It’s not often that cartoonists earn legitimate comparisons to comic strip maestros Charles Schultz and Bill Watterson, but that's what Argentinian artist Liniers has achieved with Macanudo.
Published on the last page of newspaper La Nación, the popular daily strip has been running since 2002. Named for an old-timey Argentinian word meaning, “it’s okay”, the strip is intended to be a shot of optimism at the end of a newspaper filled with daily depressing news. Enchanted Lion Books has previously published two volumes of Macanudo for the English-speaking market, but this third volume has an eye-catching cover that will surely attract many new readers to the series.
With a focus on both meta-humour and existential musings, the frequently surreal strip recalls Calvin and Hobbes as well as George Herriman’s Krazy Kat, perhaps with a little Saul Steinberg thrown in, and there are some touches of political satire that give a knowing wink to the Argentinian comics classics El Eternauta and Mafalda.
Liniers–real name Richard Siri–has been published in the US by Toon Books with The Big Wet Balloon and the bilingual Written and Drawn by Henrietta. In Macanudo, there are few linear plotlines but several recurring characters that turn up in occasional strips. The most frequent appearances are from the little girl, Henrietta, her sneaky cat Fellini and her teddy bear Mandelbaum. Supporting character include adult couple Lorenzo and Tersita; two abstract beings,Yellow Thing and Blue Thing; Z-25, the sensitive robot; and even Liniers himself in rabbit form.
With simple lines, joyous colors, and inspired, loose layouts, Liniers effortlessly spins his strips through a range of emotions, with the resulting enjoyment as much from the beautiful art as the sly humor. And fotunately, Macanudo is genuinely suitable for all ages with no trace of patronizing younger readers.
Macanudo #3 (9781592701759) comes out on October 1st from Enchanted Lion Books.