If you count the Fic Awards, and “La Ruta…” première, and the signing, Fic Santiago was my busiest event ever and I doubt if I would have another as busiest as this last one in the near future. Well.. I hope next year to be even busier to me. That would mean that things are still doing great.
This has probably been my first experience on being in different tables at the same con. I was part of the Beyond Reality Media official stand, alongside masters such as Alan Robinson (The Warden), Gonzalo Martinez (Time Travelling Tourist et al), Diego Toro (One Must Break) and the series creator, publisher and big boss William Gerardts.
I stood on and off with my pal Diego Toro. While he sketched I promoted the books. and prepared and gave free stuff. Having such a roaster of artists made the whole weekend great and Bill almost sold all the books he brought. And remember, those books are in english and in Chile not many people read comics in english. For that, this has been a huge success.
In the end Bill requested a collective piece penciled by all of his three talents. While Alan drew The Warden, and Gonzalo made the same with his characters, Diego penciled one of the One Must Break characters while I ink it. Being part of that piece was one of my proudest accomplishments! I managed to take a lo-res picture of it.
The same on and off way I was at the El Viudo table. Being part of the Best Chilean Comic of 2014 is something you must be promoting and screaming out loud to make new readers! So, I picked up a spare table. Grabbed the El Viudo roller and a bunch of books, asked for making some announcement at the Con and started sketching. That drew many people and I thought that the best way of promoting the best book of 2014, was to engage more people, so I proposed to give away one original piece from LA CUECA DEL MANCO to one of the purchasers of the book.
That turned well and we almost sold out what I grabbed from my publisher’s table. That helped to gain interest, grew some in audience and make something for the new readers as a thank you for picking up the book. I was almost two hours non stop making fun, sketching, promoting and help Oscar, the publisher sell the book. It was awesome.
I hope to all attendees had the same good time as me. It was really a blast.
Pics: Fic Santiago Production staff, Oscar Salas and myself
“Can’t believe that soon, and that category”. Those were my first thoughts.
Besides all my screaming mimics and gestures of joy, after a very long and quite stressful two day before Chile’s finest comic convention, FIC SANTIAGO, my tiredness was so excruciating that when I saw that El Viudo, was awarded as best comic book of 2014, my eyes filled up with some tears.
El Viudo, as some of you are aware of, had been a chilean project by Futuro Esplendor, (the collective formed by Gonzalo Oyanedel, as series creator and chief writer, Oscar Salas as a coordinator, Juan Nitrox Marquez as an artist and art director, Rodrigo Campos Ponce, as El Viudo penciler, me as the inker and Maycols Alfaro as the letterer). I was involved with for the last 5 years. We did first a 12 page short story, printed as a fanzine; then a 56 pg Graphic Novel; and then the same 12 page story as a reboot (which originals are on sale here), several pin ups, promo images and many other things. The 56 page book, named “La Cueca Del Manco” was nominated for the Fic Awards (Chile’s only comic book awards, but unofficial) and on friday Apr 10th, at the Fic Awards Ceremony, we won.
FIC Awards are a mixture of Eagle Awards and International Professional Artist selection process. People are invited to nominate their best chilean comic published, besides some other categories, then the selected ones are listed in a survey which everyone can vote. Then the international guests selects their own picks. Winners are selected in a 70% (readers vote) / 30% (FIC Guests) rate.
“El Viudo: La Cueca Del Manco” took blood, sweat and tears to make it. It’s true, despite that sentence is mostly overrated. I know that every awarded book are part of huge producing efforts. and it always takes more than time on the drawing board, to fulfill it. We took unbelievably long 4+ years in the process. My inks on page 01 are completely different from the ones at the end of the book and that is because between 01 to 56 there are more than 3 and a half years. It took long waiting days to get pages and several long and bitter discussions about the orientation of the project. It took several coffees with the rest of the creative team to encourage and keep up the flame… It also took one embarrassing moment due bad mix of stress and rum. Heh… well, those weren’t good days.
But it also offered an unique view of Santiago, an in-depth and a very detailed and consciously documented art view and most important, a brilliant script that captures magically the vibe of the old pulps. Everything you see on the book, from clothing to city skylines, vehicles and products were used on 1950’s in Chile because Gonzalo Oyanedel, the creator and writer, did an insane research job.
We won. I never thought to win an award with my first publishing effort. I swear it. I also look the previous years winning books as “my next step in comics, but not yet”. Maybe I don’t see my full potential, but this past weekend helped me a lot to realize where I am aiming.
I would like to thanks the readers and fans who suggested the book to be nominated. Those who actually voted for the book and the FIC SANTIAGO International guests who’s vote also helped make us won.
Pics: Fic Santiago Production staff
Today is the day when my newest job sees the light of day. Chilean comic book El Viudo, published by Dogitía, will be available for everyone in a 100 copied limited release with two covers. Here’s the invitation to the signing in the FILIJ (Feria Internacional del Libro Infantil y Juvenil).
Here are some images of the interior art. I hope that you like it.
With Rodrigo Campos we developed the first El Viudo story named “el Fin Del Luto”, which can be translated as “The end of mourn” long 5 years ago. It was pitched on the NGI International Meeting where publishers like IDW’s Chris Ryall taught us the real chilean comic book artist status.
After publishing last june the El Viudo Book “La Cueca del Manco”, (Dogitía, 2014) – which also can be translated as “the One-handed man cueca” Oscar Salas, Dogitía’s publisher asked us to re-do that 12 page story.
Script: Gonzalo Oyanedel
Art: Rodrigo Campos Ponce
Editor: Oscar Salas
Here you can find a Step by Step of one of the pages
Here you can see a gallery of the art.