Known throughout Mexico for his famous cartoon, La Familia Burrón, Gabriel Vargas was considered one of the most important people in Mexican pop culture.
Born in Tulancingo, Hidalgo in 1915, his mother and 11 siblings moved to Mexico City in 1922. Vargas began work as a draftsman for the Excelsior newspaper in 1928, where he eventually became chief drawer when he was only 16.
While there, Vargas won an art contest that was sponsored by Panamericana Editorial, a contest that inspired him to draw his first cartoon, Los Superiocos. The main protagonists in Los Superiocos became the basis for his much-loved cartoon, La Familia Burrón.
The comic strip, La Familia Burrón, depicted the daily comedic struggles of a lower class family in an impoverished Mexican barrio. At the height of its popularity, the comic strip was circulating in 500,000 copies per week.
In 1983, Vargas was awarded with Mexico’s “Premio Nacional de Periodismo” (National Journalism Prize) in 1983 and the “Premio Nacional de Ciencias y Artes en el área de Tradiciones Populares” (National Sciences and Arts Prize) in 2003.
Vargas, who was a patron of the arts, opened the Mueso de El Estanquillo in 2007 with an exhibition of La Familia Burrón in paintings.
Vargas died in May of 2010 at his home. No official cause of death was given.