Secrets of the Spanish Comic Book Anti-Hero: “Guomer Was Born in Spain at Once Like Everyone else”

The adventures of a character created 25 years ago by Ricardo and Nacho are brought together for the first time. “There was only one quality in Gummer and every mistake imaginable”

Gummer’s latest strip published December 29, 2013 in EL Mundo’s ‘Magazine’.


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The planet is over there, far away. It includes elevator chewing gum, TV martial arts know-how, swimming pools taking vacations, beggars dressed up as pine trees on Christmas, and politicians forbidden to live better than other citizens.

welcome to the crazy world of goomer,

At first it was just an excuse to show him a place in the Antipode of Earth: so I wanted to draw him surrounded by absurd things and among green creatures that had no nose or hair, calling Ricardo Martínez one of the most laughable antiheroes. Tells about patriotic humor but gradually his personality started emerging and the stories started centering on him. He had only one virtue, sympathy and all conceivable flaws: he was stingy, lazy, sensual, jealous …

For 25 years, from April 10, 1988 to December 29, 2013, to be precise, comic book fans enjoyed a strangely familiar character. A man who represented the average Spaniard—short, half-bald, paunchy—lands in a galaxy frontier as a transporter and decides to stay there to take the shit out of his girlfriend.

Ms. Humor

painter Ricardo Martinez (Santiago de Chile, 1956) and screenwriter nacho moreno (Vittoria, 1957-El Puerto de Santa María, CDZ, 2021) was animated by the science fiction blockbusters of the late 70s star wars You foreign. Its author, who was not even fifteen at the time, was already dreaming big. He thought that an approach between the real and the costumbrista – Gumera originated in Spain as the birth of things: in a bar, between tortilla skewers and sketches on napkins – might be attractive to the American press.

We didn’t know how to do this. We wanted to make a comic strip for one of the syndicates that distributes them to American newspapers, who seem to have a complete ignorance of that market. Little did we know that the people who worked for him lived very well. In fact, Charles Schulz, father of Charlie Brown and Snoopy, appeared on the list. Forbes. the one who Our main motivation was to see if there was any chance of making a fortune.Martinez confesses with humor and tenderness.

Interestingly, after the disapproval of distributor King Features, the most accomplished, Gummer premiered worker world, newspaper of the Communist Party of Spain. However his appearance was nothing more than a testimonial.

Now Norma Editorial offers its followers a real treasure trove: a comprehensive and deluxe edition of all of its adventures, including a preface written by a self-confessed fan like Santiago Segura, a gift sheet, and tons of extras. Thus, in 1,240 comic strips starring the mundane delivery man, who would have reminded Alfredo Landa and actually looked like Bruce Willis, an association with the magazine is added. ThursdayMaterials from advertising campaigns, posters, comic tributes to other collaborators … two volumes that were published in a brief period small country (1988-1990) and in a very long time magazine of the world (1990-2013).

Furthermore, the wider version also serves as a tribute to Moreno, when it is not even a year since his death.

The first Gummer strip was published
The first Gummer strip was published in ‘El Pecuo Pas’ on April 10, 1988.

“Gummer makes us laugh because he represents that gulf side we all have,” Martinez says. “In my opinion, imperfect characters are closer than perfect ones. Mickey Mouse, for example, is less attractive than Donald Duck, who is not a cheeky but a badass. I’m sure he’ll be your very best friend “

What is the character of its authors?
Nacho loved going out at night the time we made him, and that was reflected in the script. I used to say that he was scattered and I was organized. Anyway, we both turned our nerves on him. nacho called him gomerterapiaBecause they paid us to do it and we even saved sessions with a psychologist.
How was it different from what was done in National Comedy? He has lived with Mortadello, Zippy and Zap, Superalpez, Mott, Leo Verdura, Martínez El Facha, Silvio José …
Gummer referred to classic American humor more than Spanish. Nacho Yam liked the series B.C (Before Christ), starring the Caveman, and Id. the magician, set in a medieval kingdom. They represent an elegant, cynical humour, with a lot of lies at the end, not like Bruguera’s humour, in which many things happen at the same time but they always start and end the same way. The important thing in Gummer is the ending, the moment in which the reader understands everything. That final surprise, to me, is the key. When I received Nacho’s script by email every Monday and I read it, even knowing all his tricks, I had no idea where I was going to end up.
Unpredictability as a secret ingredient…
Schultz said that he tried to hide the last panel, because otherwise the entire development of the story was compromised. That’s why I made such large vignettes of Gummer in the beginning, so that the reader would not see the final scene. Gummer’s biggest influence is Charlie Brown, but when drawing those big words I saw what George Herriman did (crazy cat) Y Winsor McKay (little nemo) I had a blank vertical page to do whatever I wanted, and it was a privilege in comics for the press that I had to make the most of. Breaking down the three-line vignette structure was a really fun challenge.
Nacho Moreno and Ricardo Marto
Gummer’s producers Nacho Moreno and Ricardo Martínez, photographed in 2002.

