"Baldo" Strip Includes What "The War" Series Mostly Omits

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When Ken Burns' World War II documentary began airing yesterday, the "Baldo" comic strip was already six days into a story line inspired by content the public-television series was mostly lacking.

The "Baldo" sequence, which continues through this Thursday, is about an elderly barber named Benito Ramirez who looks back on his World War II experiences. "Baldo" co-cartoonists Hector Cantu and Carlos Castellanos created the character after learning this summer that Burns' massive "The War" documentary had little content about the huge number of Latino-Americans who fought between 1941 and 1945. (Burns reportedly added some footage about Latino veterans after the complaints.)

"We saw an opportunity to do a story that wasn't being told," said "Baldo" artist Carlos Castellanos during a phone interview from Florida.

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Vernon Clayson - 9/26/2007

Why pick it apart ethnically, at the time and probably in Burns' writing and filming it was Americans. It wasn't anymore remarkable that Hispanics were involved than it was that citizens one or two generations removed from Germany, Italy and Japan were involved, to say nothing of Native Americans and even Negroes. Why does it always have to be clannish?