There are times when unofficial comics or fanzines pretend to be official versions, causing confusion. The well-known adult parody that Cassanyes created for Mortadelo (‘Mortalelo’), for example, but what I bring to you today is not quite like that. It’s the story of two kids who had always wanted bike vouchers and suddenly found themselves in a senseless and inexplicable political mess that was reproduced weekly in the magazine ‘Tiempo.’ No matter what you believe: you’re not prepared for ‘The Political Adventures of Zipi and Zape.’
Swapping bikes for votes
This strange comic was released from July to November 1988, with Josep Escobar handling the artwork, even at the ripe age of 80, and written by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, the author of ‘Pepe Carvalho,’ in a less than stellar form. He might have been a genius in many things, but certainly, comic book scripting was not his forte. This is an absolutely insane and completely unserious oddity that no one can take seriously.
In the comic strips, Zipi and Zape find themselves on different political sides, and Don Pantuflo tries to unite Spain by founding the “Central and Centered Party”: a wild and absurd storyline in which basically the politicians of the time, from Felipe González to Julio Anguita, made appearances in the 18 two-page episodes that have never been compiled and are part of the darkest corners of Spanish comic history.
This was a comic in which Escobar’s immortal characters didn’t express themselves by saying “¡Zapateta!” or “¡Diantres!” but rather “Jilipoyas” (sic) and “Lameculos.” An absolute eccentricity only suitable for the most dedicated Spanish comic collectors, but it was worth rescuing. Oh, and indeed: in the end, Pantuflo Zapatilla doesn’t win the Spanish elections. It was to be expected, by golly.