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[Jabaz, page 4 of 5]

La mamá del abulón and Tu hermana la gordota

By 1990 Baz was working at the Guadalajara newspaper Siglo XXI, designing its supplements. He proposed editing a humor supplement with the collaboration of other members of the Guadalajara group. In the fall of 1991, La mamá del abulón—'The Abalone's Mother'—was born, driven by a new engine of graphic art: the computer (figure 6). A four page weekly supplement, La mamá del abulón (the title, Jabaz swears, was chosen purely for its sound) was designed collectively in Baz's rented graphics studio on Lerdo de Tejada street in central Guadalajara, where the group met each Wednesday to plan the next Sunday's issue. It specialized in thematic issues, and retained the group's practice of indiscriminate irreverence. Fans recall fondly, for example, an issue dedicated to los pedos, 'farts.' Figure 6 depicts ex-president Carlos Salinas, under whom corruption reached unprecedented levels, with two of his favorites, businessmen Carlos Hank González and advisor José María Córdoba Montoya, as Dracula figures, and the caption turns the title "Nosferatu" into a pun on "nos fregado," meaning 'us screwed over'. In conservative Guadalajara, public opinion divided sharply around La Mamá del Abulón. Its producers reveled in the notoriety. La Mamá was succeeded at Público by a new supplement, Tu hermana la gordota, edited by Jabaz and produced by the same tapatío team (figure 7). Tu hermana, which consolidated the group's national reputation, reflects the advances in both technology and technique that led to the emergence of Jabaz's full-fledged comic style. The figures in "Nosfregato" (figure 6) are posed statically, while in figure 7, Clinton and Zedillo are embedded in an elaborated and dynamic scenario taken from a western movie, and Prince Charles, his hand on the breast of WHOM?? is likewise clearly in motion in an unfolding script that, like the line drawing above, mocks his sexual indiscretions.

El país de nunca Jabaz

Jabaz's current photomontage feature, El país de nunca Jabaz, was born in 1998 when Siglo XXI collapsed, and out of the ruins the new Guadalajara daily Público emerged, founded by longtime Guadalajara journalists Luis and Diego Peterson. When cartoonist José Falcón moved on, Jabaz proposed a daily feature in his unique photomontage style. The editors were receptive. "How would you like to change your life?" he recalls Diego Petersen saying in a phone call.

It is not accidental that the language that best describes the practice of the Guadalajara humor movement often has religious overtones: "irreverence," "antisolemnity," "desacralizing," "heretical." Guadalajara, capital of the western state of Jalisco, is known for its conservative Catholicism and its strong regional culture. In the 1920s Jalisco was a center of the counterrevolutionary Cristero movement, whose legacy is lived out in the region today. Family stories of sacrifices in the Guerra de los Cristeros abound, and at the annual pilgrimage of the Virgin of Zapopan, Cristero brotherhoods march proudly carrying their banners. For generations, traditional Jalisco families have proudly sent sons toward the priesthood, and many ex-seminarians are found among the region's artists, activists, and intellectuals. Jabaz is one of them. From age 11 to 22 he studied with a religious order called the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit (which he joined, he now claims, because they let you play soccer every day).

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