January 16, 2021

Chiquito, from the prairie to the cosmos

Chiquito, from the prairie to the cosmos


It is a game. To guess what is myth or legend. What is true and what is not. And it is the reader who has to uncover those unknowns. Of course, there is no doubt that the protagonist is known by all: Chiquito de la Calzada. According to Sergio Mora, painter, illustrator and "cartoonist" -as he is defined in his description-, he is "the character that we all needed, with a soul that conveys respect, affection and humor". The artist comments that, since he got into his head, he could not leave until he carried out "The legendary adventures of Chiquito: an illustrated biography" (Today's topics), a book that, based on real events, collects the experiences of the humorist with touches of imagination and from the point of view not of an expert, but of a mere admirer. Between the real and the invented, we remember in these pages Chiquito in his movements, in his gestures, sounds and jumps, in his peculiar "moonwalk" and his ability to make even the most serious smile. "I have presented it from my particular vision and I have contributed my language as a draftsman", explains Mora, "but Chiquito is a unique piece: it is very complicated to capture it and I have tried to reflect it in my images". Perhaps such a degree of difficulty arises from his characteristic naturalness and the success he achieved during his adventurous life.

Sergio Mora would not know how to choose a Chiquito joke as a favorite, because "it's a question of how I counted them, which I thought was amazing". In fact, he assures that if the humorist was born now, "in spite of everything politically correct that exists", thanks to his way of speaking and his attitude "would have the same success and surely would have collapsed these prejudices of today," says the illustrator . A special and unique humor that moves to the stories collected in the book: from a drunken stupor with Steven Spielberg to a flamenco tablao in Japan. All this accompanied by "Arito Katana", a kind of alter ego of Mora who created to give life as a storyteller, not only "because I have no career as a writer", but also as "a way to give voice to Chiquito as it was " And, for that, between pages, drawings and colors, small descriptions of his experiences in the Asian country appear, in Torremolinos and his experiences in the Movida Madrileña fed by transcribed recordings of Chiquito himself and extracted from interviews he made throughout his life. lifetime.

The work, presented in the hometown of the humorist, Málaga, is a tribute to Mora and a way to remember and represent him as a person. For this, the author uses a visual axis: the cosmos. "At first a lot of people might think Chiquito a strange character," he explains, "but at the same time it was someone who got into everyone's heart." It is that contrast between a person from another world but at the same time that deeply connected with everyone what made Mora think about the cosmos. "Because everyone made us laugh instinctively, it was something of the soul and we are all part of the universe, hence there is no escape," he confesses.

The illustrator won in 2016 a Latin Grammy for best design for "The poet Halley", illustration of the cover of the self-titled album of Love of Lesbian. In addition, he has worked with designers such as Alessandro Michele and Philippe Starck and illustrated different books. Now, with his experience, he embarks on a new adventure with Chiquito with the feeling, he adds, that many things will surely escape him, but with the tranquility of having transferred to images and words the funniest and most humorist. And, if he had it in front of him, what would he say? "That is a black leg and so nice that it takes away the feeling", concludes Mora.

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