You just do not mess with Juan Valdez. Cartoonist Mike Peters has learned that the hard way. The January 2nd edition of the comic strip Mother Goose & Grimm by Peters has greatly upset Colombian coffee growers by referring to Valdez, the fictional mascot for the organization, in conjunction with rumored Columbian crime lords. The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation plans to sue Peters for “damage and harm, detriment to intellectual property and defamation” to the tune of $20 million. Peters, for his part, professes to love Colombian coffee, and meant no harm.

“I had no more thought to insult Colombia and Juan Valdez than I did Pringles, Betty Crocker, Col. Sanders, Dr. Pepper and Bartles & Jaymes,” he said in a statement. “The cartoon is meant to be read along with the rest of the week as a series of which the theme is based on the fact that the inventor of the Pringles can had his ashes buried in one.

“I thought this was a humorous subject and all of my Mother Goose & Grimm cartoons are meant to make people laugh. I truly intended no insult.”


  1. Dear People of the World,

    Please stop suing cartoonists and trying to destroy their livelihoods, especially when their work doesn’t affect you at all.

    Thanks for your help.

  2. I guess this is a cultural thing. I keep reading about countries where the concept of humor in a cartoon is so ignored that cartoonists have been sued and even threatened with arrest. Do they not see how this just humilates the people making the threats against the cartoonists?

  3. I’d love for someone to try and prove that people are drinking LESS coffee now than ever, because of this strip! ;P

    And while satire, it’s known that growers in South America do grow more than coffee, and no, Torsten, I don’t think coffee is used anymore to mask the coke biz, it’s something like snake pee or some other animal’s urine or something that is shown to be more effective now.