Some things that suck ass about moving to another country
- not knowing how to do practical things that used to be really easy for you
- having to speak in another language
- not having any friends
- having to renounce to many of your dear material possessions
- living in a town made for cars and not having a car / not knowing how to drive
- "mexican" food : (
Another funny thing is how here in the USA they ask you your "race/ethnicity" not only in government forms, but also just as a general conversation starter. I never know what to answer. In Mexico everyone assumed I was a foreigner, but when I said I was mexican I didn't feel that it was as surprising to hear there as for people here in Texas, who, to my amusement, seem extremely confused by that fact...
Cool things about moving to Texas, USA
- ordering shit from ebay or one of my favorite webshops and getting it in like 3 days
- using the USPS to ship my orders instead of the bullshit that is Mex post
- being able to rent an appartment that always has water and gas and even A/C and a bathtub
- foraging and feeling like i live in the country side even if everyone else insists that San Antonio is "a city"
- riding my bike on actual bike lanes and biking trails : )
Cool things about living with someone you love
- these are many, and most do not deserve to be put into words--
^ A print I made for Daylight Curfew
At the beginning of this year I left my apartment, moved all my books to my mom's apartment and roamed around through Mexico for a month before coming to the US. During those travels, I made a comic about swimming and masturbating titled Cenote, which is also the name for natural pools of sea water trapped inland, a common phenomenom in Quintana Roo and Yucatán
That comic was one of my last posts for Vice Mexico, and after working there for almost 5 years I was fired for "restructuring" reasons. Whatever the case, I can't complain because now I'm making comics for Vice US! But I do miss writing reviews of comics, and in spanish. I think the most similar thing to a book review I made this year was my "comics shelfie" I did in October for one of my favourite blogs, Comics and Cola run by the inimitable Zainab
Another review like thing I did at the beginning of this year was compiling this zine called Basura, collecting drawings I've made from 2006 to now. I made all copies different, they all had different covers and were printed on different paper stocks. I wanted to do something fun with the format, more like the zines I used to make when I started making zines in 2006.
The first months I was living in Texas I worked on this series of paintings, using all the materials I was able to bring over with me. The sales of those paintings, some freelance gigs and mostly my online store, Gatosaurio, helped me with all the financial struggles of moving here and getting my green card ...which I finally got in September!
To be honest I am still amazed to think that I was able to do that just working on my own things and I cannot tell yall friends and supporters enough how grateful I am for having you : )
It was that financial need, and also my own curiosity for branching out of the medium of comics that brought me to finally dedicate myself to designing apparel and going real pro on my stickers this year... After 10 years of cutting them myself with scissors I finally get them laser cut and printed on water proof vinyl !!! Here is a selection of photos of some of the products I've made this year (click on them for more info!)
Some more comics that I made this year:
* Hot Day, inspired by my first heat stroke in the warmth of Texas' summer
* Ghost Girl, a comic about being bored and dead inside
* Pachecomics, my veiled autobiographical comics and also a rip off of Megg, Mogg & Owl and Boy's Club
* PFC Journal, an actual autobiographical comic of the amazing PFC residency I took part in Minneapolis this year. This residency might have been the highlight of this year for me
During that residency I also made an edition of 29 of these screen prints, hand coloured by me and printed with the help of Pierre Ferrero : )
Here I am finishing coloring them next to Laura Park and Charles Burns (photo by Jillian Tamaki)
Some awesome free lance gigs I got:
* Illustrating a series of articles about African countries for the mexican travel magazines Travesías
* Some fun icons I made for the android app Zedge. They haven't been released yet, but hopefully soon!
* Doing my first New York Times illustration with art director Aviva Michaelov!
Festivals that I went to:
* New South Fest in Austin, Texas. It was really good to be its first and I am definitely going to be there again, specially since I live one hour away from Austin ; )
I also made one of the posters for it!
* Autoptic in Minneapolis, Minnesota was fucking AMAZING and I can't wait to visit Minneapolis again!
* CAB in Brooklyn, New York for my fourth year in a row. CAB has changed a lot since the first time I attended... this is probably the first year that they turned the A/C on during the fest and although it allowed for a much more comfortable ambience, that intense, crazy feeling of being in a sort of secret comics rave gathering is long gone. Also the Cartoon House has been gone for years now and remains only as a legendary memory for everyone who ever put foot in it. But in spite of all this cheesy melancholic observations, I think CAB has gotten better every year and it is definitely my favorite festival above all ! Particularly because I get to see my dear canadian friends Ginette Lapalme, Patrick Kyle, Chris Kuzma and Lala (who hosted us all, on her super small apartment, tucked in tight sardine style), but also because I always come back with so much good books, way more than at any other festival. There's so many artists that I met online in 2006-08 with whom I'm still friends today and I usually get to see most of them there, it feels like a big cartoon family reunion.
During that visit to New York I also had the chance to see Joe Grillo's art show at the Hole and let me tell you, it was like a spiritual cartoon experience for me. Also, my friends and me were lucky enough to get to meet Joe himself, as he was at the gallery at that moment. He really liked my Shut Up, I'm Busy sweatshirt and I even traded him the (stinky!) one I was wearing for an original drawing of his : )
* CALA in Los Angeles, California was also great. It was my first time in Los Angeles and I loved it. Got to eat SO MUCH GOOD FOOD and hang out with some amazing people, particularly Hellen Jo and Calvin Wong who were nice enough to host me. I also shared table with Hellen
At every festival I made an effort to bring comics from my talented friends from Mexico, and I'm really proud that my table is now recognized as "the table with weird mexican comics". Some of the stuff I distroed this year was from Ediciones Joc Doc, Fuck Zines, Cráter Invertido and Edwin Sandoval.
Another great project that finally came out this year is Fanzinología Mexicana 1985-2015, an anthology about the graphic and visual narrative of mexican zines I coedited with Enrique Arriaga for el Museo Universitario del Chopo in Mexico City. This project took us almost three years to put together and I am beyond happy that it finally came out. This is the first book ever published about the history of fanzines in Mexico and it compiles some very rare and cool illustrations, cartoons, comics, collages and photographs made by and for subcultures like punks, queer activists, outsiders and low brow artists. For the moment it is only available for purchase at the Museum store in Mexico City, but I will have some copies for sale online later next year.
* In September I organized two events in San Antonio and Austin Texas with my friends Vanesa & NAG CHAMPA Sound system. Exhibiting were Rough House Comics, Elena, Jonny Negron, Regina Román la "Floja Life", Rand Renfrow and more. I hope to organize more things like that next year, it's always super fun !
Thanks for reading and I will hopefully see yall again next year! I am working on new products, thinking about new paintings and also ...COMICS!
Take care and keep it real