His activism was mainly aimed at the Mexican political system and its institutions, US Government policies, consumerism, imperialism, the Catholic Church and religion in general. He was also an advocate of the Cuban revolution and sympathized with the Soviet bloc throughout the Cold War. In fact, he was the first foreign author to publish in the Soviet newspaper Izvestia in Both were revolutionary for their political and social themes, and have become examples for many Hispanic political comics that followed. The latter vainly attempts to communicate his political ideas to his fellow villagers.
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I finally got around to finishing the book. At the time he was creating Los Supermachos, Rius was a communist; this is chiefly noticeable here in a retelling of the story of Adam and Eve as a parable of the Cuban Revolution. One thing that comes across very well is the paradox of the PRI Partido Revolucionario Institucional — Rius calls it the RIP— the party that had a near-absolute domination of Mexico fro,m to The party began in a revolution and retained the rhetoric of democracy and social justice, and yet was soon taken over by landowners and bureaucrats.
In one of the chapters, just to drive the point home, Rius introduces an anachronistic Villista— an actual revolutionary— who comes down from the mountains to inquire after the revolution, and is disgusted by its current guardians. One of the best chapters starts with one of the characters discovering that some canny operator made a ton of pesos by faking an appearance of the Virgin. This leads to not one but two groups who try to do the same in San Garabato. Their candidates to impersonate the Virgin are both male and ugly, but nighttime and a coat of paint are expected to take care of that.
Though Rius wrote at least one book on feminism, one weakness of the comic is that he does not have a very evolved view of women. His female characters basically fall into the categories of naive and silly, old and superstitious, or dominating viragos.
Not cool, comrade. One of the fascinations of the book is its attempt to reproduce colloquial mexicano. Even the mayor is illiterate. Share this:.
'Los Supermachos': la obra cumbre del caricaturista Rius
cuentos de los super machos