The former Bruguera publishing house

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The former Bruguera publishing house

Joan Bruguera set up the El Gato Negro publishing house when he was only 25 years old. It specialised in serialised novels and joke books. Business quickly boomed thanks to weekly publications such as Pulgarcito, and shortly after the Civil War when it was renamed to include the family surname, Editorial Bruguera became Spain’s biggest publisher of comics.

From ‘Capitán Trueno’ to ‘Mortadelo y Filemón’

At a time when the habit of reading was almost non-existent, Editorial Bruguera made its way into thousands of homes with children’s stories and serialised novels. Weekly comic strips, such as Pulgarcito or Tío Vivo, gradually found their place in popular culture and the characters are firmly etched in the childhood and teenage memories of millions of people.

A truly local multinational company

The relationship between the publishing house and the Coll neighbourhood, where it was established, became so close that their growth cannot be explained separately. Many Coll residents worked at Bruguera and several local neighbourhood businesses depended on the publishing house either directly or indirectly.

Unfortunately, the Bruguera giant dissolved in 1986 due to serious economic difficulties. Today, the building that housed the first workshops is home to the El Coll – La Bruguera Civic Centre, a popular centre that is fighting to keep alive the memories of a time when characters such as Zipi and Zape, Doña Urraca, Rompetechos or Superlópez were the indisputable kings of the newsagent’s kiosk.

The project to recover the historical memory of the former Bruguera publishing house is being promoted by the Gràcia district. The aim is to recover and preserve the oral and documentary heritage of its former workers and to share this heritage through the active participation of several local associations that organise exhibitions or roundtable discussions.

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