Cartoons by João Abel Manta from the years 1969-1992 return in a book to “celebrate April”

“After 48 years, this is the first reissue of this title”

Publisher Tinta da China will re-publish, on the 20th, the book with the “iconic cartoons” by João Abel Manta, from the years 1969 to 1979, in order to “celebrate April”, announced the publishing house.

“After 48 years, this is the first reissue of this title”, “Cartoons”, now covering the years 1969 to 1992.

“It took almost as long for these drawings to return to Portuguese readers as it did for the regime overthrown by the April Revolution of 1974”, says the publisher, in the work's presentation text.

“The newspapers to which they were sent have already been closed, the editions where they were printed have become yellowed or rotten, even some of the moments or characters represented in them have been forgotten, here we have them again, as bright and pertinent as when they left João Abel Manta’s drawing board” , reads on the Ink of China page on the Internet.

This includes 'cartoons' before 1975 that were not included in the first edition, “Cartoons 1969-1975”, “and all those after that year, with notes, rigorous dating, chronological organization and a 'contextualizing' introduction to this work”.

The organization and texts are by Pedro Piedade Marques, graduated in History of Art by the Faculty of Letters of the University of Porto.

The first edition, “Cartoons 1969-1975”, was published in 1975 by O Jornal and included a preface by José Cardoso Pires, for whom João Abel Manta had illustrated “Dinosauro Excelentíssimo”, a satire on Salazar and his dictatorship, which had its first edition in 1972.

João Abel Manta, 95 years old, one of the “best Portuguese designers and illustrators” of the last decades of the 1933th century, as Tinta da China describes him, early on revealed his opposition to the Estado Novo dictatorship (1974-XNUMX), led by Oliveira Salazar and, later, by Marcello Caetano.


After the Carnation Revolution, he published his 'cartoons' in newspapers such as Diário de Notícias, Diário de Lisboa, O Jornal, Jornal de Letras, Artes e Ideias (JL) and Almanaque magazine, always attentive to current affairs, social reality and its protagonists.

Born in Lisbon in 1928, the only child of two painters (Abel Manta and Clementina Carneiro de Moura), João Abel Manta early on committed his drawing to the political convictions of the democratic opposition.

Two years after entering the Lisbon School of Fine Arts, where he had arrived in 1945, the artist, already a member of the MUD Juvenil, offered a drawing alluding to Christmas in 1947, whose reproduction and sale would revert to support members of the Movement of Democratic Unity (MUD), arrested by the PIDE.

“Yours is the generation that awaits, with the defeat of the Axis forces in the Second World War, the capitulation of the Salazar regime. Political activism earned him imprisonment in February 1948, after two weeks spent in Caxias, and a file in the archives” of the political police of the dictatorship, recalls Tinta da China in the presentation of the new edition.

Graduated in Architecture, João Abel Manta had an important intervention in this domain from the beginning of the 1950s, which he would progressively abandon in favor of the plastic arts, “standing out as the greatest Portuguese cartoonist and one of the best Portuguese illustrators of the 1960s and 1970”, describes the editor.

In addition to “Cartoons 1969-1992”, which returns to bookstores this month, Tinta da China also republished “Caricaturas Portuguesas dos Anos de Salazar” (O Jornal, 1978), in April last year.