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Comic Book / Condorito

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"¡Exijo una explicación!" Translation

Condorito is a Chilean comic book created by the cartoonist René Ríos, better known as "Pepo".

Its main character is an anthropomorphic condor living in a fictitious town named Pelotillehue — with the characteristics of any small Chilean town. Condorito is meant to be a representation of the lower-class Chilean people: somewhat irresponsible and always ready to party around, but also kind, friendly, savvy and loyal to his friends and loved ones.

The comic debuted in 1949 in the first issue of "Okey", a weekly anthology comics magazine in the form of one-page stories. In 1955, a compilation of Condorito's adventures was published as an independent comic book. From that moment on, Condorito had gained his own comic book, which is still published on a bi-weekly basis. Some of the Condorito comics have been republished for students of Spanish as a second language.

During the 1980s, the comic became so popular it got its own Animated Adaptation, a growing set of merchandising and even a comic strip adaptation for American newspapers. It also has an on-going series of 3D-animated shorts in the official YouTube channel. An All-CGI Cartoon feature premiered in Latin America at October 2017. You can read about Condorito's animated versions here.

After René Rios' death in 2000, a small team of writers and artists took over penning the stories, but without Rios' supervision, the results have been lukewarm at best.

Be prepared to find many dead horse tropes, mainly due to Values Dissonance, or just plain old racism and sexism.

Condorito provides examples of:

