March 5, 2021

Do you want to know how "Gringo" and "Dani Futuro" end?

In the sixties, two of the works of artist Carlos Giménez -and before his full consolidation as a total author, dedicated with special brilliance to the series based on his personal experiences, such as "Paracuellos", "Barrio", "Los professionals "and" Rambla arriba, rambla abajo "- were" Gringo "and" Dani Futuro ". Two works that have in common the fact of starting from foreign scripts and also being inserted in very identifiable and codified genres, such as "western" and science fiction. In 1963 – the same year in which one of the milestones of the comic of the European "western", "El Lieutenant Blueberry", by Charlier i Giraud – was born, a Carlos Giménez with a still undefined graphic style – to which he is no stranger the influence of both the North American classics and the Belgian Joseph Gillain Jijé-initiates the series "Gringo" from scripts of the writer Manuel Medina, who would later be replaced by other writers. «Gringo» was created for the legendary agency of Josep Toutain Illustrated Selections; destined to be sold in the foreign market, it is considered the first European success of Giménez.

The protagonist of "Gringo" -whose real name is Syd Viking- is a young, clean, blond hero, with a righteous spirit, a little-known past and skillful with pistols. Directed to an eminently youthful public, the white adventures of the character -replete of the most prototypical situations of the genre- were endowed with a remarkable load of ingenuity; Medina himself had ironized about it describing his wild West as "fairy tale because there were birds and flowers instead of crows and vultures." Perhaps by contagion of the many comic romantic stories that Giménez drew simultaneously. Created in 1969, «Dani Futuro» -which is considered the first great series by Giménez- was, in turn, a remarkable step forward in the career of the artist, an evolution both in the graphic aspect and in the complexity of the stories, born of the pen of Víctor Mora. In addition to being a scriptwriter of classic adventure series such as "El Capitán Trueno" and "El Jabato", Mora had started to build a remarkable career as a novelist, and then he was at an especially brilliant moment in his career: that same year he created also the «western» «Sunday», drawn by Víctor de la Fuente.

«Dani Futuro» is a «space opera» that debuted in the Spanish magazine «Gaceta Junior» and that was later made for the emblematic Belgian publication «Tintin». Giménez himself has admitted the influence in this work of one of the great French series of the time, "Valérian": space-time agent, the screenwriter Pierre Christin and the cartoonist Jean-Claude Mezières and born in Pilote a couple of years before . An overflowing visual inventiveness, a narrative rich in cinematic inheritance resources, an innovative use of color and a few plots that were incorporating elements of social criticism – the series coincides with the full rise of the hippy movement – are some of the hallmarks of the which is one of the great classic series of Spanish science fiction.

For years, Carlos Giménez had been thinking about the timely recovery of these two important series for his career and giving them – half a century later – a conclusion from a twilight and disenchanted look. In the words of Giménez himself, "among the many ideas and projects to which I constantly turn in my always busy brain, for some time I have been caressing the idea of ​​making a final comic strip of my youthful characters, of those with whom I started. my professional career, at least of some of them, of the most beloved ones, of those that I consider to be important to me, of those who left a deep impression on my memory: "Gringo" and "Dani Futuro". One last cartoon made at the end of my career with which to finish these two series ». The book "End point", published by Reservoir Books, is therefore the materialization of this idea: it is a single volume that collects the two stories that serve as closure to "Gringo" and "Dani Futuro". An old fantasy that has finally taken shape and has come true.

Tribute to «Without forgiveness»

"You are William Munny, the murderer of women and children.

-So is. I have killed women and children. I've shot anything that was alive and moved. And today I came to kill you for what you did to Ned.

This legendary dialogue of "Unforgiven", the masterful and Oscar-winning "Western" by Clint Eastwood written by David Webb Peoples ("Blade Runner"), is honored in "El blues de El Gringo". And the cinéfila appointment works as a declaration of intentions of an absolutely dark and antiheroic adventure of the once innocent character. Giménez himself has personally written the script for a 31-page story – an unusual extension, neither long nor short – that he recognizes in the prologue that "it has nothing to do with the style of those who wrote Manolo Medina. I have tried to do something less kind, harder, more violent. A script that at that time would have been so unthinkable that the publisher would accept and publish it, as if censorship would allow it. "

Drawn in black and white, «El blues del Gringo» starts with the protagonist tortured by toothache and immersed in an absurd and wild spiral of confusion and blood. Racism, jealousy and revenge are some of the themes that appear in this story about the impossibility of fleeing from violence for those who have exercised it, who immerse the characters – and the reader – into a progressively crazed abyss, a nightmare in which the shots do not distinguish sex or age, a Dantesque hell in the West.

Longer -51 pages- is the adventure of Dani Futuro that completes «End point», entitled «The end of the world!», And that the author has raised as a faithful tribute to his friend Víctor Mora. Returning to the words of Giménez, "contrary to what I did when writing the script of" Gringo "that is published in this same book, when writing the" Dani Futuro "I have intentionally tried to preserve, as far as possible , the constants of the scripts of the literary creator of the series. That is to say, I have tried to make a script a bit like what I think he would have done, trying to use his way of warping and his constant narratives ».

Thus, "The end of the world!" Recovers the most relevant characters of the series -Iris, the robot Jorge, Professor Dosian- and several of the recurring scenarios and objects, and even remakes some sequence of the original. Starring an already adult Dani who returns to Earth, this farewell adventure collects – and extends, with respect to those of youth – the humanistic concerns of Giménez and Mora. The refugee crisis – in futuristic and spatial terms – and the consequences of climate change are the plot engine of a story that, as a tip, has color by one of Gimenez's old comrades of vicissitudes comiqueras: the great Josep Maria Beà, one of the sources of the anecdotes collected in the series «The professionals». A whole "comeback" between nostalgic and disenchanted.

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