Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Cartoonist Caloi dies aged 63

Carlos Loiseau, better known as 'Caloi', the cartoonist and creator of the famous comic strip character 'Clemente' died this morning at the age of 63. The artist, script writer and film and television director had been admitted to hospital for the past few days.
Caloi published more than 40 books, won dozens of awards, including a Martín Fierro prize for his mythical programme “Caloi en su tinta.” In addition, the cartoonist gave hundreds of expositions of his work and talks across Argentina and abroad.
Born in the northwestern province of Salta but a porteño at heart (his family moved here when he was 6), Caloi died at the Instituto del Diagnóstico after fighting cancer. In spite of his illness, Caloi continued to work indefatigably.
Last week his animated feature Anima Buenos Aires premiered after strenuous work by Caloi and his long-time companion María Verónica Ramírez, who acted as executive producer and director on this cherished project, along with codirectors Carlos Nine, Pablo and Florencia Faivre, Pablo Rodríguez Jáuregui, Mario Rulloni and Juan Pablo Zaramella.
Through the voice of his cartoon character Clemente (published daily in the morning newspaper Clarín), Caloi’s humour took on everything from politics to social matters and, of course, soccer.
Clemente was born in 1973, when the military government of Lanusse was waning and Perón was on his way back to Argentina after a prolonged political exile in Spain. In creating Clemente, Caloi’s intention was to draw a carefree, easygoing character with lots of absurd humour. But few may remember that Clemente, at first, was not the cartoon strip’s star. The main character was Bartolo, who drove a tramway and soon faded out, leaving the stage for Clemente alone.
“The military coup of 1976 played an instrumental role in the development of Argentine history,” Caloi was once quoted as saying. “The military implemented censorship to such a large extent that, at one point, there was no chance of having Clemente talk politics.”
This was how Clemente was forced to look inside to concentrate on his “personal” life, giving way to new characters such as El hincha de Camerún, La mulatona, Mimí and Jacinto, among others.
When Argentina hosted the 1978 World Cup, Clemente defeated the emblematic radio soccer commentator José María Muñoz, who staunchly opposed Clemente’s campaign in favour of soccer fans’ throwing confetti on the field as a celebration ritual.
As the military government was forced to loosen its grip on censorship, Clemente organized the first “democratic election” to choose a name for La mulatita. Clemente was now ready to take on public personalities and institutions, such as former Economy Minister José Martínez de Hoz and the IMF. Clemente then proceeded to discuss the Malvinas war, soccer, the appearance of a new character, the “Clementosaurio,” the return to democracy in 1983, former president Raúl Alfonsín, hyperinflation, former president Carlos Menem and the sweeping privatizations of the 1990s, former president Fernando De la Rúa, Economy Mister Domingo Cavallo, the “cacerolazos” of 2001 (pot-banging protests), former president Duhalde, and almost anything that made headline news.
Apart from a published cartoonist, Caloi also produced the TV show Caloi en su tinta, the first of its type devoted exclusively to animation and cartoon strips. Caloi en su tinta proved that television could be an invaluable educational tool.
Caloi en su tinta enjoyed a ten-year run, first on State-run Channel 7, then on a cable channel, and back to network television on Channel 7 in 2005. “That was our aim, because Channel 7, in spite of its bureaucratic problems, reached the whole country,” he said.
Caloi en su tinta made television history as it turned such operas as Verdi’s Rigoletto, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Puccini’s Turandot into household names. The operas were adapted as short versions performed by cartoon characters using stop-motion animation, claymation and other techniques. Caloi en su tinta also managed another feat: the half-hour show aired without commercial breaks, which would have interrupted the narrative flow of some stories.
In 2004 Caloi was named Culture Personality and Clemente took on the status of cultural heritage of Buenos Aires City. In 2009, Caloi was named Illustrious Citizen of BA, cited “for his capacity to bring down the barriers of printed humour to become a symbol of all Argentines.”

El dibujante, humorista e historietista Carlos Loiseau, popularmente conocido como Caloi, murió hoy a los 63 años, informaron sus allegados.
El libretista, creador de personajes entrañables como "Clemente" y "La Mulatona", había nacido en Salta el 9 de noviembre de 1948.
Su deceso fue confirmado esta mañana por el director de la FM Folklórica de Radio Nacional, el periodista Marcelo Simón, amigo del guionista fallecido.
Caloi, declarado Ciudadano Ilustre de Buenos Aires en marzo de 2009, falleció esta madrugada a las 3.40 y, según dejaron trascender sus familiares, no será velado.
Comenzó su carrera profesional en la mítica revista Tía Vicenta, para la que empezó a dibujar en 1966, y dos años después comenzó su vínculo con el diario Clarín.
Entre los años 1968 y 1971 dibujó para la revista Análisis, lo que no le impidió, en 1970, realizar un cortometraje de dibujos que llevó por título "Las Invasiones Inglesas".
Años después, desde la televisión, volvería sobre esa modalidad con el programa "Caloi en su tinta", desde donde difundió cortometrajes de animación e historietas.
Prolífico, Caloi fue ampliamente reconocido a nivel nacional e internacional por "Clemente", que aparece en Clarín desde 1973: "Con Clemente somos como un matrimonio de muchos años de casados, nos conocemos demasiado. Y nuestra pasión se reaviva sobre todo porque tenemos la suerte de que se reavive la actualidad. Entonces, siempre tenemos nuevos temas sobre los cuales reírnos juntos", explicó en una entrevista reciente.
El personaje comenzó como mascota de Bartolo, un motorman que recorría calles empedradas en su tranvía.
Entre 1976 y 1982 Caloi publicó una página semanal de humor sobre temas deportivos en la revista "El Gráfico"; en 1987 se realizó una muestra de su obra denominada "20 años no es nada", que fue visitada por más de 110.000 personas y en 2004 fue declarado "Personalidad destacada de la cultura".
"Clemente", en tanto, fue nombrado "Patrimonio cultural de la ciudad", por la Legislatura porteña.
"El negro", como lo llamaban sus amigos, vio sus trabajos reproducidos en Uruguay, Brasil, Venezuela, Colombia, México, España, Francia, Italia, EE.UU., Cuba, Bélgica, Alemania, Bolivia y Puerto Rico, entre otros país.
Admirador de los historietistas argentinos clásicos, de las revistas Ricotipo y Patoruzú, Caloi reconoció entre sus maestros a Quino, Bataglia, Oski, Cané, Lino Palacio, Prats, Breccia, y también a Crist, Tabaré y el negro Fontanarrosa.
"De los nuevos, subjetiva y objetivamente, Tute es el mejor", declaró, en alusión a Juan Carlos Loiseau, su hijo.
Premio Konex de las artes plásticas en 1982 y 1992, la semana pasada había estrenado el film "Anima Buenos Aires".
Su par Horacio Altuna, desde España, en declaraciones al canal de noticias de cable, señaló que la muerte de Caloi es "una desaparición terrible".
"Forma parte de la cultura popular y quedará en la memoria", mencionó.

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