Thursday, July 19, 2007

Argentina cartoonist and comic genius died today... Roberto Fontanarrosa, we will miss you!

Today cartoonist, writer and humorist Roberto Fontanarrosa passed away.

Fontanarrosa was born in Rosario in 1944. Comic-clopedia describes him accurately: "He was a representative of the Argentinan sharp humor cartoonists that made their appearance in the 1970s. A very productive artist, he drew satirical comics and cartoons in such magazines as Boom, Hortensia, and (to this day) on the daily newspaper Clarín. Several compilation albums of his gags have appeared ('¿Who is Fontanarrosa?', 'Fontanarrosa and the medical doctors', 'Fontanarrosa and politics', 'Fontanarrosa and Relationships', 'The Sex of Fontanarrosa'). He has created numerous characters, the two most famous are the gaucho 'Inodoro Pereyra' and 'Boogie, el Aceitoso'".

If you are reading this outside Argentina, let me tell you that one of the characters of his comic, Inodoro Pereyra, a lone gaucho traveling the pampas with the companion of his talking/thinking dog, is a classic for argentineans.

I discovered him at around age 12, when I first read "Boogie, el aceitoso" (translated as "Boogie, the oily one" or the "slicky one").

Best described at Everything2, here: "First conceived when the Vietnam war was fresh in the mass unconscious of the world's peoples, Boogie is an extreme caricature of one impression the rest of the world gets from the United States. Since his birth in 1972 to the quiet retirement he faced in the late 90's, Boogie has participated in every major armed conflict that has involved the United States and is familiar with every imaginable form of inflicting pain on his fellow man (and oftentimes woman too). During peacetime, if it can so be called, for Boogie hates the word, Boogie is a professional assassin or a bodyguard, a mercenary. Occasionally, when his usual profession hits a slump, he will also accept other jobs such as babysitter (he'll give the kids plastic explosives for them to craft little animals) or romantic escort (you must understand that although he is a man, that lump you feel when slow dancing with him is in fact his revolver)."

If you read Spanish, you can have a laugh here by reading Roberto´s speech at the Spanish Language International Congress

But if you need any proof of Roberto Fontanarrosa´s genius, here´s an animation of one of his comics, with an embedded anti-war message, to boot... I don´t know about you, but if I were a foreigner, I would learn Spanish just to understand the funny animal names of this comic masterpiece, which reads as a mix of Darwin's theories of the Evolution of the Species, and a touch of "Discovery Channel" documentaries ...

(Too funny!. You can understand the meaning of it even if you don't understand a word of Spanish... he begins describing an imaginary cold dry plain... and the cold winds, and the 'threatening clouds' and then the whole ecosystem in that plain, funny creatures with even funnier names, that are eaten by predators one after the other until... watch and you'll understand :).

If you want to practise your Spanish, you can find almost all of Fontanarrosa's books on

In short: the World lost one genius today. Goodbye Roberto Fontanarrosa, we will miss you dearly...


1 comment:

Leonardo Damián said...

No te lo tomes a mal. Sinceramente no puedo terminar de procesar la idea de que un argentino escriba en inglés.

Para? Cuál es el punto? Te aumenta el tráfico del blog? Leen las críticas que hiciste a Firefox? A mí me gustaron, y las comparto, pero no me parece que te den mucha bola.

Cuando vos ponés alguna referencia a sudamérica en un blog, cagaste, no te dan más pelota. Me puse a postear en un blog sobre temas técnicos de Mac OS X y me pasó que apenas puse que soy de Argentina, chau, ni bola.

Por ahí me parece a mí, pero no le veo el sentido. En cualquier caso, te deseo suerte.

Ah! no respondas a esto acá –si pretendés hacerlo– porque no lo voy a poder leer. Mandame un mail o algo así. Saludos, compatriota.