  • Alcohol Hic: Any character who is drunk -especially Garganta de Lata, the eternal alcoholic - will irremediable show it by hiccuping "¡Hic!".
  • The Alcoholic: Garganta de Lata ("Tin Throat") makes Barney Gumble look sober by comparison. Condorito himself also tended to be somewhat of a boozehound, but never to such a extent, and this aspect was dropped from his character by the late 1980s.
  • Affably Evil: Despite being the town's local psychopath, having a large criminal history and being in prison a lot of times, Chacalito is a rather decent, friendly guy who has a positive relation with Condorito and many other characters.
  • All Jews Are Cheapskates: Don Jacoibo, the Jewish loan shark (now removed from the comic).
  • Accidental Pervert: Happens to Condorito on a semi-regular basis, as he tends to catch women skinny-dipping, interrupting them during a bath or accidentally catching them in variable states of undress. Sometimes he gets away with it, other times he's beaten into a pulp.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: As seen in this picture, the titular character has gone from a mostly-avian creature with some human features to a mostly-human creature with condor features.
  • The Alleged Car: Condorito's trademark Ford Model T. The poor car is practically a rattling pile of rust and bolts kept together with baling wire and soldering iron... and it still manages to work.
    • Condorito made it a point to find, buy and fix such a rare car because he didn't want to die like Julius Caesar. ("He died without owning a Model T Ford!")
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Chacalito ("Little Jackal") debuted in a late 1970s story as a throwaway character, but nearly a decade later he was reintroduced as Pelotillehue's resident felon.
    • During the 1980s and 1990s, two pretty girls called Maca and Potoca were used as recurring extras for jokes involving nudity, Barely-There Swimwear and other such situations. The reason? They were meant to take the place of Condorito's girlfriend for jokes that would be too risqué for her.
  • Bankruptcy Barrel: A staple of the series. Whenever someone is shown to be suddenly impoverished it will almost invariably shown this way.
  • Big Bad: Pepe Cortisona. He's Condorito's Arch-Enemy after all.
  • Big "NO!": Condorito's first words.
  • Brick Joke: Played straight and inverted for laughs.
  • Black Comedy Cannibalism: Cannibal-related jokes are pretty common in Condorito, with some of them being borderline macabre.
  • Bland-Name Product: Pin soda, whose slogan of "Tome Pin y haga ¡Pun!" (Drink Pin and go Pun!) is a direct parody of popular sodas "Bilz y Pap" and their "Tome Bilz y haga Pap" slogan. ("Pun" is Chilean slang for a farting noise.)
  • Catchphrase: Condorito's trademarked "¡Reflauta!" when he's surprised, or his fourth wall breaker "¡Exijo una explicación!" (I demand an explanation!) comment after getting a downbeat ending.
    • Don Chuma's "No se fije en gastos, compadre" (Don't mind the expenses, fella) when he lends money to Condorito, plus his hilarious "¡Por las canillas del mono!" (By the monkey's shins!) when he's scared or surprised.
  • Catchphrase Insult: Pepe Cortisona and Doña Tremebunda always call the eponymous hero "Pajarraco" (ugly bird), "Plumífero" (feathery one) and "Roteque" (bum). Condorito for his part always refers to Pepe as "Saco de plomo" (Sack of lead), "Lingote" (lingot) and pretty much anything having to do with lead. Yuyito also usually calls Coné (Condorito's nephew) "Pelón" (Baldie), but it seems to be more of an Insult of Endearment.
  • Chaste Toons: Condorito of course, as well as Pepe Cortisona (though his nephew appears only rarely) and Yayita.
  • Cheated Angle: It's extremely rare to see Condorito facing front. Same for Ungenio González.
    • Condorito does it at the "¡Exijo una explicación!" punchline, or if he feels confused during a story.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Ungenio Gonzalez. He is not exactly "un genio" (a genius).
    • Condorito has his moments, too.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Don Máximo, an Affably Evil version since he's usually nice, but also always asks for money (despite he's already rich) and when he's asked for money, he usually collects it with higher interests.
  • Deliberately Orange And Black: to the point that full-color strips feel a little weird.
  • Dem Bones: "Manolín el Esqueletín", a one-shot minor character who was a living skeleton.
  • Depending on the Artist: Yayita's look tends to switch between her traditional Girl Next Door look and her more recent Ms. Fanservice portrayal. Notably, for a brief period during the late 1960s, her appearance became rather inconsistent, with one artist drawing her in the style of Archie Comics' Betty and Veronica.
  • Depending on the Writer: In the comics produced afer Condorito's creator death, Condorito's personality is completely different in each joke.
  • Darkest Africa: Strips about cannibalistic tribes were fairly common, and it doesn't help that the tribesmen are always designed with a Blackface that would make any animator from the past century blush.
  • Drunken Glow: Drunken character, Garganta de Lata (lit. Tin Throat) is always seen drunk and with the red nose. Other characters that are drunk (Always Male, Condorito included) also are despised with red noses.
  • Egg Folk: Invoked with Condorito's friend "Huevo Duro" (lit. "Hard-boiled Egg"), a guy who has a bald egg-shaped head and white skin and he's one of Condorito's best friends along with Don Chuma, Ungenio and Garganta de Lata.
  • Face Fault: The comic's trademarked way to close a punchline. The victim of the punchline pratfalling with a loud ¡PLOP!
  • Fan Disservice: Played for Laughs in some of the jokes, like in one about two elderly women making a nude protest.
