Editorial Bruguera

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Bruguera was a Spanish publishing house based in Barcelona, which was devoted mainly to the production of popular literature and comics. It was created in 1910 as El Gato Negro, changed its name in 1940 and came to possess, as indicated by Jesús Cuadrado:

An industrial plant (in Parets del Vallès), an advertising division (Nueva Línea), a library (Proa), a distributor (Libresa), stamps subsidiaries (Ceres), several branches in the Spanish territory delegations outside (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Lisbon, Mexico, Portugal, Venezuela), and an internal communication newsletter (Nosotros).[1]

It was dissolved in 1986 and briefly revived as part of Grupo Z in 2006 but today only Bruguera Mexicana S.A continues publishing and editing books -mainly western- in Mexico, Latin America and the United States.

History[edit]

El Gato Negro[edit]

It was founded in 1910 by Juan Bruguera Teixidó under the name El Gato Negro and specialising in popular literature, joke books and especially in comic magazines.[2] They followed the example of the Spanish comic magazine TBO (founded in 1917) and in 1921 they created Pulgarcito which proved very successful. They published another twenty magazines including Charlot (1928) with content of Film Fun.

After Juan Bruguera's death in 1933 his sons, Pantaleón and Francisco Bruguera Grane, succeeded him.[2]

Classical phase[edit]

Pantaleón and Francisco Bruguera changed the name from El Gato Negro to Editorial Bruguera in 1939.

In 1947 the publishing house increased profits with other comics such as El Campeón (1948), Super Pulgarcito (1949), Magos de la Risa (1949) and El DDT (1951); romance novels of Corín Tellado and western novels (notably the ones of Marcial Lafuente Estefanía) and adventure comics such as El Cachorro or Capitán Trueno. In 1957 a group of comic artists tried to secede from the publisher and founded their own magazine Tío Vivo, but they didn't succeed and in 1960 the magazine was acquired by Bruguera. Bruguera also published a comic for girls Sissi.

By then, Bruguera was one of the largest publishers of comics in Spain, among with Cliper, Hispano Americana y Toray.[3] Over time, the family business also became a truly multinational publisher, being implemented in several countries in Latin America.

Other directions[edit]

Since the mid-1960s, they launched new magazines such as Din Dan (1965), Bravo (1968) and Gran Pulgarcito (1969) in which the influence of television is clear. They also published in Spain Franco-Belgian comics such as Asterix or Blueberry, always beating their competitors.

In the 1970s they increased their production of comics, taking advantage of their feature characters and combining new and old material[4]

In the literature field, they lost lawsuits against Corín Tellado and Marcial Lafuente Estefanía in 1974,[1] so they started to publish material by Jorge Amado, Jorge Luis Borges, García Márquez, Juan Marsé o Juan Carlos Onetti.[5] They also launched two pocket book collections: Libro Clásico and Libro Amigo.[4]

The end[edit]

In the early 1980s books such as Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez became big best-sellers,[6] despite this the publishing house filed for bankruptcy on 7 June 1982. In 1986 it was acquired by Grupo Z and transformed into Ediciones B.[1] It was briefly relaunched under Ediciones B from 2006 to 2010.

Comics[edit]

In the field of comics, the role played by the editorial Bruguera after the Spanish Civil War was fundamental, especially its humorous publications, with characters such as Don Pío (1947) by Peñarroya, El repórter Tribulete (1947) by Cifré, Doña Urraca (1948) by Jorge, Zipi y Zape (1948) by Escobar, El loco Carioco (1949) by Conti, La familia Cebolleta (1951) by Vázquez, El doctor Cataplasma (1953) by Martz Schmidt, El caco Bonifacio (1957) by Enrich (es), Mortadelo y Filemón (1958) by Ibáñez, Rigoberto Picaporte (1959) by Segura, Agamenón (1961) by Nené Estivill and Aspirino y Colodión (1966) by Alfons Figueras. Directed by Rafael González Martínez. These artists were able to set up an easily recognisable style (called Escuela Bruguera), halfway between children's entertainment and satire of manners.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Cuadrado (2000), p. 187.
  2. ^ a b Martín (01/1968), pp. 11 a 12.
  3. ^ Martín (03/1968), pp. 135 a 137.
  4. ^ a b Martínez (2004), p. 52.
  5. ^ Vázquez Montalbán, Manuel (12/06/1982). Crónica de una ruina anunciada, "El País".
  6. ^ ARROYO, Francesc (10/06/1982). La suspensión de pagos en Bruguera no supone la desaparición de la editorial, "El País".

Bibliography[edit]