a list of Mexican Superheroes.

Bunsen is a webcomic about a scientist who works in a public university. It's mostly geeky office humor (but pretty good). Something I really like about it is that its creator, Jorge Pinto, registered it under a Creative Common license and redistributed the original files of his comic, so anybody can create their own version.

In some ways, Jis and Trino's work is comparable to the comix movement in other countries. Jis is more conceptual and psychodelic; Trino is more accessible and cute, he has illustrated books for Mexico's Nacional Education Ministry. Their most famous comic was El Santos, a parody of Santo, the famous wrestler. There was an animated movie recently. Both of them are still active and publish newspaper strips.

There are also a lot of low-brow pocket comic books, such as the Sensacional series and Libro Vaquero. They are almost pornographic and very popular in the working class. It is said that many famous artists have worked in these books, under a pseudonym.

Rius is one of Mexico's most famous political cartoonists, notorious for being atheist and vegetarian in times when it was not common. While most Mexican political cartoonists are liberal, Paco Calderón leans to the center-right.

There has been even a big manga movement in Mexico, lead by female cartoonists and editors. Yaoi is pretty popular, and authors like Lara Yokoshima have published for US and European editorials.

This is just a tiny sample of Mexican comics. Feel free to contact me for more information.
posted by clearlydemon at 11:48 AM on July 17, 2013 [3 favorites]

Do serialized graphic novels count? Because boy oh boy, El Eternauta is great. And unavailable in its entirety in English.
posted by dr. boludo at 2:49 PM on July 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

and Clara de Noche is a smart, sympathetic, and way-NSFW strip about a prostitute. No single online repository of old columns, but it runs each week in Página/12's supplement for teenagers and a Google image search turns up some good examples.
posted by dr. boludo at 2:57 PM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: dr. boludo, yes, I should have said graphic novels to be crystal clear. thanks!
posted by artlung at 3:01 PM on July 17, 2013

Dear Patagonia by Jorge González. Mort Cinder by Oesterheld/Breccia. Various works by Miguelanxo Prado.
posted by martinrebas at 5:04 PM on July 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

Spain has a number of old-timey (50's, 60's) comic series like the El Capitán Trueno or El Jabato, which are more or less in the vein of Prince Valiant. Roberto Alcázar y Pedrín was a popular comic of the Franco era that *shows* it comes from the Franco era. Of these series, the best is Capitán Trueno.

Some more humor comics are Mortadelo y Filemón (which used to be a parody of sorts of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., to give you an idea of how old is this series-- "El Sulfato Atómico" is probably the best album), Zipi y Zape (another rather vintage series from the Franco era about a pair of unruly twin kids) and Superlópez (which began as a Superman parody but has done a lot of bizarre things -- "El Señor de los Chupetes" and "La Caja de Pandora" are two very good albums, but for originality I'd recommend "Los Cabecicubos" or "Los Petisos Carambanales", which is a "choose your own adventure" comic)

For current series, I'd recommend to try El Joven Lovecraft, which is a bit like Calvin and Hobbes if Calvin was H.P. himself. You can read the comic in their blog from the beginning, but it's also published in 3 volumes (and ongoing) by Editorial Diábolo. For more about contemporary comics, check Guia del comic.

El Jueves is a current events/ satyrical magazine that hosts a number of comic series, among them the same Clara de Noche that was mentioned above. Then again, hope you like Spanish politics, Z-list celebs and memes.
posted by sukeban at 12:22 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Daniel Torres, especially Opium and Triton — he was a major player in the Clear Line comic style.
posted by Tom-B at 7:09 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

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