More than 300 Spanish cartoonists and scriptwriters have signed a protest communiqué repudiating the Grand Prize at the Barcelona Comic Fair awarded to the publisher, populariser and historian of comics Antonio Martín (Seville, 1939) and ask that it be withdrawn. They also warn that otherwise they will withdraw their names from possible future nominations.
All those authors who wish to join can do so by writing to email@example.com including their details and consent (Source).
And if you are one of those who don’t draw and/or ink, write, colour, translate or script (which I also consider authors) and you are in that immense group of fans, readers or disseminators, you can also sign up as a member of this other communiqué of ADLO as a member of “El Mundillo“, where there is space for everyone.
Cartoonists make their voices heard
The signatories reject this prize because it is not awarded to an author. As it reads in its basesit is awarded to “a Spanish author with at least 25 years of published work”. This is something that some dispute, considering that Martín is also an author, as is the case of the scriptwriter and member of the jury Antonio Altarriba who, in El Periódico adds in this note from El Periódico adds:
“I have no intention of changing my vote. I consider the decision to be unappealable and I ratify the jury’s decision, which on the other hand is sovereign. And I am totally opposed to the arguments put forward in this authors’ note. The issue has been blown out of proportion”.
Others, such as @viñetabocadillo, suggest that it would be fairer to bring back the prize for dissemination that existed between 2007 and 2011.
On 2 June, FICOMIC takes a stand (nowhere) with this disappointing statementé that seems more like a self-promotional note than a response in which they shake off the fleason the members of the jury. One ‘Po fueno, po fale, po malegro‘ is marked.
Ana Galvañ, a member of the jury, publishes a personal communication in which she continues to defend that the bases they contemplated awarding a prize to a “non-author”. That there was room for everything. Another member of the jury dispatches the matter with a simplism (1) reductionism about “the private”.
The signatory authors also took advantage of the statement to recall that in the year 2000, the now prize-winner brought legal action against the cartoonist David Ramírez (Tortosa, 1974) and Vicente Garcia (Palma de Mallorca, 1971), editor of the comic magazine Dolmen, for this page published in the magazine Dólmen nº 51 of June 2000. For me it is not a minor matter or a simple anecdote from the past as it is made out, Antonio Martín took Ramírez to court for a fictional story.
The untitled comic strip written and drawn by David Ramírez was based on events (obviously fictional) that took place at the Barcelona International Comic Fair (May 2000).
According to Antonio Martín: “in this comic Ramírez turned Cels Piñol and Antonio Martín into the main characters of the action, manipulating Piñol’s character as a puppet and using him under his own responsibility as a means to insult Antonio Martín”. (Source).
Thus, in an exercise of evident exaggeration, in this comic strip by David Ramírez, Cels Piñol called Antonio Martín “old Nazi drunkard drunkard thief paedophile bastard” in his second cartoon. On 4 June 2002, Antonio Martín published this communiqué:
“On 3 June 2002, a public hearing was held in Criminal Court No. 2 of Palma de Mallorca in the trial convened on the basis of the complaint filed by Antonio Martín against the cartoonist Mr. David Ramírez and the editor of the magazine “Dolmen”, Mr. Vicente García. The motive, a cartoon by David Ramírez published by “Dolmen”, considered allegedly libellous.
(As a reminder: This is a comic strip with script and drawings by David Ramírez, published on page 58 of the magazine “Dolmen” nº 51 (June 2000). In the second cartoon, a character, who the author identifies as Cels Piñol, addresses another character, identified as Antonio Martín, and hurls five insulting adjectives at him in one go insulting adjectives.
In view of these epithets, which I considered insulting on a personal and professional level, and the damage they contributed to causing me, I filed a complaint before the Court of Instruction for an alleged crime of INJURIES, the defendants being Mr. David Ramírez Ros, as author of the cartoon, and Mr. Vicente García Guerrero, as editor and representative of the magazine that published and distributed the cartoon and in accordance with the subsidiary liability that corresponds to him legally as such.
The Court accepted the complaint and opened the corresponding case, which finally ended in a trial.) The texts of David Ramírez in his comic strip in “Dolmen” nº 51 (specifically those five adjectives directed against me, as a person, as a citizen, as a professional and as a worker in a company), which in moderation could be said to be defamatory, have caused me significant and serious personal and professional damage”
Source: IT’S NOT JUST COMICS / 7 | Tebeosfera | Manuel Barrero. At the bottom of this link you can find other documents related to this case.
The story told by the cartoonist
David Ramírez explained in an interview published in 2004 in the magazine U #27, rescued by Guía of Cómic, that judicial process from which I highlight some extracts.
“I didn’t find out about the libel complaint until two months later. The first thing I found out about was the veto at Planeta DeAgostini. One of the first things that Antonio Martín’s replacement, Jesús Pece, who had just taken up his post, had to deal with was to call me into his office and tell me that the company had decided to do without my services because of that page”.
“Vicente García phoned me and told me that he had received a communiqué from the court in Mallorca saying that Antonio Martín had filed a lawsuit for slander against Vicente and me; he was demanding five million pesetas
because of the dialogue I mentioned before”.
“The sentence obliges me to give the state 720 euros to be paid in four easy monthly instalments, and on the other hand, as moral compensation, to pay Mr. Antonio Martín 4,000 euros, and then pay what the lawyers, who are the winners in these cases, get. Mine have already been paid 1,800 euros… and what I have left; and today I am still waiting to be told how much Antonio Martín’s lawyer wants.
The next step in this kind of never-ending story is that the people at the court contact Antonio Martín and tell him that he has won, but now he has to decide whether he is satisfied with the fact that he is right and that’s it, or whether he wants to collect the judgment as well.
If Mr. Martin wanted to, he could forgive the 4,000 euros that I have given him in compensation for moral damages. In any case, this is a mere formality; I read on a website a letter from Antonio Martín himself in which he assured that he was not interested in the money, but that if he won he would collect it and then donate it to some person or institution that works in favour of comics.
Once this step has been taken, I will be informed of the exact amount I have to pay him and his lawyers’ fees”.
After the conviction, a large number of authors joined to collaborate in a 56-page black and white publication with a colour cover published by Astiberri, Dolmen and Estudio Fénix with the cover of “Artículo 20”, which was called “Artículo 20”, I was asked to collaborate in a 56-page black and white publication with a colour cover Albert Monteysthe profits from the work (2100 euros) were used by Ramírez to pay for his lawyer will pay the expenses from his lawyer Source.