Gat Perich international award winner 1999
Miguel Gila (1919-2001). Comedian and cartoonist.
“I was born (without requesting the date nor the place nor the time) in Madrid 12 March in the twentieth century (1919). In January of this year my father died in an accident, so I had no other choice but to be posthumously born, like King Alfonso XII, although my living conditions weren’t quite the same. By my first birthday I was living with my paternal grandparents. My mother remarried and had five more children with her new husband. I continued living with my grandparents. At eight years old I entered a school run by monks, where in exchange for my poverty I learnt a little geography, a little history, a little maths and catechism with bread soaked in oil. At thirteen I left the school to work and help my grandparents ... After many months, the Franco government issued a decree according to which those who had not been tried were set free. I left prison; I was called up to the number 40 "liberated zone". I was in the military service for four years and when I left I started working in the newspaper Imperio and on Radio Zamora. I was on a quest for culture, like Proust's In Search of Lost Time. From Zamora I started to send drawings to La Codorniz. Afterwards I went to work for the magazine Hermano Lobo. In 1951 I left and I went on a Zamora to Madrid adventure. My vocation for the stage lead me to act spontaneously at the festival at Teatro Fontalba where I performed an improvised monologue about my experience as a volunteer in the war. People were amused and the improvisation was such a success, I was immediately offered contracts from many places. At 62 I suffered the effects of dictatorship and decided I go to work in America where I spent 23 years until the end of the dictatorship and decided to return to Spain and here I am".
In the last years of his life, Gila devoted many hours to writing, drawing a daily cartoon for El Periódico de Catalunya, listening to music and reading, that is, devoted his time to do everything you could possibly do having worked hard for so many years.