TXT: Yoss illustration: Luis Lorenzo
Matías Pérez was a 19th century Portuguese awning-maker, residing in Havana. On June 28, 1856, during his second ascension in his hot-air balloon, Ville de Paris, he was swept away by the wind and vanished without a trace. When referring to something that has disappeared, Cubans still say ‘it flew away like Matías Pérez’.
In 1969, the imagination and the pen of local artist Luis Lorenzo Sosa converted the vanished awning-maker into a space hero: after an encounter of the third kind, astronauts from the superior planet Strakon who were exploring Earth were impressed by his bravery and courage and recruited him for their cosmic crew.
The science fiction adventures of Matias Pérez have appeared in several series, both in the children’s weekly Pionero as well as in books from the editorial Abril, and they were very popular. Every child and adolescent were familiar with his anachronistic moustache, with its crooked, stiff edges and his keenness for the tamarind juice, his girlfriend Blina and his friend Smerlt, Strakonians with weird hairdos, and his funny but ingenious creole collaborator Leocadio. But they also knew his enemies: the fearful conqueror Kuantrespit and his bungling cohorts, the immoral bandits Borg and Gulp and the cruel batrachian tyrant from the planet Kerlum, Sap-O-Tor.
+ information pág. 76-77 The H Book 2008 09