Jordi Costa says farewell (only for a while, don’t cry) to his section Stolen Cartoons with an image from Fred’s Castaway on the Letter A. And?
The always-wise Jesús Cuadrado defined in his monumental work Atlas Español de la Cultura popular. De la Historieta y su uso 1873-2000 (Atlas of Spanish Popular Culture. Of Cartoons and Their Use, 1873-2000) Madrid-born author Nicolás (Nicolás Martínez Cerezo) as someone who practised a kind of “pro anarchist and naïve humour”, but we should add as well that he fostered psychedelia and hallucinogen poetry in the field of Spanish children cartoons. He wasn’t the first in introducing the Dionysian colours and shapes typical of underground publications in children books: before getting to know the work of Crumb, Shelton and many others, the doors of my perception had already been opened by other means as the hallucinating trading card collection published by the Bruguera imprint during the seventies called Hippy 2000, the pop party cartoons included on Peter Petrake by Miguel Calatayud, or the special pages devoted to El Habichuelo character that comic book TBO published, ready to embrace modernity with unusual enthusiasm… When Nicolás started working on the pages of Zipi y Zape at the beginning of the eighties, after having collaborated during the previous decade with magazines such as Hilo Musical or La Codorniz, our very own national team of countercultural artists had already jumped from anonymity to professionalism through magazine El Víbora, but still, teaching the new generations the polychromies of pleasure was still a meaningful job: I like to think that La Gorda de las Galaxias (Star Fatty), the unforgettable character that Nicolás created for Zipi y Zape, was there for that reason… to educate future readers of underground comic books.
This cartoon in particular belongs to a two-page adventure compiled on the album La Gorda de las Galaxias that Bang Ediciones published on its Mamut Golden Age collection in May 2012: on it, the fat and floating super heroine flies to the rescue of Hombrecillo de las Nieves –a sort of miniature Snow Man–, who is freezing to death in a planet called Frescales. One could spend days looking at it, at the way in which the purest and most surreal legacy of La Codorniz is accelerated to meet the colours of lysergic joy under a rhythm that one, inevitably, imagines close to a song by band Vainica Doble based on a memory of another tune by the Beatles of the yellow submarine period. The stroke is all seduction and charm, poetry and hypnosis, rounded shapes, reminiscences of a cosmos created with Carioca felt-tip pens, a wild personality showing up in the colours and even on the outline of the balloons… One can never anticipate where the stimulus that will activate the silly laugh resource will appear, but it’s always a very pure sort of laugh: here it appears on a turn of phrase –“she flew away fatty style”– that only someone very dull would understand as an aggressive, offensive or politically incorrect expression. What does “she flew away fatty style” mean? Is that an offense directed towards overweight people? The way I understand it, to fly away fatty style means flying away with momentum, impetuosity and determination. The determination of someone who has a transcendental mission: providing an education for (poetical) revolt to the young readers of Zipi y Zape.