At historical San Telmo, tribute is paid to the masters of humor and their creations at Paseo de la Historieta, a sculpture tour around the streets of one of the most ancient neighborhoods in Buenos Aires.
San Telmo is one of the oldest and best preserved neighborhoods in the always changing City of Buenos Aires
. Characterized by its colonial grand houses and cobbled streets, this is one of the smallest neighborhoods in the city. However, San Telmo always has attractions that lure thousands and thousands of visitors who wander around the lanes looking at every single thing everyday, and on weekends especially.
Some of the captivating alternatives to visit and discover in this district include some old churches -like San Pedro Telmo, between Balcarce and Humberto Primo Streets-, museums, antique and design shops, restaurants and a long handicrafts market that ends at the main square in the area: Dorrego Square.
This market was created in 1970 by architect José María Peña. Every Sunday, from 10am to 4pm, 270 antique stalls welcome around 10,000 people, mostly tourists.
In addition to all these attractions, Paseo de la Historieta
(The Comic Tour) appears as one of the most recent. The idea began with a sculpture of Malfalda and, after its success (thousands of visitors had their photographs taken next to this character), the project of the porteño
legislature to add nine more sculptures to this brand-new cartoon tour was passed in June, 2012, namely: Isidoro Cañones, Larguirucho, Matías, el Loco Chávez, Clemente, Chicas Divito, don Fulgencio, Patoruzú and Gaturro.
The purpose of this initiative is to pay tribute to the masters of humor and their endearing creations and it is an invitation to join various generations through those cartoon characters that set an imprint in the history of Buenos Aires and Argentina.
Mafalda, created by Quino in 1964, a girl concerned with world peace, rebelling against the grown-up world, may be found sitting on a bench on the corner of Defensa Street and Chile Street, where adults and children pose for a picture thus starting the tour.
Where else could Isidoro Cañones -the great Argentinian playboy, always a cool character- be but in front of a disco? On the corner of Chile Street and Balcarce Street. He came to this world in 1953 thanks to great Dante Quinterno. He made everyone laugh with his crazy behavior accompanied by his comrades and his beautiful Cachorra. And, of course, by a troop of girls unattainable for any other neighbor of Buenos Aires, except brilliant Isidoro.
At the corner of Balcarce Street and México Street, we come across one of the most beloved and popular characters ever: Larguirucho. This absent-minded, gracious and good-hearted character created by Manuel García Ferré in 1967 smiles waiting for us to join him and fantasize we belong to the same world.
Right there, riding his fast skateboard along Balcarce Street, between México and Venezuela, Matías is waiting for us. That naughty, good-humored and witty child was created by Fernando Sendra in 1993 in the comic strip called Yo, Matías. He has accompanied us ever since with his perplexing questions about the grown-up world.
The tour continues with Loco Chávez, the romantic journalist created by scriptwriter Carlos Trillo and draftsman Horacio Altuna in 1975. He awaits us on the corner of Balcarce and Venezuela Streets, maybe also hoping his beloved Pampita will come up or just delighting himself with the sight of women passing by.
Popular Clemente cheers Argentina on some stalls. This striped character without wings or arms is a football fan and a critic of reality created by Caloi in 1973. His sculpture was inaugurated in November, commemorating his creator's birthday, on the corner of Balcarce and Belgrano Streets.
The tour continues with the sexy ladies created by Guillermo Divito, in Balcarce and Belgrano. It continues with don Fulgencio, the eternal child by Lino Palacio, created in 1938 and standing on the corner of Belgrano and Paseo Colón.
The end of the tour comes with one of the most beloved Argentinian gauchos: Patoruzú, by Dante Quinterno. Created in 1928, this is one of the most important characters in Argentinian history. It is waiting at Agustín P. Justo Square, on Paseo Colón Avenue and Belgrano Street.
And the final character is the best-known cat in Argentina: Gaturro, the dreamy and witty cat created by Cristian Dzwonik -known as Nik- who waits for his beloved Agatha on the other end of Agustín P. Justo Square, on Paseo Colón Avenue and Moreno Street.
All these sculptures that feature real size and have been made of art and fiber glass at artist Pablo Irrgang's workshop drive us into the world or Argentinian comics, which changed the history of our country forever.
San Telmo incorporates a new attraction and new characters are expected to be added to the list. Sharing mate with Inodoro Pereyra and his dog Mendieta or chatting with Diógenes is a popular dream both grown-ups and children have. And one day, dreams come true.