Night of the Bilingual Telemarketers

By Hector Cantú

The lead character of Baldo, Baldo Bermudez, is a 15-year-old Latino teen with visions of creating the perfect low rider and being popular with the girls. Meanwhile, the strip's creators, Hector Cantu and Carlos Castellanos, began the strip in 2000 with dreams of creating a comic rooted in Latin American heritage that would have wide appeal and soar in popularity. Judging by the pieces of car in the driveway and yet another dateless weekend for Baldo, it's fair to say Hector and Carlos are having all the luck, and Baldo's readers are having all the laughs. Night of the Bilingual Telemarketers is a compilation of strips from the increasingly popular comic's second year. When it launched in April 2000, the strip appeared in nearly 100 papers. Only three other strips in Universal Press Syndicate history had a larger circulation when they began, and all went on to have stellar careers: For Better or For Worse, Calvin & Hobbes, and The Boondocks. Baldo is primed to follow in those successful footsteps. The strip centers around Baldo and his humorous observations on teenage life in school and with family. On the home front is Baldo's relationship with his single-parent dad, his younger sister and budding political activist Gracie, and his live-in Old World aunt Carmen.Cantu and Castellanos know firsthand the experience of growing up within two cultures. Consequently, Baldo's daily adventures challenge him to balance his mainstream sensibilities with his Latino heritage. The result is the humorous mix of teenage silliness rooted in reality found in Night of the Bilingual Telemarketers, a book that will delight readers of all ages and cultures.