Brazilian Comic Artist Luiz Sá Remembered

Posted by on February 3rd, 2011 at 6:04 AM

An interview with Brazilian comic artist Luiz Sá was rescued from obscurity by blogs Quadrinhos and HQ Memoria .

Luiz Sá was the creator of some of Brazil’s most popular national comic figures, Reco-Reco, Bolao e Azeitona in a strip that he began drawing in 1930.  The interview was originally published in O Bicho in 1979, four years before his death.

Here is the strip he is most famous for, Reco-Reco, Bolão e Azeitona:

Here’s a cover he drew for the children’s magazine Tico-Tico:

(Sadly, the use of blackface in comics was apparently a global phenomenon.  Although I find the cartoon offensive, I believe it is important to remember the wide acceptance of such racists portraits all over the world, even the supposed racial utopia of Brazil.)

Sá notes that he created many other figures as well – such as Faísca and Detetive Pinga-Fogo –  before the arrival and subsequent success of Walt Disney´s Zé Carioca, a debonair parrot from Rio.  After the arrival of the American strips in the 1960s, his autochthonous comics simply couldn´t compete with their cheaper North American rivals in translation.

Sá then illustrated health books for the government, before trying his hand at animation.  Then once again, Disney arrived but they weren´t interested in his drawings.  (Unfortunately no records of Sá´s cartoons exists.)

Sá, the grandson and son of painters from Ceará,  also worked in radio, television and theater during his forty year career, leading the interviewer to ask, was there anything he hadn´t done, to which Sá responded, ¨I guess not.¨

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