The Argentine Cartoonist Who Moonlights As A Nerd Rockstar

The illustrator known as Liniers is becoming known in the U.S. for his New Yorker covers and children's books. But in Argentina, he's been a multimedia presence for over a decade.
The Argentine cartoonist Liniers is becoming known in the U.S. for children's books and cover art published by The New Yorker. Source: Camilo Garzón for NPR

Ricardo Liniers Siri, known professionally as Liniers, holds a unique position in the broad swath of Latin American culture.

He is by trade a cartoonist, and he's becoming a presence in the United States after his recent covers for The New Yorker. But Argentines have been familiar with him for over a decade — he's had a daily cartoon strip called Macanudo in the Argentine newspaper La Nación for 15 years.

Fans of his cartoons may not know that there is a very musical side to him. He's collaborated with musicians like Uruguayan Jorge Drexler and the Argentines Kevin Johansen and Andrés Calamaro. Liniers currently resides in Vermont with his family on fellowship with the Center for Cartoon Studies.

At a book tour stop for his newest cartoon bedtime story, Buenas Noches, Planeta (Good Night, Planet), a full house greeted him at Takoma Park Public Library in Maryland. I interviewed Liniers right afterward.

We just came out of a full house presentation of your newest book, but for our Alt.Latino readers, tell me a little bit more about it.

So I came to present in [Washington] D.C. my last book that I did with , and it's called . It's a graphic novel for very young readers. I had recently moved out of Buenos Aires with my family, my three little daughters and my wife, and we all moved to Vermont to the middle of the woods. And you is a short story about a stuffed little deer, that my actual daughter has, and when I asked her what's the name of your new friend she said "Planeta," which is planet in English, and I thought it was the weirdest, funniest, coolest name I have ever heard for a stuffy. So then the story came out of that.

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