  • Fanservice: Most of the women seen in Condorito are young and beautiful, providing plenty of eye candy during stories set at pools, beaches and nudist camps, and the occasional Accidental Pervert joke. From the mid-1990s on, these jokes escalated more and more until finally showing full and detailed skimpy clothes, which didn't please the older fans at all.
    • Originally averted in Yayita's case, as René Ríos had forbidden his team of artists from giving her "sexy" attributes or flirting attitudes. After the author's death in 2000, Yayita immediately joined the fanservice bandwagon.
  • Feather Fingers: Matías, Condorito's pet parrot.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Pepe Cortisona is this towards everyone, thanks to his attitude.
  • Funny Afro: Cabellos de Angel (Angel's hair) carries a stiff and spiky one.
  • Funny Background Event: A sleepwalker about to fall into an uncovered manhole, a crocodile slowly crawling inside someone's house, a flying saucer or the picture of a soccer player kicking his ball out of the frame and later attempting to recover it and a laughing skull sitting on any doctor's desk are the most emblematic.
  • Furry Confusion: Condorito takes Cone to the zoo in one strip, where the latter identifies all animals by their scientific name. Until they encounter a non-anthropomorphic condor in an enclosure:
    Cone: Alright, they got me this time. I have never seen this creature before...
  • Furry Reminder: There's a joke where Washington (Condorito's pet dog) goes to an office for a job. The employer can't believe that an animal requests a human job, but Washington does every task made in the office, surprising the employer. Finally, when he sees his CV and asks if he's bilingual, Washington answers with a "meow meow."
  • Generation Xerox: Played straight with Condorito's nephew and the sons and nephews of Condorito's friends. Averted with Condorito's girlfriend, as Yayita is a slender, beautiful and polite girl, while her parents are fat, ugly and rude.
  • Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: Condorito steals The Mandalorian's armor as part of a tribute to Chilean actor Pedro Pascal.
  • Gonk: Any middle aged woman, specially spinsters. Also, most of male characters, excluding Pepe Cortisona and Condorito.
  • Idiot Ball: Everyone carries it from time to time, except for Ungenio Gonzalez, who's permanently stuck with it and blissfuly unaware of it.
  • In Name Only: One of Condorito's friends, the Argentine "Che Copete", has the same name that the Chilean comedian "Che Copete", even when they have nothing to do between them apart of the name.note 
  • Jerkass:
    • Pepe Cortisona, full stop.
    • Condorito often comes up as such, too.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Coné, Yuyito and all the other kid characters from the comic.
    • Don Chuma's nephew named El Seba was introduced in a comic made in the year 2011 in order to compensate the lack of teenager characters.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Pepe Cortisona is the local source of this, especially during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Yayita, since 2000 (see entry below for Fanservice).
  • Naked People Are Funny: Plenty of jokes involving people (male or female) losing their clothes, interrupted while taking a bath, stripping for a medical checkup or being observed while undressing, with the predictable and sometimes unpredictable results. And then we have the ones with girls posing nude for Condorito (who furiously tries to keep people away from his atelier) or the hilarious nudist camp jokes, where the point isn't showing eye candy but rather showing people trying to do normal chores or mundane activities while naked. There are even jokes where Condorito and Yayita act as Adam (Condoradan) and Eve that allows both characters to cover their privates with leaves.
    • Like, for example, Condorito working as the nudist camp's guard and having to pin his badge on his own skin. Ouch.
    • A couple of jokes have a naked guy covered only with a towel in the background.
  • National Stereotypes: Various are seen in the history of the magazine. Some of the most famous are Condorito's fellow friends from neighbor countries: Che Copete (a Carlos Gardel expy) and Titicaco (a stereotypical Bolivian from the high Andes).
  • Negative Continuity: Due to the format of the magazine (where all stories are jokes and they take up usually one page, sometimes two or three and very rarely more), this is inevitable. Exaggerated by the fact that characters will constantly appear in different locales, time periods or outright displaying different personalities. Sometimes characters will even have different names and nationalities (such as Condor Otto being the titular character living in Germany while wearing stereotypical German clothing and speaking in a German accent), or even be variations of other fictional characters (such as Condorito sometimes being Dracula and even Superman).
  • Nice Guy: Don Chuma, who is consistently depicted as a very good friend and honest person.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In the Pepo era, from time to time some local celebrites appeared in some of the covers. After Pepo's death, now celebrities appear in like the half of the covers, included Chilean presidents Bachellet and Piñera.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Condorito and his friends have not aged one day in the more than 70 years that the comic has lasted, the protagonist continues to look like a 30-year-old anthropomorphic condor, the same goes for his nephew Cone and other children's characters, with 8 years of age for more than 4 decades.
    • Mostly averted with Yayita, who was described as being around 20 until the early 1990s, before being aged up to around 25.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Condorito's pets: Washington the dog, Matías the talking parrot and Mandíbula the horse. Matías can talk and carry conversations with everyone else, while Mandíbula talks only with Condorito, or with other horses when he thinks nobody else is listening.
