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Apr 20, 2017

Autobioblogging

I've been meaning to write something on this blog and it hasn't come out. Now I've retreated to the bad habits of writing in my head before sleep or while walking and also doing those annoying-to-read threads on twitter. Has it really been so long since the era of blogs on the internet? I remember leaving Livejournal in mid 2010 because I was annoyed that it had ads. Now, if I stopped using a website because of the ads, I could barely use any of them! And yes, of course I have ad-block! But now ads are so conspicous, they are made to look like posts, and so they evade the ad-block, and even fool me from time to time when I find myself reading them, wondering for a second which of my friends shared such weird and boring thing. I am guilty of being a spammer too, selling shit online for a living, I know I am part of the problem... But what can I do? Asides from the weird feelings I get sometimes from being a spammer, I do love my job. It pays for my life (which is more expensive now that I live in the US, with no family or support system) and it also allows me to support other artists!

My job is the main thing that keeps me logging in every day, because I have actually started to consider dropping off all social media. The thing that annoys me the most about it, is how much it forces you to see things you weren't looking for, how it assumes your interests and suggests you articles and products you don't want or need. It is all designed to take your time, your energy and your concentration. And now, it's not only people like me with small businesses that are a brand, even regular people that have other jobs and wouldn't need to use the internet for anything but entretainment, use their social media accounts to project this "branded" version of themselves. The internet has now become omnipresent, it is as real as real life, but at the same time it has also become much more fake. We are not people sharing our thoughts in a romantic search for true connection anymore, but "personal brands" producing "content" for our "audience".

In the end the story itself doesn't matter, what's most important is how you tell it. Think about the ridiculous US election last year, that annoying soda ad, ISIS or any other polarizing topic... in the end, the one who gets talked about the most, is the one that wins your attention. As the internet gets faster, our attention grows more divided, and so, the real winners are the ones who are able to remain prevalent, to get inside our minds. Their message isn't that important, if you analyze it closely it probably doesn't even make any sense, but that doesn't matter, their real power is in taking our energy, dividing us further, and taking up our mind space. I'm not saying apathy is the answer, on the opposite, we must refocus our energy in what we really think is worth it, instead of giving it out to those we disagree with.

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Thinking about making comics, really is also about "how you tell the story" more than the story itself. I started making comics in 2006, already knowing how to draw as ok as any 16 year old can draw, but pretty much no narrative ideas. The easiest thing for me then was to start making autobio. At the time, I think it was a good solution for me to start figuring out how to tell stories. But it also came with turning me and my ex-bofriend into the cartoon characters of a cute-and-funny cartoon that I ended up despising. I don't regret doing it, but it did make me not want to share anything about my personal life in that sort of detached way anymore. Now I only really do autobio when I'm traveling, as that is the sort of out of the ordinary context that allows for the perfect detachment of myself into a cartoon character. Most of these journal comcis I've made have sort of faded in the internet void, so I thought I should share links to them here, since they are a good follow up to my previous road trip post. Most of these are in spanish, as they're posts from when I worked in Vice México (yes, I did that for five years... but that's a story for another day)


Tokyo (2012) / Parte 2 (en español)
This was an amazing trip I did with my dad to Tokyo. He had been there before on a business trip and became so fascinated with it that he studied japanese for about 3 years before deciding to take me. I've been a nerd since forever so I was pretty excited to be in one of the nerdiest countries of all.



Also, this has now been published in México as a nice little art book! Check it out !


Booklyn (2012)
This one's from the first time I went to the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival (now under a different management called Comic Arts Brooklyn). I still really like this journal as it reminds me of a moment in my life in which I really felt like I "made it" (and by that I mean, being able to pay a rent without a regular day job). Some people thought I was losing my mind and I kind of did, but mostly because I realized I could finally make some very needed positive changes in my life!




Netherlands, Belgium, Croatia and Italy (2013) (en español)
This was a weird trip in which I was mostly floating around without knowing what to do with my life haha




Perú, Chile y Bolivia (2014) / Parte 2 (en español)
This is the journal of my trip to South America with my friend Mayra. It was kind of a terrible back packing trip with little money, big disappointments, a horible sunburnt that made my whole face peel off, and an almost deadly bus crash. But we did manage to see some really cool things (mainly the desert of Atacama) and also made us realize how fucking cool México is and how sad that we can't really back pack there because the drug war has made so many parts of it completely unsafe.




Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden (2014)
/ Parte 2 (en español)
This trip was really comfortable thanks to all my generous friends that hosted me, as well as my swedish publisher C'est Bon Kultur. I ate a lot of salmon, herring and bread. It was nice!




PFC Journal (2015)
This was an incredibly inspiring residency I did at MCAD in Minneapolis where I got to meet really amazing artists from the US and France. Most of them liked this journal but I did offend someone with my depiction of them... I'm sorry!




That's another problem with autobio... it is so subjective you inevitably end up offending someone, exagerating something or forgetting something else. It can also get too self-aggrandazing or too pitiful. As easy as it seemed for me to do it at first, now I think it's one of the hardest genres, just because of how boring it can get.

Anyway, I would still recommend it as a good way to start for anyone interested in making their own comics! Also, check out this post about how to "make it" in comics by Noah Van Sciver, it is really honest and I agree with most of it. Perhaps the only thing I don't agree with is the "find an idol" thing. Fuck idols! Be your own idol. And not in a vain way of thinking everyone sucks except you, but in the way of, stay true to yourself and be confident enough to tell the stories you want to tell. Your inspiration should come from as many things as you can, not only other artists! I feel like getting stuck on ONE idol can limit you into ending up just being a bad copy of that one person's style. I mean, whatever, do what you want but that's just my opinion. It does seem to have worked out well for Noah, he has his own style. But it definitely wouldn't have worked for me. Find what works out for you! Maybe you never do find ONE thing that gets it going for you, but as long as you never stop making, I think that's good enough.





Mar 13, 2017

South West Roadtrip 2016

Lately I've been thinking a lot about blogs and getting all nostalgic about the 00s internet. I'm tired of feeling this craving for my phone, checking social media every few minutes and being distracted most of the time. It's really easy how it gets you! So now I've decided I want to go back a bit to that slower paced internet. Part of that is that I want to post more on this blog, no schedule but I'll let you know on my twitter and instagram (@inechii) every time I make a post here!

This has been in my mind since I went on a roadtrip with my friend (and super talented illustrator!) Hellen Jo this past December. We drove from Los Angeles, to San Antonio... well, actually Hellen did all the driving since I don't know how to, haha. It was really nice and fun! The outside world, and the US right now can feel unfriendly and scary, and rightfully so, but that is also a magnified perspective we get through the internet. Outside, life goes on and people are doing their things. Being on the road felt good, not because it felt like the shit that's going down wasn't happening, but because it made it clear that also other things are happening... and the majority of us are just struggling to live our lifes, and do the least harm possible...

These are all the diary comics I made of our adventures and some photos (most taken by Hellen!) I also printed a zine with them that you can get at my shop ; )

























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