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Title: Ernesto Garcia Cabral - A Mexican Cartoonist
Author: Conway, George Robert Graham (G. R. G.)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Ernesto Garcia Cabral - A Mexican Cartoonist" ***

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                [Illustration: ERNESTO GARCIA CABRAL.]

                         ERNESTO GARCIA CABRAL


                          MEXICAN CARTOONIST


                            G. R. G. CONWAY


                  Issued for private circulation from

               Calle de Marsella No. 47, City of Mexico.


         Of this little book, one hundred and fifty copies
         have been printed for the amusement of friends,
         who will admire the genius of the famous Mexican
         cartoonist and at the same time forgive the shortcomings
         of the compiler.

         This copy, which is No. ____ is dedicated
         with friendly greetings

         to ____

         By ____

                                            _Xmas. 1923._



Biographical Foreword        7 to 13.


I. Ernesto García Cabral.

II. Sr. Ing. Don Alberto Pani.

III. Lic. Miguel Alessio Robles.

IV. Sr. Ing. Antonio Madrazo.

V. Lic. Benito Javier Pérez Verdía.

VI. Lic. Luis Manuel Rojas.

VII. Sr. Lic. Antonio Pérez Verdía F.

VIII. Sr. Don Carlos B. Zetina.

IX. Don José de la Macorra.

X. The late Don Genaro García.

XI. Sr. Don Carlos Meneses.

XII. Señora Eugenia de Meléndez.

XIII. Dr. Atl.

XIV. Hon. William Howard Taft.

XV. Ambassador Fletcher.

XVI. Mr. George T. Summerlin.

XVII. Mr. Matthew Elting Hanna.

XVIII. Mr. Oscar Maxon.

XIX. Mr. William Randolph Hearst.

XX. Mr. Henry Ford.

XXI. Ramón del Valle Inclán.

XXII. Josef Lhévinne.

XXIII. Anna Pavlowa.

XXIV. Mr. E. R. Peacock.

XXV. G. R. G. Conway.

XXVI. Mr. Claude Marsh Butlin.

XXVII. Georges Carpentier.

XXVIII. Jack Dempsey.

XXIX. Rodolfo Gaona.

XXX. Ignacio Sánchez Mejías.

XXXI. Juan Belmonte.

XXXII.-LVIII. Political, Social and Topical Cartoons.

                         Ernesto García Cabral

    _Once, on a glittering ice-field, ages and ages ago,_
    _Ung, a maker of pictures, fashioned an image of snow,_
    _Fashioned the form of a tribesman--gaily he whistled and sung,_
    _Working the snow with his fingers. Read ye the Story of Ung!_

    _Pleased was his tribe with that image--came in their hundreds to scan--_
    _Handled it, smelt it, and grunted: “Verily, this is a man!_
    _“Thus do we carry our lances--thus is a war belt slung,_
    _“Lo! it is even as we are. Glory and honor to Ung!”_


    _Straight on the glittering ice-field, by the caves of the lost Dordogne,_
    _Ung, a maker of pictures, fell to his scriving on bone--_
    _Even to mammoth editions...._

The art of the cartoonist was flourishing in the palaeolithic age, about
fifty thousand years ago. In the caves of Dordogne, in Southern France,
the early artist scraped and scratched his figures of reindeers and
mammoths, and colored them in red, white and black. He was a magic
worker, using his remarkable art to impress his less skilled brother.
The caricaturist belongs to a much later period; but he, too, was in
evidence in Greece during the days of Aristophanes, a century or two
before the artistic genius of the Maya race carved and modelled their
quaint, grotesque figures of men and animals. That the art of caricature
is an ancient one in Mexico we have abundant evidence. The artist
usually worked in clay, but he also made drawings with pointed obsidian
knives or charcoal on stone. Representations of his art craft can be
seen in many of the ancient codices. In Padre Sahagun’s illustrations
(the Florentine Codex) we find many whimsical and fantastic sketches,
grim with sardonic humor. Except here and there, on rare occasions, the
art of caricature which flourished in Europe during the Spanish Colonial
period, was dormant in Mexico. In the Codex of San Juan Teotihuacan,
which dates from the middle of the sixteenth century, we see the Indian
artist caricaturing the portly Augustinian friars, and revealing with
tragic earnestness the suffering of the poor natives whom the monks
compelled to build their beautiful churches to the “Glory of God.”

