“El Eternauta” (The Eternaut) is a serialised graphic novel written by Argentinian comic writer Héctor Germán Oesterheld and initially drawn by Francisco Solano López. First published in 1957-1959 in three-page weekly episodes in the magazine Hora Cero (Zero Time), it tells a complex and sprawling tale of alien invasion, apocalypse and rebellion, as recounted by Juan Salvo, the Eternaut — a time traveller — to a comic writer, who then produces the story as a warning of things to come. Those things to come include “killing snow”, flying saucers, giant insects, strange humanoid creatures with many fingers (“Manos”), controlled human slaves (“hombres-robot”) and huge building-smashing beasts called “Gurbos”.
Click on the following to view pages of the comic:
Since mid-2008 there has been much talk of a film version of El Eternauta, the largest ever produced in South America it is said. The director was slated to be the award-winning Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel (whose last film was La mujer sin cabeza “The Headless Woman”), though there are apparently rumours about that she may be off the project (Twitch). Be that as it may, IMDb still lists the film under her “in development” projects (with details only available on the IMDbPro version).
At any rate, whoever the director might end up being, the following test footage gives hope that if it does happen, the film will be an exciting one:
Meanwhile various fans have been prolific. Here is some concept art by artist Jorge L. Fernández — in order (1) The fall of the flying saucer on the River Plate Stadium with the protagonist Juan Salvo continuing his journey toward the centre; (2) A Mano, the invader; and (3) a Cascarudo (“Crab”) — one of the giant insect “stormtroopers”:
Kaiju Search-Robot Avery has also pointed the way toward some very decent El Eternauta footage, a faux trailer and Making Of reel made by film students:
This fan-made retro poster is also an excellent piece of work:
A picture of the Gurbas by “alcatena”:
Read the comic: