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El famoso dueño del “Plop”

Texts Photos Pablo Etchevers

The adventures of Condorito and his friends are a classic that, despite the passing of time and the arrival of new ways of entertainment, are still valid.

Condorito, from the comic to every day life or vice versa.
Its readers, of different generations, remain faithful to the character that is a mixture between a condor and a man, in the trans-Andean country and its people.

The First Bird-Man

Condorito, a symbolic character in Chile, has become a faithful companion of more than three generations of readers not only in that country but also in all of Latin America. In fact, various estimates suggest that there are more than 80 million fans of this comic which is, without a doubt, a classic.

Condorito was created on August 13, 1949 by René Ríos Boettiger ("Pepo" as he is widely known). This character, half man and half condor, appeared for the first time in the second issue of the Okey magazine. There are many who agree that René Ríos sketched Condorito in response to the animated cartoon Saludos Amigos (Hello Friends) 1942), by Walt Disney, in which different characters represented Latin American countries. In that film, Chile was represented by a two-engine plane called Pedrito which tried to fly without much success and, needless to say, found it hard to cross the Andes Mountain Range.
Condorito, from the comic to every day life or vice versa.
The truth is that Pepo was inspired on the condor of the national flag of Chile to portray his greatest character. As he said, he gave him flip-flops, a peasant hat and let him have adventures in the human world.
The context in which Condorito and his friends came to life was in Chile when it was changing its typical rural customs in the face of new urban realities. This was the result of the transformation experienced by Latin American countries by the mid XX century.

Pelotillehue, a Place in the World

The adventures of Condorito, marked by the lack of money and the need for it, take place in the fictional City of Pelotillehue, where almost half of the hundred likable characters interact in an atmosphere of clever and satirical humor.
Condorito, from the comic to every day life or vice versa.
Apart from the hero of the story, there are outstanding characters like don Chuma, Condorito's buddy who helps him financially; Yayita, his attractive girlfriend for life, who still lives with her parents. She is also courted by Condorito's archenemy, Pepe Cortisona, who is an absolutely material, conceited, egocentric, well-built man.

During the course of five decades of publication, some of the features of the characters and the topics addressed in the comic have mutated due to the social, cultural and technological changes experienced by Chilean society. It is fairly evident that the author has been able to keep its essence and leave a strong mark on each one of his readers.

“Insomnio” café, “El Tufo” bar, “El Hocicón” newspaper and “Dos se van, llegan tres” (Two leave, three come) hotel are part of the mythical Pelotillehue and many of Condorito and his friends stories take place there. There are neighboring towns in the story like Buenas Peras, the rival city.
Condorito, from the comic to every day life or vice versa.
Permanently Updated

Six years after the first issue of the comic, the first book on Condorito was published and it compiled the issues published until 1955. That was the beginning of an incomparable career for more than twenty-five years; Condorito reached his readers through a quarterly magazine.

After 1983, the comic was published every month. Needless to say, there are a number of special publications in the market that compile the best moments and situations of the hero.

At the beginning, Condorito magazine was published by Pincel Publishing Company, which due to economic problems, was sold to Zig-Zag. Finally, the rights were bought by a Mexican group.
Condorito, from the comic to every day life or vice versa.
The influence of Condorito on the Latin American popular culture, especially Chile, is remarkable. This can be traced by the incorporation of typical phrases of the characters in the heritage of several generations. For example, “I demand an explanation” by Condorito or “don’t spare any expenses, buddy”, said by don Chuma every time he helps the protagonist of the comic.

The importance of Condorito for Chile and its inhabitants turns out to be amazing. The protagonist of the comic has its own monument together with his pet Washington in the LLano Subercasseaux Park, located on the Grand Avenue of Santiago de Chile. Also, in the last Soccer Cup sub 20, held in Canada in 2007, Condorito was the mascot for the Trans-Andean team which reached the semifinals in the championship.

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Useful Data

Many connoisseurs of the comic say that Pelotillehue and Buenas Peras are taken from the Chilean Cities of Linares and Yerbas Buenas. However, there are others who assert that the fictional town of Pelotillehue is actually Currarehue.

Part of the information included in this article was taken from www.wikipedia.org site and other fan's sites of the comic.


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