But the art of satirical expression can only be developed when some
degree of freedom obtains. Under Spanish rule and the rigid jurisdiction
of the Inquisition no freedom of thought was possible. With the changed
conditions brought about by the separation of New Spain from the mother
country there was liberty enough--and even license--for the
caricaturist, which he used with biting satire against the ever-changing
political heroes. To-day, the political cartoonist in Mexico is a
powerful factor in moulding public opinion against influential persons.
Since the fall of Porfirio Diaz the daily and weekly journals have been
enlivened by the cartoons of a brilliant group of young men--foremost
and leader of them all is Ernesto Garcia Cabral, the fertile genius who
has daily depicted and delineated every phase of Mexican life and

Cabral, who is quite young, was born in the year 1891, in Huatusco, a
picturesque village in the State of Veracruz. As a child of three or
four years he amused himself by tracing figures on the ground and before
the age of fourteen he delineated figures of animals and saints on the
walls of the village church. At that time he also discovered his future
artistic bent in making profile caricatures of his younger brothers and
school-fellows. His school teacher, early recognizing the ability of
the boy in draughtsmanship, persuaded the “Jefe Politico” of the
district to solicit a scholarship from Señor Don Teodoro Dehesa, the
enlightened Governor of the State. Señor Dehesa, a patron of art, who
frequently acted as a Maecenas to struggling artists, granted the young
Ernesto the coveted bursary which entitled him to enter the San Carlos
Academy in the Capital of the Republic. There he was able to improve his
technique, but the scholarship did not make him independent. To live and
continue his studies it was necessary for him to earn money. He
therefore commenced to draw for the public, collaborating in the
publication of a lithographed political paper called “La Tarantula.” In
this paper, directed by Fortunato Herrerías, he dedicated himself
exclusively to the art of caricature. At the end of six months he joined
the staff of the short-lived comic weekly “Frivolidades” which soon had
to stop publication for want of funds. The next important step in
Cabral’s career was his collaboration with Mario Vitoria, in the
well-known political weekly “Multicolor” and through the medium of this
paper his drawings became known to a wider and more influential circle.
“Multicolor” had great political influence during the three years it was
published (1911-1914), and helped very powerfully towards the making and
unmaking of the political idols of the hour.

It was during this period that the brilliant young artist came to the
notice of President Madero, who decided to send him to Paris to continue
his studies at the expense of the Mexican Government. Cabral settled in
Paris in 1912 and pursued his studies at the free academies of Colorossi
and the Grande Chaumiére. Cabral’s native land was soon afterwards
passing through the agonies of revolution and the tragic death of Madero
left the artist penniless, as the new Government stopped all the
bursaries of Mexican students then studying under official patronage in
Europe. Deprived of all means of subsistence, Cabral, as he once told
the present writer, was, for a time, actually starving. Some
amelioration came to him as the result of winning a competition
inaugurated by an official Academy of Painting at No. 80 Boulevard
Montparnasse, the prize being free admission to the upper class of
drawing from the nude. The competitors, who were fifteen in number, were
required to make in five hours--one hour a night--a crayon drawing of a
Greek statue. The starving artist’s success, ironically enough, was
communicated by the Mexican Consul in Paris, to the Minister of Public
Instruction and Fine Arts in Mexico, and the local press made Cabral the
subject of flattering comment. Cabral was then able to continue his
studies without expense, but was compelled at the same time to struggle
gallantly for a pittance, by selling the productions of his pencil
through the “Marchand de Tableaux”--and shortly afterwards he was taken
on the staffs of “Le Rire” and “Bayonette.”

When the Great War broke out, Cabral was again in difficulties. Paris
cared only for her own cartoonists, and it was then that he lived the
bohemian life of the Latin Quarter--that centre of cardiac
energy--described so graphically by Du Maurier and Murger, with the
usual companionship of a sweet, pious and self-sacrificing blonde
“Midinette” who shared the dark days of his misery. At that time, he has
told us, he was in the habit of casting lots with his bohemian
companions, to see who would procure sufficient funds for the satisfying
of their ravenous stomachs--a motley lot of comrades in adversity,
including would-be painters, musicians, poets and journalists. Garcia
Cabral had, on more than one occasion, the experience of resorting to
extraordinary stratagems to obtain sufficient food for their wants.

During 1918, when the Constitutional Government of Mexico was presided
over by Don Venustiano Carranza, there was residing in Paris as the
special envoy of the President, Lic. Isidoro Fabela, and under Sr.
Fabela’s generous protection Cabral was appointed an Attaché in the
Mexican Legation, his duties being the pleasant task of illustrating a
book of narratives which Señor Fabela was intending to publish. Shortly
afterwards, he accompanied Señor Fabela on his official missions to
Madrid and Buenos Ayres and in the Argentine capital they stayed fifteen
months. There, in the interest of a Mexican national propaganda, Cabral
contributed his cartoons to the principal newspapers and reviews,
achieving a very considerable reputation in the Argentine. In the
beginning of 1919, after an exile of seven years, Cabral returned to his
native land and his work immediately began to appear in the weekly
“Revista de Revistas” and in the influential daily newspaper
“Excelsior.” Since that time his career has been one of unbroken success
and of extraordinary popularity.