    • Washington is also a talking animal, but with a twist: As in Peanuts and Garfield, only the reader can understand what he says, while the comic's characters hear only barks.
  • One Head Taller: Inverted, if only because every woman in the Condorito universe is made to be spectacularly beautiful (unless the story requires otherwise) and thus tall.
  • Parental Abandonment: The entire point behind Coné's backstory and why is he living with his Uncle Condorito. Also, not only are Yuyito's parents never mentioned, but she also has her own bedroom in the Vinagres' house.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Originally, Condorito's and Cone's lives were like this. Condorito was constantly shifting jobs and their house was a makeshift wooden shack built on an empty yard, while their (very few) belongings were either makeshift or picked from the trash. Despite this, they managed to live a quite happy life.
  • The Problem with Pen Island: The character Ungenio, who is all the opposite to un genio (a genius).
  • Progressively Prettier: Originally, Yayita was portrayed as a country girl but it didn't take long before she became a typical Girl Next Door type of character: pretty but not breathtakingly gorgeous, and dressed in a fashionable yet discreet way. Now she flirts with every man on sight, looks like a supermodel, wears tight, minuscule clothes that show part of her underwear and even her nipples through the fabric and tends to appear naked or partly naked on a semi-regular basis. Rather than pleasing the fans, this Out of Character change enraged them.
  • Put on a Bus: A few characters were removed. The most famous ones were a full amputee called "Cortadito" ("Choppy") and a very amoral Jewish loan shark called "Don Jacoibo" (sometimes called "Don Isaac").
    • Other retired characters were Lucifer, Yayita's hellish cat; Don Giussepe, a jolly Italian inmigrant who owned a grocery store, and Chin-Chu-Lin, a stereotypical Chinese immigrant with buck teeth and a ponytail.
  • Punny Name: Comegato ("Cat Eater"), Huevoduro (literally, "hardboiled egg"), Chuleta (his name originating from "mutton chops", as he wore sideburns for over a decade before these became popular) and the towns of Pelotillehue, Cumpeo and Buenas Peras.
    • Incidentally, Cumpeo is the name of an actual Chilean town.
    • British explorers Sir Faifoclocti, Lord Esquiusmi and Lord Eggon.
    • Coné´s name also qualifies, Condorito chooses Ungenio Gonzalez as his godfather in Coné´s baptism, when the priest asked for his name, Ungenio says "Ungenio", to what the priest asked back "¿Con é?" (lit. With an "e"?) to what Ungenio consents, but not be called Eugenio (the correct name), but to be called Coné.
    • One of International Condorito friends, the Bolivian Titicaco, refers to Lake Titicaca.
  • Recurring Extra: Most, if not all, of the artists working on the comic created their own set of nameless "filler" characters to be recycled at need, rather than keep creating throwaway characters for every story.
    • Two of them, a couple of young and beautiful girls called "Maca" and "Potoca", are worth mention, as they were Yayita's unofficial replacement on jokes involving nudity or very revealing clothes, reaching Those Two Guys status during the time their creator worked in the comic book.
  • Romantic False Lead: Pepe Cortisona, especially during the first half of the 2000s.
  • Shout-Out: Plenty, including a very explicit one to the Chilean military dictatorship of the 1970s and 1980s when no one else dared to talk about it.
  • Smug Snake: Pepe Cortisona.
  • Suck Out the Poison: Hilariously subverted. After reading a book about how to cure poisonous snake bites, Condorito tells Pepe Cortisona (who was bit by a snake) that there's no cure. ¡PLOP!
  • Suddenly Voiced: Condorito officially gains a voice first in the 3D-animated shorts and later in The Movie.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To avoid the Jewish stereotype, Don Jacoibo was replaced with Don Máximo Tacaño (Mr. Maximum Stingy), who represents the Corrupt Corporate Executive in the comic book.
  • Take That!: Pepo had an incident where a maitre d' called Washington Quezada offended his wife in a restaurant, so Pepo took revenge in two ways: The phrase "muera el roto Quezada" (roughly, "death to the rude Quezada") popped up anywhere in the background of the strip; and he named Condorito's dog Washington. The former was removed when Quezada passed away, but the latter stuck.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Ungenio Gonzalez. He is the first man in the world to have drowned on a desert's mirage.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Yayita Vinagre. Don Cuasimodo and Doña Tremebunda are fat, ugly and rude, while their daughter is slender, beautiful and polite.
    • This is used as an excuse to delay their marriage, as Condorito fears she could turn into a copy of her mother once she gets older.
  • True Companions: Out of all friends Condorito has, Don Chuma is most loyal and trustworthy.
  • Ugly Guy Hot Girlfriend: Condorito and Yayita.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: All child characters are basically younger versions of existing adults, and keep in mind some of them are supposed to be nephews of their adult counterparts.
  • Universal-Adaptor Cast: Especially Condorito.
  • Unusual Euphemism: ¡Reflauta!
  • Vile Vulture: Averted, or at worst downplayed. Condorito is a condor who occasionally has his less-than-moral moments (see below) but he is on the whole a good character.
  • Villain Protagonist: In many of the strips, Condorito sometimes plays the role of a thief, a mobster, a vampire, a Corrupt Politician, an Amoral Attorney or a plain Jerkass, who is malicious towards other people without any good reason. Of course, this is always Played for Laughs.