Virgilio Martínez Gaínza is a commercial artist and one of Cuba's most notable cartoonists. Born in Havana on 27 April 1931, he began his career as a commercial artist in 1949. He published his first political cartoon in A Barrer and then worked extensively in the underground press, such as Mella and Carta Semanal. Among his first comic creations was the lucky character 'Pucho', whose adventures appeared in the clandestine magazine Mella in the 1955-1959 period. He signed the strip with Laura, to protect himself from the repression of the Batista regime.
'Pucho' later became 'Cucho', and another notable creation by Martínez was the grotesque Superman parody 'Supertiñosa'. Martínez continued to work for Mello until the merge with Juventud Rebelde in 1965, and also drew for this publication and its supplements El Sable, La Chicharra, DDT and Pionero until 1967. He became Pionero's art director in 1974, and was also the responsible editor for the magazine Zunzún. Throughout the revolutionary period, he worked for INRA, Moncada, Mar y Pesca, Bohemia, Editorial Pablo, La Calle and other publications.
Besides humorous works, he has also made a variety of realistic comics, such as 'La gloria que se ha vivido' (script by Olga Marta Pérez), that was published by Editorial Capitán San Luis in 1990. He has also designed many logos, several of which are still used today, as well as the emblems of the Association of Young Rebels and most notably the Union of Young Communists, to which he was affiliated for more than 30 years from 1962. He worked for Revista Somos Jóvenes and from the late 1980s, worked as an artist in Granma. He passed away on 12 May 2008 at the age of 77.