Bola de Nieve by Horacio Rodriguez Suria
'Bola de Nieve, Mango Macho y Cascarita' (1932).

Horacio Rodríguez Suría, who published under his first name, was a Cuban cartoonist and comic artist. For over 40 years, he worked as a cartoonist for publications like Bandera Roja, Hoy, Carta Semanal, Granma and Granma Campesino. He was recognized as the first Marxist-Leninist cartoonist in Latin-America, specialized in left-wing political cartoons and, after Fidel Castro's coup in 1959, Communist propaganda comics. As part of the first generation of Cuban comic artists, he created series like 'Bola de Nieve, Mango Macho y Cascarita' (1932-1933), 'Pelusa y Pimienta' and 'El Profesor Timbeque' (1946-1947).

Early life and career
Horacio Rodríguez Suría was born in 1901 in Cárdenas, Matanzas. He loved to draw from an early age. On 17 October 1931, his comic strip 'La Verdad Desnuda' ("The Naked Truth") was published in Social, a magazine edited by the cartoonist Corado W. Massaguer. In the following year, his popular comic series 'Bola de Nieve, Mango Macho y Cascarita' (1932-1933) appeared in Carteles magazine. It presented the humorous adventures of a stereotypical black family.

Socialist and communist press
During the 1930s and 1940s, Horacio's work appeared in mostly progressive left-wing and communist newspapers and magazines, including La Palabra, Masas, Medioda, CTC, Última Hora, Carta Semanal, El Obrero Panadero and Hoy. In Bandera Roja, he illustrated the scripts and writings of the Cuban-based Puerto Rican revolutionary leader, journalist and intellectual Pablo de la Torriente Brau.


Cover illustration for El Obrero Panadero, the magazine for Havana's Bakers Union (November 1940).

El Profesor Timbeque
Horacio was also a longtime contributor to the newspaper El País, especially working for its supplement El País Gráfico. In the latter, he created the comic feature 'El Profesor Timbeque' (1946-1947), about an absent-minded elderly gentleman. The cartoonist explored several themes and genres with this comic, for instance sciencefiction in the episode 'La Ciudad Subterránea' ("The Underground City"). In 'Timbeque Contra Daduro', the professor confronts and defeats a corpulent boxer.

Hoy
For Hoy, the official magazine of the Partido Socialista Popular in Cuba, Horacio took over the editorial cartoon and caricature section. Often addressing international political issues, Horacio was especially noted for his anti-fascist caricatures. The cartoonist was also one of the driving forces behind the Sunday children's supplement, Hoy Infantil, for which he created the comic series 'Pelusa y Pimienta', about a black and a red-haired kid.

When the 1959 Cuban Revolution occured, Horacio was in charge of graphic humor in the Hoy newspaper, together with Adigio Benítez, Felo Díaz Tejedor and Gustavo Prado (Pitín). In 1965, Horacio and several of his fellow Hoy cartoonists moved over to Granma, the new party organ of Cuba's Communist regime, for which Horacio designed the header.


'Post Guerra', cartoon by Horacio Rodríguez Suría. 

Death and legacy
Shortly before his death, Horacio Rodríguez Suría was honored by the Union of Cuban Journalists (UPEC), when they named their First National Salon of Graphic Humorists after him. Horacio Rodríguez Suría died in 1975 in Havana, Cuba, about a week before his 74th birthday. Twenty years after his death, the work of Horacio Rodríguez Suría was part of an exhibition held at the 1995 Lucca Comic Fair in Italy. In 2003, th presented works by Horacio were on exhibit again at the Museum of the Revolution in Havana and at the General San Martín Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

For four decades, Horacio had dedicated his life to revolutionary journalism with his political illustrations and vignettes. Through his work, he identified with the emancipatory struggle against imperialist domination, until the victorious arrival of the Rebel Army headed by Fidel Castro. Along with fellow graphic humorists Rafael Blanco, Jaime Valls, Conrado Massaguer, Eduardo Abela, Juan David René de la Nuez, Virgilio Martínez and Chago Armada, he was part of the first generation of Cuban comic authors.


Horacio Rodríguez Suría. 

Historietas Cubanas

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