Cabral’s amazing drawings are worthy of taking rank with those of the
most distinguished foreign cartoonists. He can, with equal facility,
produce the most humorous of cartoons or the most satirical of
caricatures. In his cartoons of representative people, he seems to
extract by critical penetration--sympathetically--the quintessential
expression of his subject. He is always an artist, a consummate designer
and a psychological observer who analytically peers into the minds of
men and lays bare their personalities. His art is versatile. In line, he
excels as no other Mexican artist; but he is also a master of
chiaroscuro, and as an illustrator his understanding of the massing of
color is extraordinary.

During the past three or four years, Cabral must have produced several
thousand cartoons and caricatures. His cartoons of representative people
in Mexico have been drawn mostly from life, each sketched rapidly and
surely in a little over half an hour. His political, social and topical
cartoons form a kaleidoscopic history of contemporary Mexico. A great
political question, such as the official American recognition of
President Obregon’s Government, finds Cabral sympathetically
interpreting the international aspirations of the Mexican people. The
danger of Bolshevism in the State of Veracruz becomes a subject for many
convincing cartoons, of more influence than dozens of leading articles.
Mexico City, due to an exceptional drought, is called upon to economize
in its use of electric energy and daylight-saving is officially
established for a time. Cabral, during the crisis, daily illustrates the
necessity. He wages war upon incompetent medical men, portrays the risk
the pedestrian takes on the crowded streets of the Capital, the evil
effects of unlawful strikes, and so on;--every phase in the everchanging
life of the Capital is eloquently depicted. In some of his cartoons of
persons he subordinates caricature in favor of true portraiture, and in
others, the kindly sympathetic personality of the artist changes rapidly
into the satirist and cynical student of life with an ineradicable
memory of its shams and miseries.

For the selection of the cartoons reproduced in this book the writer is
responsible; it does not profess to represent Cabral’s best work, and he
himself would probably have chosen quite differently from the thousands
he has done. The cartoons have suffered by reduction and reproduction,
as the majority of them have been copied direct from the “Excelsior.”
Nos. I., XVII-XXIV and XXV, were reproduced from the original drawings.

The writer’s apology for a selection that may not represent the best of
the artist’s work is due to the cartoonist, as those reproduced have
been selected on account of their personal appeal to the friends for
whom this limited edition is intended. Cabral hopes, at an early date,
to publish a representative collection of his work--which all lovers of
his art will joyfully welcome.

A critical study of the Mexican cartoonist’s genius will some day be
attempted. This little book does not pretend to be anything more than an
appreciation by an admirer, who lacks the critical and artistic
knowledge to determine Cabral’s true place among cartoonists in Mexico
and abroad.

                                                     _G. R. G. CONWAY._

[Caption for following illustration: I.


As he sees himself.]


[Caption for following illustration: II.


Has held the Portfolios of Foreign Affairs, and of Commerce and
Industry. Was formerly Mexican Minister accredited to France and is now
Minister of Hacienda. He is the “handy man” of the Mexican Government: a
cultivated engineer, a technical and political writer, and a lover of
art. A genial spirit, perpetually smiling and smoking.]


[Caption for following illustration: III.


Recently Minister of Commerce and Industry. Formerly Mexican Ambassador
to the Court of Madrid.]


[Caption for following illustration: IV.


During President Carranza’s administration acted as Sub-secretary of the
Department of Finance; and under President Obregon has been Governor of
the State of Guanajuato.]


[Caption for following illustration: V.


Lawyer, journalist and man of letters. One of the founders of the
Fascisti movement in Mexico.]


[Caption for following illustration: VI.


One of the originators of the Mexican Constitution of 1917; the founder
of the “Revista de Revistas” and a prominent mason.]


[Caption for following illustration: VII.


An eminent lawyer and Chairman of the Mexican Bar.]


[Caption for following illustration: VIII.


A progressive and democratic captain of industry who realizes that the
old order passeth giving place to the new. Many of his friends would
like to see him a future President of the Republic; but he prefers a
more tranquil pathway along life’s pilgrimage.]


[Caption for following illustration: IX.


A representative Spanish merchant and manufacturer of paper.]


