Sunday, July 14, 2013

Foreign Favorites: El Jabato

With his first appearance in 1958 by writer Víctor Mora and illustrated mainly by artist Francisco Darnís, Spain's El Jabato, "The Young Wild Boar", was set in ancient Rome with a colorful cast of enduring characters.  Similar in theme to Mora's other popular series, Capitán Trueno, the feature found its own audience with daring tales of action and adventure. The story revolves around two Iberian warriors, El Jabato and his gluttonous sidekick, Taurus, who are taken from their homeland to the Roman empire. The lovely Claudia is also a introduced in the first issue, who eventually becomes a Christian. As the series progressed over the years, so did the supporting cast, including the Greek poet Phideus of Miletus, who teases Taurus to no end with verses and song of their escapades on his lyre, which the giant often tries to destroy. Later the boy Tai-Li is added to the storyline as well as a tiger called Bambu and a monkey named Bongo. Extremely popular in Spain during its time of dictatorship, it ran three hundred and one issues uninterrupted before a Spanish comic-book crisis affected the title. It also was featured as a backup for one hundred fifty seven issues in "El  Capitán Trueno Extra and its own El Jabato Extra for fifty two appearances.

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