Spy vs. Spy, by Antonio Prohias

Antonio Prohias was a Cuban cartoonist, best known as the creator of the pantomime comic 'Spy vs. Spy' in MAD Comics. Born in Cienfuegos, he began his career drawing for the Cuban newspaper El Mundo in the 1940s. In the late 1950s Antonio Prohias was the president of the Association of Cuban Cartoonists and one of the country's foremost political cartoonists. He was the creator of characters like 'El Hombre Siniestro', 'La Mujer Siniestra' and 'Tovarich'. By the time Fidel Castro's government took control of the paper in 1960, Prohias fled from Cuba to America flat broke.

Once in the states, he went directly to work at Mad magazine, and became an internationally respected and beloved cartoonist. He started 'Spy vs. Spy' as an anti-Castro cartoon, but it ended up as one of the most popular features in Mad magazine. Prohias drew 'Spy vs. Spy' for Mad until he retired in 1990. Even though Antonio Prohias passed away in 1998, 'Spy Vs. Spy' still continued in every issue of Mad Magazine.

'Spy vs. Spy' have often been referenced in U.S. political cartoons or articles about international espionage affairs, either by using official 'Spy vs. Spy' illustrations or by having home cartoonists of these magazines draw a parody. On the cover of 'State of Euphoria' (1989) by Anthrax - illustrated by Mort Drucker - Drucker drew one of the characters wearing a 'Spy vs. Spy' shirt. In 2004 Spy vs. Spy were used to advertised Mountain Dew soda. A celebrity fan of 'Spy vs. Spy' is film director John Woo, as stated in his book 'John Woo: Interviews' (2006). 

Series and books by Antonio Prohias in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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