Fantomas

Notes from Friends of Fantômas

Marco Antonio Zamorano Cruz writes: Hello! In the past days I've read the Fantômas page, and it was amazing for me to learn the vision that exists in France about Fantômas. Here, in Mexico, the idea of the character is totally different. In fact there existed a Fantomas comicbook. It was edited by Editorial Novaro from 60's decade, and the publication ends in the first years of the 80's; ten years later, in 1991 or 1992, Editorial Vid re-started the Fantomas comicbook edition, with new scripts, writers, and artists, but utilizing the old formula of the Fantomas character. This new edition ended after five years—in 1995 was published the last number of the series. In actuality, there is not any Fantomas comicbook in the market, so, don't look for Fantomas Mexican Comicbook pages on the net, no one has them. Maybe you can find something in the Editorial Vid's page, but there is nothing, there is only information related to their [current] publications; and Editorial Novaro doesn't have pages about comics on the net, as many years ago they stopped publishing comicbooks.

Now I will tell you something about Fantomas, The Elegant Menace. Investigating about his origin, I read that he was a creation of two French writers, information confirmed by your page; those writers created a monster, a criminal called Fantômas, a guy without scruples or a sense of justice, ethics or morality, a guy that utilizes any tramp against his enemies; and there is only one motive for his actions, the creation of the greatest havoc possible for his personal benefit; the creation of this character goes to the beginning of the century.

Here, in Mexico, the question is so different than I think you cannot say than the Mexican character originated from the French. In my next mail I will write more exactly about the different comicbooks that here in Mexico utilized the character of Fantomas, the changes in the character, and the Mexican vision about the Elegant Menace. It is very interesting for me as a comicbooks collector to see those changes, and I need to say that to appreciate the Fantomas created here, you need to know it too.

We have seen an issue of the 1990s Fantomas, in which Fantomas (indeed, now a blond superhero type) tries to solve the World Trade Center bombing, and winds up embroiled in the Yugoslavian civil war. I've posted covers from the original series and the 1990s sequel on the page devoted to The Mexican Comic Book; however, I get the distinct impression that the 1990s comic book is but a pale imitation of the original from the 1960s and 70s. For more appreciations of the original Mexican comic book of that era, check out the notes from Eugenio González and Manuel Camacho.

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