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Laerte in 2014
Laerte in 2014
Born Laerte Coutinho
(1951-06-10) June 10, 1951 (age 64)
São Paulo
Nationality Brazilian
Notable works
Piratas do Tietê, Manual do Minotauro, Muchacha, Striptiras, Los Três Amigos
Notable collaborations
Angeli, Glauco, Adão Iturrusgarai, Rafael Coutinho

Laerte Coutinho (born June 10, 1951), known mainly as simply Laerte, is a Brazilian cartoonist, comic strip artist and screenwriter. Assigned male at birth, she came out in 2009 as a crossdresser[1][2] and later as a transgender woman.[3]

Laerte has collaborated with several publications such as Balão, O Pasquim, and Chiclete com Banana magazines and draws regularly for Folha de S. Paulo newspaper. She has created several comic strip characters, such as Piratas do Tietê (The Pirates of Tietê River). Since the mid 2000s, Laerte's strips became more "philosophical" and less humour-focused, abandoning fixed characters.

Laerte was part of the Brazilian underground comics scene of the 1980 decade;[4] together with Angeli and Glauco (and later Adão Iturrusgarai) she drew the collaborative comic strip Los Três Amigos.


In 1968 Laerte concluded the Free Course of Drawing of the Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado. In 1969 she began to study journalism at the University of São Paulo but did not complete the course.

She began drawing the character Leão professionally for the magazine Sibila in 1970. During the 1970s she also founded, along with Luiz Gê, the magazine Balão while still a student at ECA and worked in the magazines Banas and Placar. In 1974 Laerte did her first work for a newspaper, Gazeta Mercantil.

In the same year she began producing campaign material for the Brazilian Democratic Movement during the elections. The following year she worked in the production of cards of solidarity in the movement of aid to political prisoners. In 1978 she drew stories of the character João Ferrador for the publication of the metalworkers' union in São Bernardo do Campo. She later found the Oboré agency specialized in producing communication materials for unions. The company published her book Illustration Union (1986), with a thousand illustrations, comics, and cartoons released for use by unions and other organizations.[5] Laerte's media coverage has seen FIFA World Cups: that of 1978 (for the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo) to 1982 (for Folha de S. Paulo) and 1986 (for O Estado de S. Paulo).

At the end of the 1980, Laerte published comic strips for magazines such as Chiclete com Banana (edited by Angeli), Geraldão (edited by Glauco) and Circo, all by Circo publishing house, who would later launch her solo magazine Piratas do Tietê. In 1985 she released her first book O Tamanho da Coisa, a collection of her cartoons. In 1991 Folha de S. Paulo began publishing her Piratas do Tietê comic strips. She regularly releases albums with collections of her strips, mainly published by Devir Livraria and L&PM Pocket.


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