The Supermales

We were walking along Cuauhtémoc Avenue, a sunny and noisy afternoon. We passed in front of a used bookstore.

The vice of looking for some abandoned treasure by families who inherit a library and finish everything off, because their reading is reduced to the screen of their phone.

We found stacked on a piece of furniture, a pile of Los Supermachos magazines.

We bought several, including one from 1964 with “Ideas, drawings and texts” by Rius, and another from ten years later by the team that formed Editorial EM to continue with the publication.

I read them with anthropological curiosity, the two versions are diametrically opposed.

Rius’s, more than a social criticism, seems a parody of the Mexico idealized by the cinema of the 40’s and 50’s, repeats all the Manichaean cliches of those stories.

It’s like watching a movie by Emilio el “Indio” Fernández in a comic version.

What is very interesting, already in our context, is the way of dealing with this social parody, Rius was politically incorrect, and in this moment of sensitivities that seek to be “inclusive”, and the new ultra-puritanical and censorious morality, it is inconceivable that someone portrays an indigenous as Calzónzin.

The portrait of society in general, its way of seeing women, would be to censor Rius again but for other reasons, for not “respecting differences” for “stigmatizing”, NGOs and activists would see him as a public enemy .

The other magazine is from the print run that continued without Rius and the publisher bowed to government censorship.

It is extremely didactic, made with this style of collage, jokes and vignettes to induce information.

It’s a lead. It is a criticism of workplace and daily accidents, they say that they are usually the fault of the workers and negligence.

They also politicize me incorrectly, despite being made in a way, they take their licenses, on the cover a young woman hugs a baby and says that “I swear it was a work accident”, intersperses photos of half-naked “fat women”, models seedy feminine, which are beside the point, but catch the reader’s attention.

He criticizes PEMEX workers who intentionally get injured to receive disability and live without working.

We have not changed, the two stories are still valid, that of Rius the cacique shoots the new priest of the town for his “communist” ideas, for seeking justice for the people, the narco does the same with impunity, he is the new cacique.

Didactics resembles the free textbooks of the current regime, tailored to the sponsor. It is pathetic that our society has not evolved, there is no difference despite the elementary, Manichaean and weak message of the two magazines, the rich and the government are bad, the poor are good.

The difference is that there is no way in our neo censorship to send any message with this style, our society is more retrograde than the one reflected in the two comics.

Avelina Lesper

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The Supermales