Thursday, October 16, 2008

El Muerto to appear in BALDO newspaper strip!

Well, the word is out! EL MUERTO will be appearing in the newspaper strip BALDO the week of Halloween, culminating in the color Sunday section, on the Day of the Dead! Without question, this has got to be one of the top opportunities I've had with the EL MUERTO character.

BALDO is created by writer Hector Cantú and artist Carlos Castellanos. Their strip began 8 years ago and is seen in over 200 newspapers, and is also printed in Spanish in some markets. I met Carlos and Hector back in March 2007 at the San Diego Latino Film Festival, where we guests of the festivals. I was there for the World Premiere of the EL MUERTO film, and Hector and Carlos were screening episodes of their BALDO Animated Series. We met up again in November of '07 as guests of Wizard World Texas.

BALDO has had two previous crossovers with other comic book characters, once with Richard Dominguez's EL GATO NEGRO and another with Lela Lee's "ANGRY LITTLE GIRLS!". When I last saw Hector and Carlos at Wizard World Texas, I asked them when was El Muerto going to appear in BALDO.... They told me to hit them up with a story. So earlier this year I hit them up with the story! I ran a plot by them, one that revolved around the Halloween/Dia de Los Muertos weekend (Yeah, that timing was a pretty smart move, I will admit!). We tinkered with the storyline, and then scheduled it for production. I won't detail the storyline at this point, but working with the BADLO creators was a unique and welcome challenge. I will tell you that I have contributed to the artwork, but more to be revealed later. The part that was most challenging was thinking in terms of the particular format of the daily newspaper strip. You have about 3 or 4 panels for the daily, and each segment has to stand alone, yet tie into the next days strip! And of course the Sunday strip has it's own challenges. Not every paper necessarily carries the Daily and the Sunday, so there are interesting challenges there as well.

But what is the payoff? I get to work with some talented newspaper strip cartoonists in a new medium for me, and EL MUERTO makes his debut in that venerable American classic institution, the Sunday color funnies! That's such a wonderful opportunity, and one of those 'once-in-a-lifetime' gigs. Kinda like getting a movie made out of your comic book.... :)

El Muerto's appearance will run in the storyline from Oct. 27 to Nov. 2, which is the same date as Dia de Los Muertos. If you read my previous post, you know that I will be in San Francisco that weekend at the Alternative Press Expo comic convention, debuting
the latest issue of EL MUERTO and commemorating my 10th Anniversary appearance at APE, which is where I debuted EL MUERTO back in 1998. So El Muerto appears simultaneously in a comic book and a newpaper strip that weekend... That is pretty beyond anything I would have dreamt years ago!

Check your local paper to see if it carries BALDO, if not, send a very polite (yet forceful!) plea to see if they can get the strip. And check out the official BALDO website for prevous episodes and information on the series.

And now to write something I've always wanted to say (and in the strict literal sense!):

See you in the funny papers!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome Javi!

Richard spoiled the surprise for me a few days ago, but I think its about time 'Muerto got his showcase in the funny papers.

Can't wait to see what you guys came up with in this one!