Hispanic artists at Wizard World Comic Con open up about their work
[dropcap]E[/dropcap]ven though the Wizard World Comic Con came to an end after taking place Aug. 22-24 at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, the comics’ legacies continue to live on and develop through the creation of new characters. Some of these new characters are Hispanic or have Hispanic features, taking after the legacy of the legendary Hispanic Spider-Man Miles Morales from the ultimate Marvel continuity.
“I don’t get to draw that many Hispanic characters but I tell you, one of my best-sellers remains to be Miles Morales. He is the most known Hispanic character out there and fans love him,” said Sean Iredale, one of the artists exhibiting at Wizard World Con.
While one of the most famous Hispanic comic characters remains to hold the No. 1 spot among fans of the series, other characters are beginning to emerge as well. One of them is the Puerto Rican ghost rider Ché Guevara created by a 31-year-old Puerto Rican Orlando-based artist, Peter Van Flores. Flores has been drawing comics for about 16 years.
“Ché has a love-hate relationship with the world. Some people love him, some people hate him. He is a superhero, but he is misinterpreted because he got his superpowers from the devil. It’s a love-hate relationship with the ghost rider. He rides on a motorcycle and he has a skeleton on fire. Most Cubans can’t stand him and Caucasians don’t like him either but the Puerto Ricans, Argentians, Venezuelan Brazilians, and young Cubans appreciate him,” said Flores, whose character is a best-seller among minorities.
Flores took part in the Wizard World Comic Convention among other Hispanic artists, illustrators and creators, such as Eddie Nuñez from San Diego, Calif. Nuñez is another Hispanic artist who has aspired to create Hispanic comic characters and series. He started his own sketchbook series called Luchador, which features a beautiful Hispanic female called Adelita who has a chupacabra for a companion.
“A lot of people want to write a story for her and ask me to do something with her. I haven’t had time to come up with anything yet. She is something that came out of the Mexican revolution,” said Nuñez about his character Adelita, created in 2008. Nuñez has been drawing comics professionally for six years.
While Flores and Nuñez created their own Hispanic characters, others like Gabriel Bautista try to incorporate Hispanic features into their characters rather than the traditional Caucasian look. Bautista is a Mexican-American Chicago-based illustrator who has worked for DC Comics, Image Comics and Oni Press for about 10 years.
“Every time I drew my character, I like to think he is Hispanic. I drew his nose not to be Americanized, but I haven’t had a chance to draw any Hispanic characters yet because people don’t think of that. The next character we do will definitely be Hispanic,” said Bautista, who believes that Hispanic artists are one of the hardest working artists he knows. “I know a lot of Hispanic artists and writers, and by the way we are raised they are all harder working. At some point, you realize it is not a game anymore. You have deadlines and if you don’t meet those deadlines, you lose your job and look bad. It’s a muscle and if you don’t work it out every day it will get weak.”
His hard-working theory is shared by the Mexican female illustrator Yesica Jimenez from Milwaukee, who believes that the Hispanic female artists have to work even harder to make it in the industry. Her way of making it is by incorporating Day of the Dead elements into her sketches. “I like to recreate the Disney princesses. I like to apply the Day of the Dead element because my family lives in the U.S. and I try to incorporate it. It’s difficult enough for women in general in this area. It’s even harder for minorities, Hispanic minorities,” said Jimenez, who remembers drawing since she was young.
Whatever the Hispanic character or element may be, the Hispanic artists are trying to make a change and bring the ethnic element into life. What they have in common is that they are not giving up, despite the challenges, and are making a living of what they love doing.
“I was discussing with my brother that Mexicans can’t get enough of being terrified. I always thought I had to draw a superhero to make it, but to get to draw a horror/vampire story is a dream come true,” said Dave Acosta from Detroit, who has been drawing horror characters for about five years. “I think it’s a cultural thing.