BOSTOONS International Humor Festival 2010

September 3rd, 2010 | Posted in News

Last summer I traveled to Cali, Colombia to be a guest speaker at the Sal??n Internacional de Historietas y Caricaturas Calicomix, their annual cartoon, comics and caricature festival. You can read all about that experience, if you are so inclined, here, here and here. I also took a trip earlier this year to Cuba as part of a cultural exchange between cartoonists. Therefore, I can speak with some experience about the cartoon work being done in Central and South America. Comics and cartoons are there, especially humor comics. I met a lot of amazingly talented cartoonists in Colombia and Cuba. One thing I learned from the experience is that, while there is a lot of great work being done down south, it is (sadly) largely ignored in the U.S. markets.

Some efforts are being made to introduce more Cental/South American cartooning to the U.S. In fact a festival is going on this month here in the U.S. celebrating international humor comics called the BOSTOONS International Humor Festival. being held Sept. 9-12th in Boston, MA. The programming is focused on cartoons and cartoonists from Spanish speaking countries in the Americas. At least two of my new cartoonist friends from Central/South America will be in attendance, Luis Eduardo Le??n (Le??n), from Colombia and Arturo Kemchs from Mexico.

The festival includes a judged competition of work in three different categories, which features over 1,200 submission from 474 artists representing 67 countries. There is a speaking program as well, featuring cartoonists from Cuba, Peru, Chile and Mexico. Many of the talks will be in Spanish only but some are also in English or translated into both.

Here’s a complete listing of the event program:

BOSTOONS International Humor Festival 2010

8:00 pm: Opening Night: Award Presentations. Variety Show (David Morales, Gian Carlo Buscaglia, Lenguaviva, and Boston Rueda de Casino). Cartoon Expo Inauguration. FREE


‚Äö?Ѭ¢¬¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ć 10:00 am-7:30 pm: Cartoon Expo open to the public. FREE
‚Äö?Ѭ¢¬¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ć 5:30 -6:30 pm: Lecture/Talk: Ra??l de la Nuez, cartoonist, Miami, FL (in Spanish) FREE
‚Äö?Ѭ¢¬¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ć 6:30-7:30 pm: Lecture Talk: Omar Zevallos, cartoonist, Peru (in Spanish) FREE
‚Äö?Ѭ¢¬¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ć 8:00-9:30 pm: First Comedy Night: Duo Humor Sapiens, Cuba/Chile (Spanish); Octavio Rodr??guez, Churrisco, Cuba (Spanish); Lenguaviva, Cuba/USA (Spanish-English); Christina Bontempo, USA (English). Admission: $10.00


‚Äö?Ѭ¢¬¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ć 10:00 am-7:30 pm: Cartoon Expo open to the public. FREE
‚Äö?Ѭ¢¬¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ć 5:30-6:30 pm: Lecture/Talk: Pepe Pelayo/Aram??s Quintero, writers, Cuba/Chile (in Spanish). FREE
‚Äö?Ѭ¢¬¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ć 6:30-7:30 pm: Lecture Talk: John Lent, PhD, Temple University (in English). FREE
‚Äö?Ѭ¢¬¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ć 8:00-9:30 pm: Second Comedy Night: Lenguaviva, Cuba/USA (Spanish-English); Christina Bontempo, USA (English); Duo Humor Sapiens, Cuba/Chile (Spanish); Octavio Rodr??guez, Churrisco, Cuba (Spanish). Admission: $10.00


‚Äö?Ѭ¢¬¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ć 10:00 am-6:30 pm: Cartoon Expo open to the public. FREE
‚Äö?Ѭ¢¬¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ć 4:30-5:30 pm: Lecture/Talk: Angel Bolig?¬?n, cartoonist, Cuba/Mexico (in Spanish) FREE
‚Äö?Ѭ¢¬¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ć 5:30-6:30 pm: Lecture/Talk: Arturo Kemchs, cartoonist, Mexico (in Spanish). FREE
‚Äö?Ѭ¢¬¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ƭ¨‚Ć 7:00-8:30 pm: Third Comedy Night: Christina Bontempo, USA (English): Lenguaviva, Cuba/USA (Spanish-English); Octavio Rodr??guez, Churrisco, Cuba (Spanish); Duo Humor Sapiens, Cuba/Chile (Spanish), Hilary Chaplain, NY. Admission: $10.00

There is an evening comedy program each night as well as the “Expo”, which I take to be a show of some or all of the artwork submitted for the competitions.

Looks to be a ground breaking event. Wish I could have managed to attend, but it just didn’t work out. It would be well worth checking out.


  1. Mark Engblom says:

    It would be great to see this stuff translated and published here in the states, like so much of the Japanese Manga comics are. God knows we’ve seen enough of that stuff.

    In the realm of comic books, I think many more South American artists have made a name for themselves in the American comic book market than they have in the comic strips. Many names come to mind in the superhero comics realm, but when it comes to who the “South American Charles Schultz” might be, I have no clue.

    Drawing on your own knowledge of this market, IS there a “Charles Schultz” of South America, or do they have more localized celebrity in these regions rather than a cartoonist who’s known and followed throughout South America?

  2. Tom says:

    There does not seem to be one strip or cartoonist who fits that bill throughout all of Latin America, but each country does have their well known cartoonist. In Cuba it is definitely Juan Padr??n, who’s cartoons and strip with the character Elpidio Vald?¬©s plus his animated films and shorts make him sort of the Walt Disney of Cuba. There were several cartoonists from Colombia who were well respected but none had a “character” or strip that they were identifiable with… gag and editorial cartoons seem to be the prominent cartooning there.

  3. julio cesar naranjo says:

    Hi Tom i talked yesterday with LE?ìN and he told me a little bit of the story behind the BOSTOONS FESTIVAL, Mario (LENGUAVIVA) and LEON worked on a project for 2 hard years, LENGUAVIVA has an audio studio in the US and hes idea was to involve people who likes music from all around the world and be able to participate in the US but mostly from LATIN AMERICA and get noticed on that market. Leon¬¥s idea was the same but he wanted to mix both, arts and music, and they began to make all the legal work for this project. LENGUAVIVA started to sell this project on the US. The main point is to not only to give a great chance to artists from all the world, but its also a foundation that gives an amazing opportunity to study on the US on the arts and music field. LE?ìN and LENGUAVIVA are the creators of BOSTOONS. LE?ìN creates the logo and he makes most of the legal matters. It was not easy to sale this project but finally a serious firm in BOSTON were very interested so they wanted to make part of this project to, know their are like 50 members of this event. LE?ìN told me that it would be a pleasure to have you as a MEMBER OF HONOR, but not only for this event, its like an ALWAYS SPECIAL MEMBER. SHARE its the one of the main purposes of the BOSTOONS FESTIVAL, so now its a big door to know other talenst from many countries but specially from LATIN AMERICA, its very difficult to make a name on our own here, but with this great opportunity we can make a difference. LE?ìN¬¥s visa was rejected so he cant attend hes first event, hes triyng to make some connections on the US, but its some kind of difficult get out of this country. But the hope its not lost,so, PICA could finally get to the US. Right now im making my connections to go to the US cause i wanted to give it a real chance and be able to study arts there, and of course get noticed, finally. Just a little short story. Take care.

    • Tom says:

      Julio! Thanks for the background. So sorry to hear Le??n wasn’t able to get to attend the event. Possibly next year I will be able to make it.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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