Working away at organizing the boxes and boxes of miscellany here at the Archives, I came across a few Mexican Sunday newspaper comics sections. Of course most of the contents are translated US comics, but each section had a little homegrown content. I decided I had to share a few items with you. First, here is the cover feature of El Heraldo de Mexico for May 18 1980, titled Johnny Galaxy:
I had this one pegged for a foreign import, but clicking around the web I’m not so sure anymore. Seems like this feature appeared in various comics anthologies in various countries, and that the ultimate origin of the strip is surprisingly murky. One website suggested that it was produced by a Spanish comics publisher. I don’t know if they mean in Spain, or perhaps in Mexico? In any case, it certainly seems odd that a Spaniard of any country would name his hero Johnny, right? Anyone have any wisdom to share about this feature?
Second, I was pretty blown away by the delight ful art on Chicharrin y el Sargento Pistolas:
These strips from 1984 Sunday sections of an unknown paper may be badly colored and suffering from bleed-through, but I really like the artist’s energy. I was very surprised to find that the creator, Guerrero Edwards, started this strip around 1936, and did it into the 1990s. Wow, we’re talking about a record run! Hard to imagine art that fresh and joyful could come from a cartoonist by then in his 80s. I found one short bio of the cartoonist online here, which I ran through Google translate:
Born in Pachuca on December 30, 1903, Armando Guerrero Edwards, was the creator of emblematic comic strips, published for decades in the Mexican press, such as Chicharrín and Sargento Pistolas, which were distributed over 66 years.
There is not much information about the cartoonist Armando Guerrero, it is known that he entered a contest organized by the newspaper El Universal, and although he did not win the first prize, he was among the first twenty finalists, some of his works were published.
It would be from 1926 that he began to publish more constantly: Life and miracles of Pinolillo and Nacho Naranjas, Aventuras de Pirrucha and Ranilla.
His most memorable creation was Chicharrín y el Sargento Pistolas, which was published in the evening of Excelsior Últimas Noticias. The strip showed the adventures of a mischievous boy and an abusive cop.
Despite the fact that its purpose was not to generate criticism, as its successors would do with political cartoons, but simply to entertain, at that time it laid the foundations for comics in Mexico; later Rius, Fontanarrosa, Magú, among other moneros and caricaturists would arrive.
José Luis Diego Hernández “Trizas”, president of the Mexican Society of Cartoonists, during the presentation of an edited volume on Guerrero’s work, commented: “Don Armando was the creator of characters that became icons in our history, Chicharrín and Sergeant Pistolas have remained in the collective memory, they have made several generations of Mexicans laugh ”.
Armando Guerrero deserves to be remembered as one of the pioneers of Mexican comics and a pillar of the national graphic culture. Chicharrín y el Sargento Pistolas was published from 1936 to the 1990s. Armando Guerrero Edwards died on September 25, 1995.