The artist Liniers has been a beloved contributor to The New Yorker for the past few years, but he’s still known best for his daily strip “Macanudo,” which has been published since 2002. The Argentine cartoonist, who now lives in New England and has also drawn children’s books, album covers, and posters, recently talked to us about how he celebrates Halloween and what he looks for in a costume.
You grew up in Argentina, where Halloween isn’t really celebrated. What appeals to you about the holiday?
It’s been creeping in (pun intended) for Argentines over the past few years, but it’s still mostly an occasion for grownup costume parties. I wish I had had Halloween as a kid—move over, Santa Claus! Monsters and candy: that’s the one celebration that works for me.
Liniers’s early sketches for this week’s cover.
You’re now raising three daughters in New England. Is Halloween a family affair?
My kids love it, and I certainly see why the holiday is so popular with children. Still, we find that, as parents, we have to be careful. The kids dress up in costumes and go around the neighborhood asking strangers for candy. We’ve had to explain that it’s the only day of the year when it’s O.K. to do this!
What are the best costumes you’ve seen? Or worn?
Last year, I went as Han Solo—the snowy Hoth version seen in “The Empire Strikes Back.” In Vermont, where we live, it’s important to take the weather into consideration when picking costumes. The best I’ve seen were two kids, one dressed as a tiny Donald Trump and the other as a pack of Tic Tacs. Scary stuff!
Liniers’s youngest daughter discovers the joys of trick-or-treating.
“Macanudo” is now syndicated in the U.S. Did Halloween come up as a theme?
I love drawing scary characters in “Macanudo.” There’s a couple of witches, a skeleton called La Guadalupe, and a blue monster called Olga. But my mind will be blown if I ever see a kid go out dressed as one of my characters!
See below for other covers that celebrate trick-or-treating through the decades.
“October 27, 1945,” by Edna Eicke
“November 4, 1974,” by James Stevenson
“October 31, 1983,” by Charles Addams