The Ones Behind Both Characters (1st Part)

The creation and evolution of the characters, at least in its early stages, were not as straightforward as it might seem. This is a summary of the role played by each one that engaged in these processes.

1) David Nasser (1917-1980)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1952. The newspaper "Diário da Noite" was not performing well and although it was used to make part of a conglomerate named "Diários Associados", its owner, Assis Chateubriand, was exerting a high pressure aiming that something be done in order to increase sales. As one of the newspaper main executives, David Nasser came with the idea of Giselle´s argument (as previously posted) and decided to try its publication in small chapters and on a regular basis.

As he had never been in France until that occasion, he asked and counted on the cooperation of one of his good friends, the French photographer Jean Manzon (1915-1990), who was used to describe details of how Paris looked like, to provide name of places, neighborhoods and all other information that Nasser may have needed to write each chapter of Giselle´s saga. Aiming to escape the imminent war, Jean Manzon moved to Brazil at the age of 25 and he worked with Nasser in a magazine named "O Cruzeiro". Manzon left Brazil back to France in 1968 only.

Nasser´s strategy has worked well and the newspaper sales were back in track. Although his efforts were recognized by Chateubriand, Nasser was still working without receiving his salary and, consequently, he threatened Chateubriand saying that he would kill Giselle in a very short time, i.e., too much before her death was scheduled. Chateubriand then was compelled to pay salaries and wages not only due to Nasser but also due to the other newspaper employees.

Apart of being journalist and editor, Nasser was also a music composer with recordings from many succesful Brazilian singers at that occasion.

Jean Manzon:

2) José Alberto Gueiros:

He was used to work for the "O Cruzeiro" magazine but in 1963 he became to be one of the main executives of the "Editora Monterrey" editors, founded seven years early in Rio de Janeiro by the Spanish partners Luis de Benito and Juan Fernandes Salmeron. One of his first ideas was to reedit the story of Giselle, this time in a format of pocket book with soft covers and newsprint. This story, he believed, could leverage the sales of a new pocket book collection focused on spionage and investigation, thus providing a new gas to Monterrey´s business.

Nasser advised him not to buy the rights of Giselle´s story because it was really a piece of shit, but Gueiros didn´t hear his friend even because the price was very tempting. In fact, Gueiros had to rewrite almost everything giving sense to the drama and better organizing the characters. The final result would fill the first four pocket books of the collection named ZZ7 and in March 1964, twelve years after its original publication, Monterrey released the edition #1.


Sales were astounding: each edition had 500,000 copies printed. The owner of the distribution company called Gueiros saying that a success like that could not be stopped, but he answered that David Nasser was busy and making money with other projects and, consequently, it was out of question to invite him to give continuity to the story.

Gueiros was the one who came with the solution by creating the daughter of Giselle while the 4th book was still being written and, consequently, it would be right to say that he is Brigitte´s biological father. Furthermore, he has also written the 5 first Brigitte´s adventures but this became to be a problem when he perceived he had to dedicate almost 100% of his time to this activity.

This time his partner Juan Fernandes Salmeron came with the solution: he knew that in Spain there were some writers that adopted English aliases and that could develop the story of a character that was raised in the US and was connected to the CIA. Gueiros travelled to Barcelona and met Antonio Vera Ramirez, one of the writers of "Editora Rolland", aka Lou Carrigan. After hearing Gueiros' summary of the argument, he immediately fell in love with Brigitte.

While Ramirez got more familiarized with the argument and start to write his first adventures about Brigitte, the released ZZ7 collection, apart of the adventures written by Gueiros himself, has been filled with stories of different characters from different authors always in the arena of spionage and investigation. The ZZ7 collection, consequently, was not comprised exclusively of books about Giselle or Brigitte Montfort.

3) J. F. Krakberg

The authorship of the first 5 Brigitte´s adventures in the ZZ7 collection is in the name of J. F. Krakberg. Some additional Brigitte´s adventures are first-person narratives, sometimes narrated by Brigitte Montfort herself or even by other characters of her relationship like John Pearson (aka Mister Phantom).


Considering that, except the above, there are no news of other books written by J. F. Krakberg and there are no news of other members of Krakberg´s family or any kind of its images or registrations, it is inferred that J. F. Krakberg is an alias adopted by José Alberto Gueiros.

To be continued...

Photos of David Nasser: Internet
Photo of Jean Manzon: Credits to the newspaper O Estado de São Paulo
Cover scannings: Own collection
Some cover scannings obtained in the internet
Quotes from Gonçalo Junior´s article published in Brazilian Playboy, edition March 2013

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