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4Sep/150

First Look: The Whimsical World of Liniers’s ‘Macanudo #3’

Probably my favourite PW column of the year thus far, featuring the whimsical Liniers and his existential musings and humour in Macanudo #3.

An absolute must read for fans of Calvin and Hobbes especially.

It’s not often that cartoonists earn legitimate comparisons to strip maestros Charles Schultz and Bill Watterson, but that is precisely 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. Enchanted Lion Books have previously published two volumes of Macanudo for the English-speaking market, but this third volume has an incredibly 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 does indeed recall Calvin and Hobbes as well as George Herriman’s Krazy Kat, and there are some neat touches of political satire that give a knowing wink to the Argentinian classics El Eternauta and Mafalda.

Liniers – real name Richard Siri – has created a series with little linear plotline but several recurring characters that turn up in occasional strips. Most frequent appearance goes to Henrietta, her sneaky cat Fellini and her teddy bear Mandelbaum, and a group of elves are often seen too, along with couple Lorenzo and Tersita, the two abstract beings Yellow Thing and Blue Thing, Z-25 the sensitive robot, and even Liniers himself in rabbit form.

Named for an old-timey Argentinian word meaning, “it’s okay”, Liniers intends for the comic to be a shot of optimism at the end of a newspaper filled with daily depressing news. And yet the surrealism he employs has kept Macanudo from US syndication and even translation until Enchanted Lion Books began publication in 2014.

In simple lines, joyous colours, and haphazard panelling, Liniers effortlessly spins his strips from surreal humour to moments of quiet thought or societal commentary, resulting in a cacophony of cartoons that beg to be read again and again.

And best of all, Macanudo is genuinely suitable for all ages with zero trace of patronising younger readers.

Read the full preview here: The Whimsical World of Liniers's 'Macanudo #3'

Macanudo #3