"Baldo" is an American
comic stripwritten by Hector Cantúand illustrated by Carlos Castellanos. It was launched in April of 2000, and is widely billed as the first comic strip featuring Latinocharacters and themes to be marketed to a mainstream audience.
*Baldomero "Baldo" Bermudez is the title character. A Latino
teenager, his primary interests are cars and girls. He is also obsessed with being cool, and is in the middle of an ongoing process to build his own lowrider. He has a job at "Auto Y Rod", an auto supply shop (whose logo resembles that of Mercedes-Benz), and according to a January 2007 comic strip, he is 15 years old.
*Graciela "Gracie" Bermudez is Baldo's younger,
Lisa Simpson-like sister. She is an ardent admirer of Frida Kahlo, and frequently attempts to be an activist. She is remarkably smart and enjoys reading, although (in true little sister form) she is a constant annoyance to her older brother.
*Sergio "Dad" Bermudez, a widower, is the patriarch of the family, the father of Baldo and Gracie, and the owner of a small business. He is often seen by his children as being dorky, although they love him all the same.
*Tia Carmen is Baldo and Gracie's dizzy great-aunt. An older woman and very devout in her religious beliefs (she has over 200 religious figurines), Carmen has a vast knowledge and love of old-world customs, foods, and herbal remedies. An
April Fools Daygag strip in 2007 depicted her as being detained by the Department of Homeland Security, and a two-week series around the same time drawn in a photo-realistic style told of her as coming to live with the Bermudezes after Sergio's wife Rosa was killed in a drunk drivingaccident (see below).
*Cruz is Baldo's best friend. Arguably similar to Hector from "Zits", Cruz is often seen accompanying Baldo in the quest for coolness.
*Britney Denise "Smiley" Rogers is Baldo's
Angloex- girlfriend. She was originally introduced in 2001as Baldo's new next door neighbor with an interest in Latino culture, and was Baldo's girlfriend from 2003to 2006. Shortly after the breakup, Smiley underwent a sudden makeoverand joined a popular girls' clique.
*El Cucuy is the Bermudez family's
boogeyman, and is somewhat akin to the snorklewacker from " Bloom County". He was forced into retirement after Baldo and Gracie stopped fearing him.
*Joey is a semi-recurring Anglo teenager and one of Baldo's former co-workers from a summer job. He has a poor work ethic and is ignorant of the
Spanish languageand Hispanic culture.
*Nora is Gracie's best friend and confidant. She is as bright and intelligent as Gracie.
*Sylvia Sanchez was deemed the "prettiest girl in school" by Baldo, and the object of his eye from the early strips. She vanished from the strip in 2003, shortly before Baldo and Smiley began dating.
*Ralphie is a friend of Baldo's who owns a lowrider with an advanced sound system. He infrequently appears in the strip.
*Smiley's brother is the Rogers equivalent of Gracie. For a brief time, he was Gracie's "boyfriend", but that relationship has since been dissolved.
*Mr. Harold [http://www.baldocomics.com/resources/BALDO_gang_activity_monitor.php] was the
GangActivity Monitor at Baldo's school. He had a "tough guy" persona, and falsely accused Baldo of being in a gang after mistaking a game of Rock Paper Scissorsfor gang signals.
*Rosa Bermudez was Baldo and Gracie's mother, and Sergio's wife. Though she has never been seen or heard in the strip (except that her face has been shown in the form of a framed photo), it has been revealed that she had died in a
car accidentwhen Baldo was ten years old. [http://www.baldocomics.com/strip.php] The April 3, 2007 strip -- part of a sequence atypically drawn in a realistic style -- stated that a car driven by an inebriated motorist collided with Rosa's minivan when she drove Baldo and Gracie from a soccer game. The collision killed Rosa instantly and bruised Gracie. Baldo's soccer ball apparently saved his life in the accident. The April 4, 2007 strip showed Rosa's face (drawn realistically) in a framed photo, while the September 28, 2003 strip had shown her (again in a photo) in cartoon form.
*Gregorio who was introduced on the March 26th, 2007 comic, is the one who Tia Carmen has been talking to about Rosa's accident and why she had come to live with Baldo and Family. They met at the tomato section of a store.
*Beatriz is a girl that works with Baldo in Auto Y Rod. She made a first appearance on the March 5th, 2007. Baldo liked her on a first sight, but later in the strip she told him that she has a boyfriend. She rarely appears in the strip.
*Roberto is Tia Carmen's departed husband. Sometimes his spirit visits Tia (in her imagination) for a short time.
Although primarily a strip focused solely on light humor, Baldo has at times delved into political and social subjects relevant to the Hispanic community, such as
lottery scams, the 2006 United States immigration reform protests, and greater involvement in improving one's community. This has resulted in both praise and criticism from readers, whose letters have been posted on Baldo's [http://www.baldocomics.com official website] and then answered (sometimes sarcastically) by the strip's creators.
2008, only two collections of the strip have been published in book form.
*"The Lower You Ride, The Cooler You Are" (
*"Night Of The Bilingual Telemarketers" (
* [http://www.baldocomics.com Official website]
* [http://www.gocomics.com/baldo/index.phtml Baldo at goComics.com]
* [http://www.gocomics.com/espanol/baldoespanol Baldo en español at goComics.com]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.