Rius (aka Eduardo Humberto del Río García; June 20, 1934 August 8, 2017) was a Mexican cartoonist. He has published over a hundred books on several topics including history, politics, religion and vegetarianism.
Originally from Michoacán, Rius trained as a teenager to be a Catholic priest (oh the irony). Dropping out of the seminary, he then moved to Mexico City where he held a series of odd jobs. He became a cartoonist and started out drawing traditional one or two panel strips for Mexican humour magazines in the 1950s. Eventually he created his series Los Supermachos in the 1960s and Los Agachados in the 1970s, both series had their own magazines and were set in rural Mexican villages. He cemented his fame after publishing in 1966 Cuba para principiantes (Cuba for Beginners) which was the first of his general knowledge books. The latter were published in a small graphic novel format but their bent was didactic rather than narrative, with the plot very much in the background (if at all existent). Except for the Supermachos series and his earlier strips, all of Rius's work includes collage as his signature illustrating technique.
A staunch leftist activist and former communist, Rius's books continue to be popular in Mexico and many of them have been translated into several other languages. His works have earned him awards and recognition in the medium internationally. Many of his comic books can be found translated into English on Amazon.com.
His books are known for their humor and simplicity, in an attempt to reach as wide an audience as possible, in fact his works have actually helped many people to understand the fundamental differences between capitalism and socialism/communism.
On August 8, 2017, Rius died at the age of 83.
- After the End: During the Cold War Rius always predicted an eventual communist victory. Well, since the fall of the Berlin Wall Rius has kept publishing in books and magazines anyways.
- The Alcoholic: Nopaltzin.
- All-Natural Snake Oil: Several of his books dedicated to naturism/vegetarianism/herbal medicine/anti-pharmaceutical/anti-food industry come across as this, almost always ending with he phrase "The best thing is always the natural".
- America Saves the Day: Oh boy, does this guy really avert it... The guy is fervently anti-American, essentially blaming the country for every ill in the world, from the poverty on your country to obesity.
- Ancient Conspiracy: Sort of, if you believe that humanity has always been dominated by the same group of people with the same special interests (the ruling class, who wish to exploit the rest).
- Armies Are Evil: Especially if its the U.S. army.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "Money is power, with it capitalists can bribe, ransack poor countries, exploit workers, swindle people and... do business."
- Artistic License Biology: From The Illustrated Herbalist: "Wild animals use herbs to treat themselves, and you can't say that the animals are sick".note
- Artistic License Medicine: He has a tremendous distaste for classical Western medicine, and is a very strong advocate of homeopathy and naturopathy, recommending them above Western medicine.
- Artistic License Economics: Unfortunately, economics is not an area of his strength, as he is shown committing every economic fallacy and even getting the terminology wrong (like confusing Protectionism with Autarchy). Even he in the early 2000's admitted that Economics is a complex subject and his knowledge is limited.
- Artistic License History: While many of his books are well-researched, there are also many cases of historical innacuracies, like claiming that the Roman Empire fell because the slaves rebelled, his reading of U.S. history gives the impression that it was all a Master Plan of some people for world domination and that no event in the past century did not involve the U.S.A. somehow.
- Author Filibuster: When parts of a book have a plot there will be inevitably one point in which Gumaro or any other character will start elaborating and/or preaching about the point of the chapter.
- Author Tract
- Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: The henchmen of Trastupijes. Also the two policemen in San Garabato.
- Big Bad: Uncle Sam.
- Broken Pedestal: To Fidel Castro as expected.
- Chewbacca Defense: When he tries to defend the Aztec's human sacrifices by saying that they were no worse than the European Inquisition.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Some of his books regarding religions and sects can portray him as this, since they show different religions with diametrically different sets of beliefs but all allied with the masters and the World's Status Quo.
- Corrupt Bureaucrat: Trastupijes.
- Corrupt Church: Pretty much how he portrays any organized religion with special emphasis on the Catholic church.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Again, how he portrays anyone that is a capitalist.
- Corrupt Politician: Practically any politician in the real world not showing socialist tendencies but for an in-universe example we have Don Perpetuo del Rosal.
- Crapsaccharine World: After the Communism's collapse all Socialist countries were Retconed as this.
- Dated History: Several of his books have been edited in later editions to reflect the exposure of several historical facts, like some less-than-honorable acts by Che Guevara, Trotsky's role in the Russian Revolution followed by his later exile, the publication of the KGB archives and so on.
- Dirty Communists: Subverted and repeatedly denied.
- Double Standard: Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, he widely criticized the U.S. government and Western powers, mentioning almost nothing bad from the socialist states of the time. He admitted this later, saying that he "Didn't want to provide ammunition for Imperialism".
- Eagle Land: Type 2.
- The Evil Empire: The U.S.A.
- Felony Misdemeanor: According to him: If you own a business and have people working for you, you are a dirty exploiter of human lives.
- The Fundamentalist: Doña Tecla.
- The Great Politics Mess-Up: BIG TIME.
- Layman's Terms: That's the intention of his comic strips and books.
- Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: The most egregious examples of this are his books against the food industry, and his claims on how the food preservatives are poisoning us, usually goes as this:Straw Ignorant: That's exaggerated! If that were true we would all be dead.Author Avatar: Not dead, but sickened. Have you noticed the growing trend on <insert disease name here>?
- Nebulous Evil Organisation: Above all, the CIA; But any big, transnational business company also qualifies and of course the Catholic Church.
- Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: All the good guys of his strips have, and he devotes a lot of books to try to convince you of doing the same.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: This was his treatment of any Communist revolution with special emphasis on the Cuban Revolution. He even justified and praised this in Cuba Libre (Free Cuba): "The (Cuban) government tolerates anything to the press... except criticizing the Revolution".
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: And after the end of the Cold War this became the new treatment.
- Self-Deprecation: "If you want to continue eating in peace, don't read my petty books".
- Throughout his work, there are several jabs at his own drawing and lettering capabilities.
- Side-Effects Include...: He frequently bashes the pharmaceutical industry for this reason, arguing that all traditional medicines have dangerous side effects, while painting herbal medicine as a safe alternative, on virtue of being "all natural".
- Sinister Minister: Played straight with his portrayal of Catholic high hierarchy, but surprisingly averted with the low one: There is the Gary Stu'ish, recently ordained, young progressive priest and the older, more conservative one of the town, even the latter is portrayed sympathetically in some strips.
- Strawman Political: Played straight with his portrayal of capitalists and Americans.
- Take That!: To other cartoonists and authors with more conservative views (and anyone that advocates for free market for that matter).
- Veganopia: Besides his old communist sympathies, Rius is known as a passionate vegetarian; half or more of his later work is about nutrition.
- Why We Are Bummed Communism Fell: One would think so but it's reasonably averted since Rius has been quite a sport about being on the losing side of the Cold War (he's still a left winger though, and his post-Cold War work shows it).
- Written by the Winners: The mantra he recites regarding the official account of historical events.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Subverted with his treatment on The War on Terror, where he basically says, that the 9/11 terrorists are no worse than the U. S. and that the war on terror is basically Evil vs. Evil.