Saturday, July 30, 2005

Chicago Wizard Show

Once again, I'll be attending the Chicago ComiCon, also known as Wizard World, starting this coming Thursday (August 4th to Sunday August 7th) I can be found in the "Artist Alley" along with my cohorts, Laurie B. & Kandrix, creators of "A Monk's Tale", not to be confused with "A Monkey's Tail".

If you're in the area...yadda, yadda, yadda....you know the drill, bring Tostitos, etc., etc., etc......

Life's been quite hectic since we got back from San Diego, not much time left for drawing but that will change soon, as another issue of DRAW! Magazine looms in the not too distant future and sketchbooks #1 (Bocetto), #2 (Drawings from The Wrong Side of My Brain). #6 (Treinta Mujeres con pistolas), #7 (Wyahanga) & #8 (How to Draw Naked Girls in 2 steps) will all see the light of day before the end of the year. The Suicide Girls sketchbook -which I put on the backburner earlier this year due to my involvement in an animation project- will also be completed. I am so looking forward to getting back to drawing full force. I'll be posting more progress drawings and book info as soon as I get back from "the windy city".

Speaking of drawing, DRAW! Magazine # 11 is out now, packed with good stuff. I contributed an article detailing "the making of" the Zowie Deux cover, I had a blast messing around with Adobe Illustrator's symbols palette, some of you might find it an interesting tool to experiment with. Pick it up at your local comic book shop or at Tower Records, it really is a fun read.


Cheap Korean Sketchbooks.
I found some cool stuff at a local Banzai "99 cent plus" store, among other things, a pile of spiral bound sketchbooks priced at $1.49 each, naturally, I bought the entire rack. They're 34 pages thick and take col-erase pencils really well, if you're like me, intimidated by a 200 page blank book, this is the pad for you, they fill up rather fast and you feel like you're making progress.

They come in 3 colors but "I like to call them flavors"










Abrazos,
-A

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Thank You!

Yes, thank you, that means you, who stopped by my booth and shook my sweaty hand, and you who were so nice to me and my children, you, who purchased a book or two, or in some cases three; thank you for sharing your art, and for talking about art, or for just showing up to say hello.

Most of all, thank you Art Students and Amateur Artists (I meant the caps); thank you for showing me your awkward drawings and unfinished paintings, some of you are so freakin' talented, you left me speechless. Thanks for letting me rant about technique and form and what not, you listened with eyes wide open, your struggles reminded me of my own, they humbled me and they keep me honest, you still haven't been corrupted beyond repair, chances are you will succumb to life in a consumer's world but for now you are clean, I prefer chatting with you than talking to some of the "pro's" who's main concern is the quick buck.

At a commencing ceremony not long ago, a famous writer talked about the true meaning of the word "Amateur", it comes from "Amador" which means "Lover". People run away and distant themselves from anything "amateurish", the word itself has acquired a very negative meaning, it implies uglyness, carelessness, inexperience, shabby worksmanship and inferior quality, when in fact the "amateur" spirit is the exact opposite. It's at the core of any discipline, it means a person who does something because he "loves" what he does, as oppossed to the "Pro" who does it for money. Now, no one is saying you shouldn't do things for money, heck, you have to earn a living! the point is to not forget what you're ideals were when you first got started as an artist, to do something of artistic consequence because of your passion and love for the medium, not to turn garbage for quick profit.

At one point I said to a bunch of comic artists acquaintances who were complaining about some bullshit or other: "The problem is you treat art like a business" none of them understood my point, they all thought I was a naive, dellusional, a hopeless dreamer or a complete fool, I am not such an idealist to not comprehend the business aspect of what we do, I thrived in it and made a decent living from commercial art myself, my point remains: if you sign your name to it, let there be the best work you can possibly do, it represents you, how can you not fucking care about what you do, when it's what you chose to do in the first place?

The amateur spirit is one of sacrifice and hard work to achieve quality without expecting reward, is that of enjoying what one does, loving what one does in fact, enough to go to great lengths to produce something worth loving, it is the ideal we all should aspire to. I raise my corona bottle to you "Amateurs", wherever you might be! I too hope to keep the spirit of "Amateurism" alive, in its most noble form.



