Thursday, April 29, 2010

Calling in tonight on BALDO 10th Anniversay Call

My good friends, Carlos Castellanos and Hector Cantu will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of their newspaper strip, BALDO, tonight with a special Call-In show for fans and friends.

10 years of a nationally syndicated newspaper strip is indeed a reason for celebration, and it's great that they're doing this for their fans. I'm not only a fan of the strip, but also a one-time collaborator with them. Back in October 2008, Hector (writer) and Carlos (illustrator) actually invited me to bring El Muerto into a Baldo storyline! I pitched them a plot, and after talking it over, we agreed that Carlos would draw the strips as normal, but I actually contributed all the drawing of El Muerto when he appeared in the strip. I not only thought this was a great idea, but I was genuinely impressed that they even approached the project this way. 

The El Muerto illustrations I emailed to Carlos so he could insert into the strip. He would send me the rough pencils of what he drew, and from there I knew what size and pose to draw El Muerto in.

It was an exciting learning experience to plan out a story within the parameters of a daily newspaper strip. I'm used to telling my stories over multiple pages, with the panels often changing shapes and sizes, but keeping to the structure and pacing of a strip format was a great challenge. And of course now I can say that El Muerto made it into a newspaper strip, if only for that 5 day storyline. I even was able to write the Sunday color section! Talk about a dream gig.

The color Sunday entry of the BALDO strip. This was the culmination of the 5-pt story. They let me write the actual script for this entry. And it's right next to the GARFIELD strip! Surreal..

I actually first met Hector and Carlos for the first time back in March 2007. We were invited to attend some special events during the week for the San Diego Latino Film Festival, such as a gallery show and a joint screening of the El Muerto trailer (I returned that weekend to debut the film on Saturday evening) and an episode of the BALDO animated series. We took the train to neighboring Old Town San Diego and were a little late to our screenings! (Um, the waitress was very slow serving us our margaritas!)

Hector (L), me and Carlos at the San Diego Latino Film Festival.

I also got to see them again in November of 2007. Our mutual friend, cartoonist Richard Dominguez (EL GATO NEGRO), arranged a special 'Latinos in Comics' panel through Wizard World Texas. I, as well as Carlos and David Alvarez (YENNY) were flown in from LA, Florida and Puerto Rico for the event. Richard and Hector were local Texans, but us out-of-towners were given hotel rooms as well. That was a tremendously fun weekend.

David Alvarez (L), me, Carlos and Hector (far right) at a Mandarin Chinese restaurant. Boy, were we loud and obnoxious during dinner!

Tonight we'll be able to relive some of those moments, and share in the BALDO celebrations. Congrats to Carlos and Hector for 10 years of great work! Check out Carlos' video announcing the event:

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