Carlos Pacheco, the legend of the San Roque superhero comic, has passed away. The hole he leaves is huge. I was never very interested in superheroes in my childhood, I was more of Mortadelo and Filemón. My older brother, on the other hand, had a large collection that he had been acquiring with his Sunday pay. In addition to his own, every week he exchanged already known copies for others that, although they were not new, he did not know. The exchange took place in a kiosk on Avenida de Dílar, the main street in my neighborhood in Granada.
I didn’t like those strongmen who constantly poke each other to prevent the destruction of planet Earth. That diverse group of characters with supernatural qualities made me feel sorry for them. “La Masa”, (that was how he was called before we knew English), was a green wretch, with a very bad character who did not earn money for clothes. Thor was a hedonist manipulated by his father and he solved everything with a macho, the hammer that masons used to knock down partitions. Iron Man would have to be very hot inside his metallic suit. Spiderman, who was a photojournalist (who was going to tell me in the seventies, that would be my profession) was a kind of arachnid mutant. To me all these characters seemed like a monstrous group of wretches.
In those years I do remember that there were other superheroes, who didn’t seem so despite having super powers, they weren’t monstrous either. They looked normal. There were many in my neighborhood, my street was full. In fact, I don’t usually brag about it, but it turns out that I am the son of two superheroes, although their adventures were not in the Marvel comics. My father, whom I almost never saw, because he was waging the battle for survival, fighting with bills of exchange, with suppliers and clients, with the savings bank or with the treasury, used the magical power of working eighteen hours a day, to carry out the small pastry shop that he set up in 1970.
My mother did not go through life dressed as Wonder Woman, but she swept and scrubbed when there were no vacuum cleaners, she washed in a world without automatic washing machines, she changed non-disposable nappies, she did the daily shopping, before there were freezers. On weekends I helped my father make Piononos, Millefeuille, Petisús, Barquillos, Princesas and Victorias. Five children raised between the two. It was no exception, it was normal, my family was typical of those times. Over the years, the titanic work of those heroes and heroines, worked miracles on my street, in my neighborhood, in Granada, in Andalusia, throughout Spain and its towns, where the heroines, as well as at home, worked their backs for four bucks. in the countryside. The mistreated field was not raised by the gentlemen, nor their handlers, but superheroes and superheroines tearing the fruits from the earth. Sometimes having to flee from it, emigrating.
Those women and men did jump over obstacles and overcome adversities, without wearing tight suits. They didn’t flaunt their daily victories either, it was their obligation, they hadn’t decided anything, but that was life. They had been taught that this is a valley of tears, but if they ever cried, out of sheer impotence, it was secretly. A man could not cry, a woman had to give birth like a rabbit, if she was in pain better, contraceptives were prohibited. That was the system, the pressure came from everywhere, the church, the family, the neighbors and of course the regime.
Now this people, capable of remembering soccer feats, with minute precision, does not remember that our great country, educated and developed, arose from hunger and cold, and rose thanks to sweat. He does not know that he had to survive in an authoritarian and fascist regime, a chronic economic and moral crisis. A time of silence that the new generations cannot imagine. If we were aware of this, we would not mistreat our superheroes from the times of Francoism, repression, poverty, ignorance and hunger, putting them in residences that are only a business for the usual smart ones.
I, and probably you who are reading this article, are descendants of heroes that are not from comics, but from the real world. His special powers have not prevented old age or death. But always remember that nothing, neither freedom, nor well-being, nor that young people speak English, would be possible without the heroes of the homeland, those to whom monuments are not erected, but they are given expired food in residences. Open your eyes wide and you will see that this did not just happen in the past. You will see that the streets are full of neighborhood superheroes, who build the society of tomorrow every day. They are not invisible, they are there, many were not born here, but they will also end up in seedy residences where there is no place for memory.
Surely the great Carlos Pacheco was the son of one of those heroes, much more courageous than the ones he drew in such a brilliant way.