Last but not least: Thanks to those of you art directors, licensing agents and opportunistic business peeps for blowing sweet nothings in my good ear; thanks for offering me jobs and projects I'll never do and money-making deals that will never happen (I know you mean well and I know you like the style, but you must understand, it's not you, it's me; it's just that I want to do my own thing and see other people, we're growing apart you know and frankly Mr. Shankly, I don't want to work, I just want to have fun) Nevertheless, I thank you for the consideration, etc., etc,etc., unfortunately though, I don't think I will be selling stickers or lighters or bedspreads or coffee mugs or condoms or T shirts anytime soon....Hmmm.. maybe T shirts and condoms, we'll see. Let's get in touch soon, have your people talk to my people, no hard feelings, don't mean to sound like a snob but maybe I do.


San Diego ComiCon is over, it actually ended 4 days ago but the taste still lingers, I took a mini vacation from my life-long vacation and stayed in California for a few extra days with my daughters, Thank you all for making that possible, as many of you already know, I'm a very shy hermit, a recluse really, despite my apparent "outgoing" personality, I enjoy staying home and the less people I meet, the better. I am not a people person, however, I do like artists and art students and that is the main reason why I have such a great time at these shows, you guys and girls made this trip worthwhile.


I will see you next year!

Abrazos,
-Alberto




Here are some pictures my daughters and I took while in California:


















Harbor Blvd. San Diego


The Marina San Diego









Rocket Church (interstate 5)




La Jolla



Carmel



Encinitas



Carlsbad












Oceanside













San Juan Capistrano


Garden Grove


Santa Ana

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

GONE TO SAN DIEGO

I'm heading for SD to attend the biggest Comics Show of the year, I'll be seeing a lot of you people there, I hope.

Please do stop by and say hola, come and spill the shit and shoot the beans, I'll be offering a new book chock full of monigotes, this time in full color, I've been told by comic book experts that people like colored monigotes, so that's what I have, (well, not really) if you like blue pencil drawings, this book is not for you; by the same token, if you're color-blind, then you'd be wasting your hard earned pesos on this rag, because this one is in full fuckin' color!!... I mean, there are colors in this here book you won't find in the fuckin' rainbow, and if you act now, The C.A.C.A. (Color Adjudication and Certification Academy of America) will name one of these newly discovered colors after a loved one or a dead pet, complete with a fake certificate of authenticity, suitable for framing and a map showing you where, in the spectrum, your color stands (or fades).

"Mesero, I think somebody put something in my corona... and it ain't lime juice!!....Bring me two more...unopened bottles with two whole fresh limes and a carving knife. This shit ain't funny!"


WYAHANGA is the name I gave this puppy. Ya ever watched the movie "Mommie Dearest"? ...Well, this book has nothing to do with that.. but do let me tell you the story of how this book acquired this peculiar title:

When I was just a little baby growing up in "el culo del diablo", (the city of Guayaquil, named after the native Chief Guayas and his wife Quil, a couple of brave indigenous peeps who gave the spaniards the finger in the colonial era, or so I was told) I used to play with wire hangers in the absence of real toys, in Xmas time; we were so poor, it wasn't like we could have written letters to Santa Esmeralda asking (and getting) expensive toys and shit, and even if we did get Santa's attention, he had so many kids to take care of in one night, right? especially up north, not to play the race card or anything, but the dude is so white, he's red, I think he took care of his fellow reds first, I actually thought Santa was a nazi when I was young , but that was me. It did strike me as peculiar the fact that Gunther and Hans would always end up getting the good stuff and I'd get stuck with wire hangers! 'sides, even if he had good intentions, it would have been impossible for him to drop by the cabaña ghettoland and Ho-ho-ho us poor bastards (pun intended) with a few gay G.I. Joe's and a couple of Barbies without punanies. Personally, I attributed our bad Xmas luck, to our tenement's lack of a red brick chimney and left it at that.

Cheap wire hangers were in abundance at the time (maybe leftovers from the chinese laundry across the street) so they became a most cherished source of entertainment for this young boy, I played with them thingies for hours at a time ignoring my grandmother's caring advice, she would yell at the top of her tar and nicotine ridden lungs: " Stop playin' with them wyahangas, you gonna poke somebody's eye or god forbid, pierce your own genitals!!! Which I did eventually, but that's a story for another day

Some of the drawings in this book reminded me of my wire hanger days, and of my granny so I named the book after my favorite toy, there! what can be more profound than that? I ask you dear reader.

Anyways, do show up at my booth, # 1116 and let's get to know each other in a more intimate setting.
This year I'm sharing with my bestest of friends, Illustrator extraordinaire, "The Princess" herself: Celia Calle.