Gummer’s first anthology book was published in 1990. It was so successful that it was the fourth best-selling book at the Madrid Book Fair. In fact, the publisher told us it was a best seller, but they didn’t want the comic to be a best seller…, Martinez revealed, Founder of EL Mundo and one of the serous signatories of the newspaper For his work as a political cartoonist—with himself Nacho Moreno until 2002 and since then alone—and his impeccable portraits created with technology scratchboard worn out.

Through a trashy adventurer always wearing a brown jacket and green shirt, the navel of the universe that includes Elma (supposed girlfriend), Op (best friend), Neela (sister-in-law and platonic love) or Ruby (robot) . -Pet), Martinez and Moreno, i.e. Ricardo and Nacho introduced issues such as Concerns about feminist retaliation, environmental awareness, animal sensitivity or junk food, In more recent times, with the 2008 economic crisis, even the evictions unrelated to the raid have earned Goya the Best Animated Film thanks to the already immortal character, which he won in 1999. Won and the seal of Korios I dedicated it in 2019.

Such ability demonstrated the series to portray destructive couple relationships, to parody details of ordinary life, or to anticipate conflicts between different types of societies on behalf of an outsider, that such people who see a certain reflection of Gummer in the two products. The most important audiovisual works of pop culture at the turn of the century: the Simpson Even more, futurama, And those are big words.

goomer, by Nacho Moreno and Ricardo Martínez, Already on Sale (Editorial Standard). you can buy it here

Could Matt Groening really have been inspired by his cosmic hustler?
It’s very curious. People tell me a lot about its effect futuramaBut I’ve never seen it. In fact, he even told us we used to copy him when Gummer was 10 years older than him. the Simpson and from 20 ms futurama, There are many similarities that must be pure coincidence, such as the hair of Elma and Marge, which in both cases is reminiscent of a blackberry ice cream… it is true that in a Sal del Cic I matched with a cartoonist comic books of Futurama. We were talking and it was decided that I would send him a gamer. When he read it, he told me he liked it and wanted to use some of our characters in his series. I don’t know if he did in the end…
Queen Sophia, Zapatero, Rajoy appeared in Gummer’s stories… Did you ever get a clue about figures in the political sphere?
Jam. We had complete freedom at all times. The only episode of censorship, in quotes, happened in the beginning. small country, Gummer was at a restaurant and didn’t know what to order for dessert, until he saw a cart passing by and told the waiter that he got what he wanted. It says: For the first time in 30 years of service I have seen someone eat a paralyzed Baroness. The original text speaks of a paralyzed Presbyterian nun. they told us: Joe, the hubris passo…
How did you feel while rereading your works?
Relief, because I’ve noticed they last very well over time.
What are your favourites?
I remember one strip that was particularly difficult to paint. In this someone talks about the benefits of eating vegetables. There are five vignettes in the text, and only in the sixth Gummer is seen next to a steak who is trying to persuade him to become a vegetarian. In another strip, Gummer is showing Elma a photo album. He shows her an image showing a performance of hippies and a group of riot police in the background. He says: Look how beautiful, the time of freedom and flowering. She replies: But I don’t recognize you. And he catches up: Of course, it’s because of the helmet… I also had a lot of fun pulling the elevator and cockroaches.
How does a writer say goodbye to a character he has devoted 25 years to?
A writer never says goodbye to such a character. When we left it in 2013, it was good for me because I was in charge of the political vignettes, Pedro J. Illustration for Letter for Sunday and Gummer. It was a lot of work and it was almost a relief. But then, as the years go by, you realize that you don’t say goodbye to him, that there’s always someone out there who wants something out of Gummer. We were recently asked permission to offer the series to Netflix.

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