Barcelona’s Unique Tribute to Iconic Spanish Cartoonist

Pedestrian Crossing In Praise Of Iconic Spanish Cartoonist

Proposed Signal. Credit; maestroconganas/

Could Barcelona’s streets soon be lit up by two of Spain’s most iconic comic characters? The city is set to introduce a unique pedestrian signal that will pay homage to the beloved comic duo, Mortadelo and Filemon.

On July 15, the city mourned the passing of Francisco Ibañez, the brilliant mind behind Mortadelo and Filemon. In a touching tribute, Barcelona plans to dedicate a traffic light to these characters, celebrating Ibañez’s legacy, writes Onda Cero.

Francisco Ibañez Talavera, commonly known as Francisco Ibañez, was a renowned Spanish cartoonist born on March 15, 1936, in Barcelona, Spain. He is best known for his comic book series ‘Mortadelo y Filemon’ (known in some English translations as ‘Mort & Phil’).

His creations are immensely popular in Spain and many other countries, making Ibañez one of the most widely read and beloved comic book creators in the Spanish-speaking world

Inspiration from Abroad

The idea was conceived by Francisco Javier Ibañez, a Spanish-language professor from Navarre. During a visit to Aarhus, Denmark, he was intrigued by a pedestrian crossing featuring Viking figures. He pondered, why not introduce Mortadelo and Filemon in a similar fashion in Barcelona, the birthplace of the cartoonist?

The city’s mayor, Jaume Collboni, was quick to embrace the idea. ‘The City Council’s technical services would study its development and location,’ Collboni confirmed to Ibañez over a phone call.

Mortadelo and Filemon hold a special place in Spain’s cultural tapestry. For decades, these characters have entertained, educated, and been a source of pride for countless Spanish readers. Their adventures, wit, and charm have made them household names, symbolising a rich tradition of Spanish comic artistry.

The Perfect Location

Ibañez believes the ideal spot for the signal is near the ‘Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ library. Recently crowned the world’s best public library, it houses a section dedicated to the cartoonist. This location is also significant as it’s close to the Sant Marti neighbourhood, where Ibañez spent his formative years.

The proposal has garnered widespread support online. Hundreds have voiced their approval on social media platforms, seeing it as a beautiful way to honour the cartoonist and his enduring impact on generations of readers.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.