My latest Chicanonautica at La Bloga takes a look at the outrageous Mexican comic book Frontera Violenta.
Since I'm overdue returning to this popular subject – every day, people visit my other posts about it – here are some more examples from my collection, this time focusing on the western genre:
A long-time favorite is Aguila Solitaria (“Lone Eagle”), an Indian raised Tarzan-style by eagles, who wears wings that allow him to fly -- a Native American superhero out for ¡LA VENGANZA!
The most popular western Mexican comic book is El Libro Vaquero, that promises – among other things – “the most emotional stories of the Old West.”
This ad for El Libro Vaquero hypes “magnificent colors” and “the authentic cowboy flavor” in “the best magazine in Latin America.
Here's a blonde Indian warrior-princess beckoning us to read “true and authentic stories of the Legendary West.”
Something from the days of monochrome comics printed in a sepia ink that had a pungent uric acid smell when fresh. I never could make out the second word in the title, but it offers “intrepid and reckless gunmen and the most beautiful and sensual women.”
Another look at the mystery title. “The most intrepid and valiant men who forged the Legend of the West with the most beautiful women.”
Getting literary, here's a page from Novelas Inmortales No. 502, “El Jeque de Kalhuran” with Karl May's Old Shatterhand in Arabia, having a flashback to his days in Arizona with his Apache pal, Winnetou.
I remember some years ago Warren Ellis did a comic book experiment called Apparat - four one-issue comics, trying to imagine what comic books would be like in the Americas if the super-hero genre had not gained supremacy, yet not quite following the lines of European comics (which missed superheroes due to censorship, but were free to develop fare for mature readers). I thought it was somewhat unfortunate that of his four choices - the Science-Hero, Pilot-Hero, Pulp/Noir Detective, and Science Fantasy - that he did not include a Western, or a Horror comic.ReplyDelete
The Comics Code, and the obsession of superheroes -- which these days are simply corporate franchises -- crippled comic books, and popular culture in America. Maybe if DC and Marvel went out of business, we'll see some interesting reading.ReplyDelete
I think there is still good stuff to be had, if you know to look for it. Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo is fantastic, most of Howard Chaykin's original material (and some of his brilliant revamps of old properties, like Blackhawk), the absolutely balls-to-the-walls brilliant crazy of Stokoe's Orc Stain (http://orcstain.wordpress.com/) and Won Ton Soup (how can you not love the creator of Spider-'Nam?)...they're not mainstream, but they are all in their own way brilliant.ReplyDelete
It's interesting to me to see how the comic book industry is taking a much more pragmatic approach to digital piracy and distribution with the recent spate of digital comics.
What we need is a new Wild West of comic book publishing.ReplyDelete