On Nazario’s Alí Babá y los 40 maricones (“Ali Baba and the 40 Fags”)
Comic book author Francisco Ibáñez (Barcelona, 1936), the creator of worldwide known T.I.A. secret agents Mort & Phil (Spanish original: Mortadelo y Filemón), also portrayed in 13, Rue del Percebe a series of strips in which we can see the humorous, crazy, bizarre, overhasty day-to-day life of a bunch of inhabitants of the same building, from the ground floor to the attic, thanks to the disappearance of the fourth wall.
We find this same pattern in Nazario’s Alí Babá y los 40 maricones (1993). In fact, this comic book may well be considered the gay, adult version of 13, Rue del Percebe—Regarding this inspiration, one of the strips is named “13, Rue Carolinas”—. Let’s have a look to the rule-breaking community that Nazario has amusingly pictured. We will begin from the top—
•Attic: Here we have Ernesto, a tall, blond, hung college student. However, behind his eyeglasses there is a shy and sentimental boy who never dares to have sex with others, so he eventually gets swept up in wet fantasies and beats off.
Conversely, his cat is always excited and screws every other feline in the neighborhood. He also laughs at his owner’s virgin and naïve attitude. This relationship reminds of the famous Garfield and his owner Jon’s; besides, the cat is the same tabby kind than Jim Davis’s creation, as well as in one of the strips—“Entre policías y ladrones” (“Among Cops and Robbers”)—he admits his wish to have sex with Garfield.
Ernesto is fond of weighlifting to build his vigorous body, as well as the art of Renata Tebaldi and Espronceda’s “Canto a Teresa” (“Song to Teresa”).
Sometimes Nazario pictures him being raped by several men all at once (maybe one of Ernesto’s sexual fantasies?), or afraid of going out in female disguise when Carnival, as he does not want to be recognized by his college classmates.
•2nd Floor: Here we find three roommates. Let’s start with Yanpol, a voracious leatherman whose look is very similar to the typical heroes by Tom of Finland.
With his 3-day beard and hairy chest, Yanpol deflowers workmen who claim no previous homosexual experience before him. He and his roommate La Borrega (“The Sheep,” also meaning simple-minded) celebrate orgies at the drop of a hat.
La Borrega above-mentioned is a phallomaniac hooked up in his own private quest for the biggest cocks in the gay universe. He is dark, curly haired, and wears thick-rimmed glasses; he is not especially charming—though really hung. He can cause a bathroom breakdown just to welcome home again his favorite plumber.
He finally gets AIDS. . .Nevertheless, he will enjoy the understanding and affection from all his group of loving, horny friends.
And there is also Luigi (sometimes called La Deisy). He represents just the opposite to his two roommates: He is a swishy, pansy, weedy, blond drama queen who seems to hate sex. He frequently quarrels with his roommates because of the orgies that they celebrate counting him out, as well as he takes a crack at their lovers. He is also terribly afraid that the sofa cover gets ruined during these orgies.
He owns a poodle called Divain, who looks like a canine version of him.
Luigi is fond of gossip, a Walt Disney Pictures’ Little Mermaid fan and a Barbie collector.
•1st Floor: The one and only long term relationship on the block: Tom and Tito.
Tom is elder than Tito. With his incipient baldness and a long, scarce ponytail, he makes the most of Tito’s absence to cheat on him. Tito always finds out, and Tom excuses himself by claiming that it is Tito the one that he really loves. To make matters worse, Tom is extremely jealous of Tito.
Tom keeps a diary in which he takes down all his affairs. He usually catches sexual transmitting diseases due to his immoderate infidelities. Sometimes he is a kind of reckless, and once he even welcomed home a group from a satanic cult that practices human sacrifices—
Tito is a hot, pretty boy (Nazario endows him with a forelock very similar to Superman’s). Tito is loyal to Tom, despite the sex offers from numerous men (including La Borrega). When Tom met Tito, Tito was bisexual. But since their torrid love affair began, Tom is the only love in Tito’s life. Tito is so used to his partner’s unfaithful behavior that he accepts this as long as he does not see it. He commonly dislikes Tom’s lovers.
•Located in the ground floor, there is the Alí Babá pub. Lola, the owner, is a woman who is a dead ringer for John Waters’ films star Divine. She is the nosiest in the whole neighborhood. Her parrot, called Alí Babá, is as snooping as his owner.
Lola tries to score every hung & hunk men (with a special predilection for workmen, sailors and black men) who turn up in her pub. . .The point is that each and every single one are gay, so she does not have any other choice but sucking it up. Just as Luigi, she loves being the center of attraction. Lola does not accept the passing of time. She is a widow, so she is used to fend for herself; she does not feel intimidated when problems show up.
The usual barflies in Alí Babá are workmen, grey foxes, young gym queens in fashion, junkies, cross-dressers—most of them horny or broken hearted. There, they hold disguise parties that tend to come to a terrible end, such as robberies, etc.
So, here you have a brief description of the wild, urban, loony, wacky, lustful, shocking, irrepressible, irresistible modern Sodom full of sound and fury that Nazario imagined, with no other purpose than the joyful celebration of inflamed sex. Thus—What are you waiting for? Hurry up and join the party!
 Although 1993 was the year in which the whole collection of strips was published as a comic book, they actually had been published separately in several underground magazines before.
 Calle Carolinas: a popular street in the city of Barcelona.
 In Ibáñez’s 13, Rue del Percebe, the attic resident—an inveterate debtor—also lives with a cat.
 José de Espronceda (Almendralejo, 1808 - Madrid, 1842). He was one of the most outstanding Spanish poets in the Romanticism period.