[Caption for following illustration: X.


A scholarly historian of Mexico, who gave to the world for the first
time an exact transcript of the Guatemala manuscript of “The True
History of the Conquest of New Spain” by that lovable and garrulous old
conquistador, Bernal Diaz. Genaro Garcia’s fine library is now a
treasured possession of the University of Texas.]


[Caption for following illustration: XI.


A notable Mexican musician. Founder of the School of Pianists and
organizer of the first symphonic concerts in Mexico; one who has done
much for the advancement of music in his native land.]


[Caption for following illustration: XII.


A well-known Mexican woman writer.]


[Caption for following illustration: XIII.


Originator of the Casa Mundial (I. W. W.) of Mexico. As a writer and
teacher has done a great deal to popularize the minor arts of Mexico. Is
a painter with ultra-impressionistic tendencies, and well-known as an
intrepid climber of Popocatepetl.]


[Caption for following illustration: XIV.


Twenty-seventh President of the United States; now Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court.]


[Caption for following illustration: XV.


Formerly Ambassador of the United States in Mexico; an authority on
Latin America; now Ambassador in Belgium. Has had long diplomatic
experience, his whole career having been spent in the service in many


[Caption for following illustration: XVI.


Counsellor of the American Embassy with Ambassador Fletcher when he took
office in 1917, and since January 1919 has been Chargé d’Affaires.
“Summie,” as his intimate friends affectionately call him, has served
his country well and has gained the respect and confidence of the
Mexican people. His friends hope that his expected promotion will take
him to the Court of St. James.]


[Caption for following illustration: XVII.


Has charge of Mexican affairs in the State Department of Washington.
“Joe,” as he is known to all his friends in Mexico City, was formerly
First Secretary of the American Embassy. He is a hard worker, a genial
host and a welcome guest and is greatly missed in the Capital.]


[Caption for following illustration: XVIII.


Maxy is the wittiest American in Mexico City. Probably he would be
called in his own home town “a wealthy and prominent realtor.” He
collects many beautiful things and is always willing to open his packing
cases to show them to genuine lovers of antiques.]


[Caption for following illustration: XIX.



[Caption for following illustration: XX.



[Caption for following illustration: XXI.


The most skilful musician among modern Spanish poets. As a visitor to
Mexico he received an indifferent welcome from his “paisanos” owing to
his outspoken remarks on the reigning Spanish monarchy.]


[Caption for following illustration: XXII.


The eminent pianist who always finds a popular welcome in Mexico City.]


[Caption for following illustration: XXIII.


The Queen of dancers.]


[Caption for following illustration: XXIV.


A Canadian by birth and a graduate in arts of Queen’s University. About
20 years ago was a senior master in Upper Canada College, Toronto. From
there he entered the world of finance in London and now has the
distinction of being the first Director of the Bank of England appointed
outside of the esoteric circle of “the City”--a tribute not only to
himself but a compliment to Canada. Is actively interested in many
British enterprises in Mexico, Spain and South America.]


[Caption for following illustration: XXV.


“Cuando había agua.” (Excelsior, 11th February, 1921.)]


[Caption for following illustration: XXVI.


The best all-round sportsman in Mexico. As becomes an Englishman he
excels in cricket; has been for many years tennis champion; a scratch
golfer and withal a fine player of the difficult game of pelota.]




The famous French puglist.


[Caption for following illustration: XXVIII.



[Caption for following illustration: XXIX.


A Mexican “Torero” and the idol of the bull-fighting public. He is
reputed to be the bravest that ever appeared in the rings of New


[Caption for following illustration: XXX.


A very brave and ambitious bull-fighter from Seville. Formerly a student
of medicine, he abandoned his profession for the plaudits of the middle
and upper-class frequenters of the bull-ring, who adore him.]


[Caption for following illustration: XXXI.


The “Phenomenon” from Seville, who thrills his excitable audiences with
his daring work near the horns of the bull.]


[Caption for following illustration: XXXII.


HE WHO IS POINTING (President Obregon): “Energy within the law!” ...

PUBLIC OPINION: “I have confidence in you, Doctor.”]


[Caption for following illustration: XXXIII.


President Obregon: When will you let me have the suit, boss?

Uncle Sam: We require many fittings (pruebas) yet, General.

(“Pruebas” in Spanish means both fittings and proofs.)]


[Caption for following illustration: XXXIV.


General Obregon, as Ford driver: Ready sir?

Uncle Sam: Does the car go well?

Ford Driver: Just examine (reconozca) it and you’ll see.

(“Reconocer” in Spanish means both examine and recognize.)]


