iPad and newspaper

Minorities in cartoons: “Baldo”

Baldo
The cast of “Baldo” on Mother’s Day.

This week’s entry is “Baldo,” a daily newspaper comic strip written by Hector CantĂș and drawn by Carlos Castellanos.

Background

The strip, running since 2000, revolves around the daily lives of the Bermudez family. The characters include:

  • Baldo, the lead character. Baldo’s a teenager who works at an auto supplies store (“Auto Y Rod”), and dreams of buying/building his very own low-rider car (a 1964 Chevy Impala, specifically).
  • Gracie, Baldo’s grade-school aged sister. Gracie’s extremely intelligent (but less political), often pursuing much more cerebral hobbies than her older brother.
  • Sergio, the father of Baldo and Gracie. A widower (the children’s mother died in an auto accident some years ago), Sergio often tries to give advice to his children, for better or for worse (er, the expression, not the comic strip).
  • Tia Carmen (“Aunt Carmen”), Sergio’s aunt (and the kids’ great-aunt). An elderly woman who came to live with the family after the death of the kids’ mother, Tia Carmen often also gives the kids advice, tells them facts about their (often goofy) relatives, offers her “unique” cooking, and pursues various old-fashioned interests. However, Tia Carmen’s also been shown recently with her own podcast (more successful than Baldo’s car-themed one), so she’s not a complete Luddite.

The strip sometimes covers issues of importance to the Latino community, such as immigration. A 2009 storyline also covered Sergio discovering he’s diabetic. On a lighter note, there were also a few strips on the Bermudez family’s reactions to Miles Morales (the new part-Latino Spider-Man).

So far, only two compilation books have been published, collecting the strip’s earlier run. No TV spin-offs or such to date, at least so far…

(Updated 11/15/16)

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