Zimbres, Fabio


FZ is the inventor of Tonto (Silly) editions.

FZ is the publisher of the Mini Tonto collection.

FZ could have given his publishing house any other name, but he did not. If they ever dedicate a statue to him on a jacaranda promenade, it will be quite compromising to put text on that plaque.

FZ does not seem very concerned about statues, that much is true. He prefers to use his legs to walk down paths.

FZ is a discrete man, most likely timid, he wears glasses, and —to end the discourse— statues with glasses do not turn out so well. If the statue is made of stone, the portrayed loses their eyes behind two rocks. If the statue is made of bronze, people steal the glasses just to be a nuisance. And there is nothing more helpless than a glasses-less statue in the middle of a jacaranda promenade.

FZ indeed runs the famous Tonto editions, but nothing published there is as silly as the name suggests.

FZ also has a biography: he was born in Sao Paulo. He spent his childhood in Brasilia. He studied architecture, draws comic strips, works in cartoon productions, does graphic design, organises exhibitions, he studies —up close— the human being.

FZ won the comic strip contest of A Folha de Sao Paolo and, as his prize, for a few years he published his series ‘Vida Boa’ (Good Life) in that newspaper.

FZ tells the story that one time a reader wrote to Folha to complain about ‘Vida Boa’. The reader lamented: ‘We do not need a cartoon like that, life is depressing enough’.

FZ published a selection of his cartoon strips —an edition of 100 copies— with the following heading: ‘The good life is everyone’s duty’.

FZ signs as ‘FZ’.

FZ lives in Porto Alegre, the city of participatory budgets.

FZ is a great tour guide around Porto Alegre: while passing by a certain place, he points out to visitors the house where the famous butchers used to make sausages out of human flesh.

FZ knows all the regulars at Osip, a bar in Republic Street frequented by cartoonists and some sweet women from time to time.

FZ drinks cachaça in moderation.

FZ does not drink cachaça in moderation.

FZ drinks moderation with cachaça.

FZ was born in 1960, according to his biographers.

FZ, according to his biographers, was born with a pen.

FZ draws on any type of paper. Even on any surface. He perforates surfaces.

FZ fills sketchbooks upon sketchbooks with drawings.

FZ fills entire rooms full of sketchbooks full of drawings. 

FZ fills entire houses full of rooms full of sketchbooks full of drawings.

FZ draws all the things in the world. ‘World’ is his favourite word.

FZ draws on planes.

FZ also draws, unfazed, while the air hostess explains how to stay entertained with some interesting devices full of locks in case the plane’s engines catch fire.

FZ is always smiling, which makes him highly suspicious in any situation.

FZ is a medieval scribe who has gone mad.

FZ is a pre-Socratic humorist.

FZ draws talking dogs.

FZ seems like a serious person until one discovers how he makes a living.

FZ is a genius.

FZ forces a sweet little girl in his comic strip to say: ‘I think so, that one could be a distressed guy, devastated by uncertainties, and still seem happy’.

FZ is one of the few artists in the world who can read books and comprehend them.

FZ is friends with the famous Allan Sieber, the creator of the Dogma manifesto applied to cartoons.

FZ is friends with Alemao Guazzelli, the famous author of Cidade Nanquim, a city made of Indian ink that grows year by year, and is now nearly a homeland, a place to live in during sleep.

FZ has too many bohemian friends. They all usually exhibit in a place called Rural Workers Museum.

FZ has a cousin who is a librarian in Sao Paulo. Coincidentally, that library has the original edition of Panama or the Adventures of my Seven Uncles, designed by Raoul Dufy.

FZ is a modern artist, as only a Brazilian can be modern.

FZ admires Japanese graphic art.

FZ is a Japanese Brazilian.

FZ would have made friends with the Czech graphic artists and animators who admired Kafka, Golem, and the robot (a word invented by the Czech Karel Capek).

FZ is a Japanese Czech.

FZ writes better than he draws, according to some opinions.

FZ does not differentiate between writing and drawing, according to other opinions.

FZ does not write poems, as far as we know, which is perhaps why he has so many friends. Among them, some poets.

FZ has read Osip Mandelstam, the Russian poet after whom the bar in Republic Street is named, and Blaise Cendrars, the poet who dedicated his book Panama to a bartender in Matachín.

FZ, like Blaise Cendrars, has learned to travel through books.

FZ and Blaise Cendrars could have joint their names —‘Cendrars & Zimbres’— on a circus poster.

FZ will exhibit one day along Fernand Léger, Cendrars’ good friend and collaborator, in the Rural Workers Museum. Léger would have liked a museum with that name.

FZ is a wild typographer who has learned his skills from ephemeral prints and popular engravings.

FZ began studying fine arts when he was already an artist. His first work as a graduate was a book about his art books.

FZ also produced a screen printing collection on the works of Hercules. In this occasion, the artist won the round, because he was able to repeat his feats with much less effort than the hero. The series, as it could not be any other way, is titled ‘Hercules’ holidays’.

FZ desperately loves the ‘vida boa’!

FZ draws with pencils and ink and everything, and then transfers his drawings to the computer and subjects them to centrifugation. The result could either be a Japanese plate or a Caribbean typhoon.

FZ has managed to tame his computer. For that alone he deserves to be respected. But no, no statues.

FZ reflects some afternoons on the convenience of adding or removing a line in the description of a wave surge, resulting in a shipwreck.

FZ is so skilled it seems like he draws without hands.

FZ uses the same tools as cartographers do to trace maps.

FZ knows that a map is a drawing. And every drawing is a map.

FZ sometimes loses himself in his drawings and remains there for weeks, without anyone being able to find him.

FZ would like his drawings for Panama to be known by children, although he is unsure if it is a book for children.

FZ is unsure if the world is made for children.

Herrín Hidalgo

Self-portrait of the author