Liniers Releases First English-Language Children's Book 'The Big Wet Balloon'

Argentine Cartoonist Releases First English-Language Children's Book
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY JULIE PACOREL-MOUTTETArgentinian cartoonist Liniers poses on June 14, 2013 in Lyon during the International Cartoon Festival in the central French city. Liniers is the author of a comic strip, 'Macanudo', published in the daily Argentinian newspapaer La Nacion. AFP PHOTO / JEFF PACHOUD (Photo credit should read JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY JULIE PACOREL-MOUTTETArgentinian cartoonist Liniers poses on June 14, 2013 in Lyon during the International Cartoon Festival in the central French city. Liniers is the author of a comic strip, 'Macanudo', published in the daily Argentinian newspapaer La Nacion. AFP PHOTO / JEFF PACHOUD (Photo credit should read JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)

Ricardo Siri Liniers is a well-known and truly beloved Argentine cartoonist noted in Latin America for his successful comic strip Macanudo, published in the Buenos Aires newspaper La Naci贸n.

Liniers has over 3600 published comic strips, 25 published books in Spanish and more than 10 books published in Brasil, Canada, France, Spain and Italy, among other countries. In addition, his work appears in magazines like Rolling Stone, Spirou, Virginia Quarterly Review and Playboy. Not only that but he collaborated painting pieces live, on-stage at concerts with Grammy-nominated musician Kevin Johansen in a tour through Latin America and Europe.

His work has earned him comparisons to cartoonist legends Charles Schultz (Peanuts) and Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes).

Siri Liniers recently released 鈥淭he Big Wet Balloon,鈥 his first English-language children鈥檚 book, which he wrote and illustrated. The book is published by Toon Books and will be available in both English and Spanish editions.

The U.S. book tour was a huge success, with appearances at the Brooklyn Book Festival in addition to bilingual book readings in public schools in Washington and New York City coinciding with Hispanic Heritage Month.

鈥淭he Big Wet Balloon鈥 tells the story of sisters Clemmie and Matilda鈥 inspired by Siri Liniers鈥 daughters鈥 who learn to enjoy the secret delights of a rainy afternoon. VOXXI had the pleasure of sharing a few moments with this cartoonist to talk about his book.

Q&A with cartoonist Ricardo Siri Liniers

VOXXI: How is t鈥漈he Big Wet Balloon鈥 different from your previous books and works?

Ricardo Siri Liniers: 鈥淭he Big Wet Balloon,鈥 the book I have just presented in the USA, is very special to me. Not only because the Toon Books Publishing House is managed by one of my great heroes in the publishing world, Fran莽oise Mouly, with whom I worked closely in this book, but because the protagonists of this one are my two daughters, Matilda and Clementine. One day I saw them play in a summer rain and discovered almost immediately that there was a book there, just waiting to be written.

VOXXI: Does the U.S. public understand your humor the same way Latin Americans do or did you have to reinterpret? There is nothing more difficult than telling a joke in another language to another culture. Is this true for you?

Siri Liniers: I don鈥檛 know how well they will understand my humor, but I trust that it should work. Although I am a Latin American author with influences from other Latin American authors, there are also many American influences in my past. I grew up watching Woody Allen movies, listening to Bob Dylan, reading Kurt Vonnegut and admiring Bill Watterson, Art Spiegelman, Gary Larson鈥 I think that also has influenced me as a draftsman.

VOXXI: What do you expect from this latest release?

Siri Liniers: The same thing as when you put one foot in a swimming pool鈥 to test the water!

VOXXI: What new projects do you have in the immediate future?

Siri Liniers: For the immediate future, I plan to have the happiness of welcoming my third daughter, Emma, in October鈥 Surely she will somehow be the protagonist of some of my future pages.

For more information on cartoonist Ricardo Siri Liniers visit his Toon Books page. 鈥淭he Big Wet Balloon鈥 is available in hardcover for $12.95

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