Okay, another post about Dia de Los Muertos. My second post about it today, and my third post for the day!?
I have a very passionate fan of my comic El Muerto, and I'm glad to say he's a very good friend as well. His name is Jose Iturriaga. Back when I had a Message Board on EL MUERTO.COM, he was one of the early, and frequent members.
Well, about an hour or so ago, Jose sent me some pics of the little Dia de Los Muertos display he and his wife made in their home. A very personal, elegant little scene, with some artwork they bought recently. But check out what, or who, is also in the pictures!
Yep, that little figure in there is El Muerto! That figure was actually made by Jose, a completely customized 12" action figure of El Muerto. Jose actually made two: one for him and one for little ol' me! He based his figures on the film version of El Muerto, as played by Wilmer Valderrama.
Check out how lifelike the figure looks, sitting amongst the other mementos, looking at the sugar skull in his hand. Wow.
When I first saw these photos, I was just enjoying the nice setup Jose had built. Of course I was also happy to see his El Muerto figure in the display, too. But I started to think about how years ago I used to joke how I wanted El Muerto to become as identified with Dia de Los Muertos the way people automatically think of Santa Claus as inseparable form Christmas. I mean, let's be realistic and think of the, um, commercial results that could benefit the creator!
But seriously, when I saw Jose's display, and think about how much he both celebrates so much of his Mexican culture, and totally became a fan of both the El Muerto comics and the movie, well, I can honestly say that I'm truly humbled by the fact that my character can become a little special thing to people in that way. Honestly, companies invest millions into trying to tie their product into people's consciousness, and their commerce. I can't speak for those companies, but the feeling I get from this type of result from fans of my comic work...Well, it's worth to me a lot more than a large check I could deposit in the ATM.
Don't get me wrong for a minute: I am open and eager, and anxious to receive money for my work, lots and lots of it. But this....Well, this is really, really great. I am thankful that there is a Dia de Los Muertos, which took many people many years to bring to the level of celebration it enjoys in many parts of Mexico and here in the U.S. And I'm thankful for everyone who's path I crossed over the last 11 years of creating El Muerto. For fans, and friends, like Jose.
When I emailed him a while ago for permission to use his photographs, he was totally cool with it. He mentioned that he was actually watching the EL MUERTO movie! There are tons of Christmas movies, and everyone likes to watch their favorite Halloween movies on October 31. But how cool that I can say we now have a film available to watch on Nov. 2, the Day of the Dead. (And it actually portrays the sentiments found in the holiday, it's not some bloody, gory zombie horror fest). I still have about an hour before Dia de Los Muertos gives way to November 3, so I think I'll watch EL MUERTO too!