One of things we have noticed are a number of statues of cartoon characters scattered around town. It turns out there are currently 16 of them.
Armed with a list and a map we set out on a cartoon character scavenger hunt.
We start in front of the Museum of Humor with a work by Guillermo Mordillo called La Girafa (the Giraffe). Mordillo was a famous cartoonist who works featured mostly long necked characters, hence the giraffe.
This guy is known as Don Nicola, a friendly landlord in the Italian immigrant neighborhood of La Boca. The character was created by Hector Torino in 1937.
Meet Indoro Pereyra with Mendieta, a talking dog, both enjoying a mate. Sadly, and true with a number of them, people have graffitied the art. This cartoon started in the 1970s.
Dating from 1945 this is Prawn (Langostino in Spanish) and his trusty, but very small ship Corina. The cartoonist was Eduardo Ferro.
This is Diogenes ( a ‘mutt’) and the Linyera (a vagrant). It has been published since 1977 in the newspaper Clarin, originally by an Uruguayan cartoonist named Tabare. After he passed away others have continued the strip.
These two characters also date originally from the 1970s. They are Negrazon and Chavella, who hail from the Argentine city of Cordoba. They are riding a locally made Puma motorbike. Meant the represent the challenges and life of middle class life in Cordoba, they were the work of the artist Cognigni. Sadly they too have graffiti on them, including an A with a circle around it – a symbol for Anarchy.
This nice lady is Aunt Vicenta, by the famed artist Landru’ – whose real name was Juan Carlos Colombres. He portrayed political and social life of Argentina for 60 years.
When we first arrived in Argentina I thought I kept seeing a Garfield the cat who had gone crazy. It turns out it is from 1993 and is called Gaturro, by Cristian Dwzonik. He has been accused of plagiarism numerous times with content, as well as the obvious look.
These too are Patoruzito and Isidorito. While graffiti free, they are in rough shape, hanging out under the trees in a park.
They are the work of Dante Quinterno, starting in the 1940s. Patoruzito is the childhood representation of the Chief Patoruzu – the last of the Tehuelches, whom Spanish conquerors saw as giants with amazing strenght. Living in the world of today he and Isidorito, a true Porteno, find adventures; but in this world Isidorito is the one with the stength.
Evoking the look of the 1950s, by Guillermo Divito, these two are simply known as The Divito Girls. Women of the 1950s took to mimicking the style shown in this weekly comic magainze ‘Rico Tipo’. Not represented, but equally influential were the male characters, with their double breasted suits.
Our friend below is Clemente. Without wings, but with very cool horizontal stripes, he became an interesting character during the military dictatorship.
The 1978 World Cup was held in Argentina during this period. One of the rules that they implemented was ‘no confetti’, in an effort to present a ‘good’ image of Argentina to the world. The artist (Caloni) had Clemente warn Argentinians of the real intentions of rules like this, and launched a ‘paper rain campaign’.
This became so popular that Clemente became the unofficial mascot of the Argentine National team. So I guess the anarchy symbol here might actually be appropriate, as in the final, broadcast around the world, confetti rained down as they won.
The cartoon from 1978, from a very interesting website detailing that period in Argentina. http://papelitos.com.ar/home
This is Don Fulgencio, dating originally from 1938. He is the man who had no childhood. This left him as a very ‘correct’ gentleman, but with childish customs. He was created by Lino Palacio.
In addition to the comics, in the 1950s he made it to the big screen.
Matis has been on the back cover of the newspaper Clarin for many years. He is the ‘boys boy’. The writer is known as ‘Sendra’.
These two characters are Laguirucho and Super Hijitus (on the right). Hijitus is a poor boy who, when putting on his hat becomes a super hero.
Another character from the 1930s is Isidoro Canones, a typical Argentine little rich playboy. He too was created by Dante Quinterno.
Meet Susanita – friend of Mafalda. She is the gossip specialist of the neighborhood.
And finally we meet Manolito and Mafalda. Easily the most recognized face throughout Argentina is Mafalda. This little girl is everywhere.
Somewhat backwards of most U.S. comic characters, Mafalda started out strictly as an advertising character who became so popular she was made into a comic strip. She represents the views of the educated middle class of Argentina.