Sunday, October 10, 2010


I was watching a silly movie… Fine, I admit that I watch a lot of silly movies. Ironically, I read a lot of mature, or to say the least, intellectual comics.  So this movie is named FANBOYS, and it is about a group of close friends who grew up in the 80s with the privilege of watching the Star Wars movies when they still seemed as MAGICAL and playing with their toys, now overflowing in the market in order to satiate Lucas need for growing his empire. I totally lost track of what I was saying due to this fanboy rant! Anyways, these friends want to go to Skywalker ranch to steal the pilot for episode I before its official opening debut. It is a highly stupid comedy, full of Star Wars references, but there was one thing that picked my interest.  One of the friends persistently told the other guy who was losing his faith in stealing this movie that this particular moment in his life was his “death star”. As I HOPE we all know, the Death Star was a huge empire base created by the empire to destroy entire planets (If you really don’t know what the hell I am talking about, please do yourself a favor and watch the original trilogy. It has special effects, some muppets and very incestuous connotations but it is a really fun and intelligent movie!!!) Luke Skywalker (if you don’t know who he is then I can’t do anything to help you!) was practically a nobody, but he had one achievement in his life that changed his course completely. He fired an impossible shot through a small hole from the base and blew up the entire Death Star. Nobody believed he could do it but he did it anyway! I know by now that I have lost some of my audience, but please be patient that I am getting to my point. I think life presents you with lots of opportunities to succeed; saying that, it also give you one life changing opportunity (maybe two if you are lucky) to be what you are supposed to be, to prove yourself what you need to do in order to triumph in life. This is the moment that you have to get some courage and shoot the Death Star.

I realize that I am not making much sense, but you see, I learned something today (South Park reference ALERT!!!), that you have to live YOUR life and nobody else’s. I was at the NEW YORK COMICCON, which is the second best comic convention next to San Diego Comicon. It was a lot of fun and I had a blast wandering the halls full with thousands of exhibitors, but where I spent almost all of my time was at the “Artist Alley”. My life is drawing, or at least that is what I want my life to be, either by mimesis or creation, but I want my art to express itself. I think my drawings express the essence of my life in its purity. And what shocked me most is that I could see hundred of artists that are maybe feeling the same thing. Why? Easy, I don’t think anybody will feel any social pressure to get into cartooning! It is ridiculous to even think about it. I cannot imagine any parent saying to his child “you MUST study cartooning because that is a honorable and decent career that will give you a lot of money and recognition”. No, I don’t think anybody will hear a “must” in that context. Maybe once you made up your mind about this career path, maybe they could say to you: “you MUST be better at what you do” but not before. I think an unhappy cartoonist is a hungry cartoonist, and I am sure there are lots of them. Still, I am hungry for that lifestyle… I don’t know, maybe I will not need to sell a $40 sketch to a fan to survive, but I definitely want to be able to do it. And in case I do need it, I’ll have my preparation and experience in other areas to back me up.

All those artists in the artist alley saw me as a fan, a geek, whatever adjective you think is proper for us, but when you are in there, the only weirdo is you! Think about it, thousands of people discussing how Flash could help solve the energy crisis without collapsing the speed force, or for instance, how Darth Vader eats! It is crazy, and maybe trivial, but it is the way they have chosen to live. To say it better, they have chosen to expand their capacity to analyze characters, plots, continuity, stories and in doing so making the trivial not only important but vital to the common geek. VOILA! I think most of those artists are geeks themselves and sometimes they treat you with the respect you deserve. Some are nice, and some are way over their heads and think they are THE shit! For those stupid bastards I can only say this: beware! They do not see me as a competitor, because I am not, but I will be. This is not a discussion. I will be!!! (yes, an artist treated me bad and I am pissed!) In any case, I don’t like when people forget where they come from. They were geeks, and now they make fun of them. And to tell you the truth sometimes it is unavoidable. There are way too many extreme geeks out there. American pop culture is very weird; I do not even understand it well. Of course I like what they like, but they idolize, obsess and pay tribute to those idols. It is as if they have nothing else but the need to express themselves this way. It is weird but sometimes you cannot help feeling sorry for them.  But what I really like about them is that they really don’t care. They dress up as comic book characters and they are happy to pose for you, and I am the one who is taking his picture, so I guess the joke is on me!

I had a really good time at the convention, and although it is kind of frustrating to be the one asking for sketches when you want to be the one sitting drawing, it still is a cool place to be. This is where I heal my hurts, and by doing this I get fuel, an extra life if you want. It is as if I don’t need anything else at that point. I know that I need a lot of things, and I also know that when I get there I will need more to fill my unfulfilled life, but I try not to think as the goal oriented man that I am, but rather as a man who is enjoying the view more and more each time I see it.

I hope I did not bore you with my complicated, sometimes contradictory feelings, but it seems in this case they blossom in the fall!

Oh! I forgot to talk about my classes! I will only say this: Why kids sleep so much??? They finished early their work, they sleep, they see an instructional art movie, they sleep, sometimes they even sleep working! It is amazing and I cannot understand it, but oh hell yeah I can remember! Good ol’ times! Next blog lots of pics since this week is going to be deadly!


José Luis