[Caption for following illustration: XXXV.


Cabral here depicts the strangling of Industry in the State of Veracruz
by Bolshevism.]


[Caption for following illustration: XXXVI.


The Average Man: “What a goat’s whiskers he’s got.”]


[Caption for following illustration: XXXVII.


This cartoon refers to an insulting and threatening telegram sent by the
Strike Committee to General Obregon during a Tramways strike in Mexico
City, and the President’s vigorous reply.]


[Caption for following illustration: XXXVIII.

Employer: I won’t give you work because you get drunk so often.

Workman: Not very often, boss; only when I celebrate my name day.

Employer: What’s your name?

Workman: Domingo. (Sunday).]


[Caption for following illustration: XXXIX.


“Comment unnecessary.”

In Mexico City the jitney is a terror to the pedestrian. Upon this one
is an advertisement of a patent medicine “Infallible for headaches.”]


[Caption for following illustration: XL.

He: I am reading a sensational piece of news.

She: What is it?

He: An automobile knocked a man down and killed him.

She: That’s nothing; many people are knocked down every day.

He: Yes, but in this case they arrested the chauffeur.]


[Caption for following illustration: XLI.

“Excuse me, sir, has the Colonia-Roma tram gone by?”

“Do you take me for a tram despatcher?”

“No, sir, I mistook you for a gentleman, that’s all.”]


[Caption for following illustration: XLII.


“Shall we get accustomed to being without light, friend?”

“That is a matter of indifference to me as my wife gives a tremendous
lot of light.”

(In Spanish, the verb “To give light” means also “To give birth.”)]


[Caption for following illustration: XLIII.


(The Light and Power Conflict)

Who gave you that, brother?

Luz, (Light) my wife.

What energy she used!

Naturally, seeing she has lots of motive power. (fuerza motriz.)]


[Caption for following illustration: XLIV.


Widow: He died at four in the morning, official time, without making a
will; he didn’t have time to do so....

... God’s will be done; but if he had died at four o’clock astronomical
time, everything would have been all right!]


[Caption for following illustration: XLV.


“I’m awfully sorry to tell you, old man, but on Saturday, at 11 o’clock
at night, I saw your wife with another man.”

“You lie, you idiot!”

“Man!--You insult me!”

“It was twelve o’clock. Don’t you know that we are an hour in advance?”

“You’re quite right--pardon me.”]


[Caption for following illustration: XLVI.


“Have you noticed that black shirts are fashionable?”

“Certaintly--it is the triumph of Fascismo.”

“Rubbish!--it’s on account of excess of dirt and want of water.”]


[Caption for following illustration: XLVII.


Diner: Imbecile!--the fish you gave me a week ago was better.

Waiter: You are the imbecile--because I can prove to you it’s the


[Caption for following illustration: XLVIII.

1st kiddie: My parents bought me new shoes and a little brother in

2nd kiddie: Oh well, mine didn’t bring me shoes because they bought me


[Caption for following illustration: XLIX.


The Young Fellow: My wife has just given birth to twins--at four o’clock
in the morning.

The Old Boy: Well, that’s very commendable caution. Few people care to
arrive alone in Mexico at that hour.]

[Caption for following illustration: L.


Lunch time, and my wife so jealous! What the deuce am I to do to justify
my late arrival?]



[Caption for following illustration: LI.


“How many liters of milk does your cow give, Don Pancho?”

“About eight liters, Doña Julia.”

“And how many do you sell?”

“Oh, not more than twenty.”]

[Caption for following illustration: LII.

“So you’ve finished crying at last!”

The Kid: “No!” (sniffling)--“I’m only resting a little.”]



[Caption for following illustration: LIII.


He: After you Madame!]

[Caption for following illustration: LIV.


He: And so you are capable of saying I am two-faced!

She: Heavens, no! The one you have is enough!]



[Caption for following illustration: LV.

The Padre:--(Teaching his pupil the ten commandments) The fifth--‘Thou
shalt not kill.’

The Pupil: Not even when I have “fuero,” father?

(“Fuero” is a privilege granted to Congressmen and others which exempts
them from arrest for crimes committed when holding office.)]

[Caption for following illustration: LVI.


“To think I have so many and am so neglected!”

(Congressmen in Mexico are called “Fathers of the Country.”)]



[Caption for following illustration: LVII.


“What do you think of my wife’s voice?”

“Excuse me, that woman’s making such a noise I can’t hear a word!--What
were you saying?”]

[Caption for following illustration: LVIII.

“Why don’t you marry Rose?”

“Nothing doing, old man. She’s bitterly opposed to divorce.”]



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