The book is 32 pages long, printed beautifully in full color on coated 12.5 card stock ( by the same talented folks who gave us Modern Postcards, with a thick, frosted plastic sleeve, hand- silkscreened by yours truly, Limited first run of 500 signed and individually doodled books for your viewing pleasure. This book won't be available in this format at Bud Plant or any other book retailer, sold exclusively through my website's book store (after the 21st of July) and at the San Diego Convention Center this coming weekend. (the book sold at the SDCC will not have a silkscreened cover, that is reserved for the good folks who support this not so humble servant on line)

Due to limited number of copies, I urge you to reserve your copy via email, limit 2 books per person please, send no money now.



Abrazos,
Alberto

Map courtesy of Celia Calle.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Charlotte Rambling

Back from the Heroes Con in North Carolina, phew! what a trip! I drove from NYC down to Charlotte with my daughter Megan, the 10 and a half hour drive was not that bad at all, the roads were decent but there really wasn't much of a scenery to contemplate until we got closer to our destination. I was stopped for speeding somewhere in Maryland, luckily I wasn't wearing my "Fuck The Police" Tee shirt, I regaled the officer with a freshly baked Krispy-Kreme glazed morsel, knowing that was an offer he couldn't refuse but he took the doughnut and gave me the ticket anyway, Oh well!

Charlotte is a beautiful city, the downtown area is breathtaking, surprisingly very modern while retaining the historic southern architecture, lotsa dough has been dumped there for sure, most buildings are brand new and corporate America has a strong presence, you can find art everywhere you go, plazas, lobbies, parks, museums, sidewalks, galleries, etc., it reminded me a bit of San Francisco's downtown area in that sense (without the bums). There's a slew of fine, fine restaurants, from the upscale to the affordable, great food, great people! I was very impressed by the hospitality and friendliness of the establishments we visited.

I give Charlotte NC 4 and 3/4 stars out of 5, I would have given it 5, but I didn't get to see the red light district and the slums, which I'm sure are just as fascinating as the ritzy downtown and business areas.

Now to the heart of the matter, Shelton Drum puts together a pretty tight event, the organization -in my opinion-, was top notch, the people running the show were courteous, accommodating and helpful at every turn. Dustin Harbin -the person in charge of the floor plan- did not rest for one minute during the entire show, he must have walked at least sixty miles worth of convention real estate, making sure the guests and other exhibitors were taken care of, kudos to you Dustin! you're an amazing human being.

Not unlike most comics conventions, this one was chock full of comic geeks in character, lots of bright, sweaty, spandex, plenty of stuffed socks where the genitals are suppossed to go, with airbrushed six-packs and pecs to match. God, I love me a soft man with hard painted-on muscles!

I must say, most everyone I came in contact with was respectful and right down friendly, even the ones who don't like girls :) I sat next to the talented and super nice Luna Bros. to my left and Jim Mahfood to my right, who was showcasing his many gifts for storytelling. I got to see his work up close and let me tell you, the man knows his onions, great drawing style.

The best part of all, as usual for me was to interact with art students, hopeful comics & graphics professionals and compadres in arms. It's not lady-like to kiss and tell so I'll refrain from dropping names, let me just say that I had a whale of a time hanging with fellow artists at the lobby of the hotel after hours, many of whom I have admired for quite some time, that was a real treat.

J.H. made my day (and my week), when he showed up with a cooler full of Corona beer, limes, salt and all. If you're reading this, John: Thank you from the bottom of my drunken heart. Also many, many thanks to: Tim, Shelton, Dustin, Casey and the entire cast of misfits who made that show an enjoyable reality for this humble servant.

It took me 11 plus hours to get back to NYC, due to inclement weather and the heavy construction traffic around the Washington/Delaware area. Megan and yours truly got a real sense of true southern lifestyle when we got a few miles out of our way to have breakfast at the "House of Waffles" (one of the many franchises we saw along the road, gorgeous waitress with the sweetest southern drawl you can imagine, I took some notes, I'll share them with you later.

The trip was made complete by a righteous NY state trooper, the fuckin' pig caught me speeding right before I got to the Verrazano Narrows bridge, I offered him a twenty spot, knowing that was an offer he couldn't refuse but he took the dough and gave me the ticket anyway, Oh well!


Abrazos,
-A






Inked Scissorshands at the Heroes Con.

Swiss Army Knife