Creator Spotlight: Carlos Trillo

Thanks to SkrawlLord Gustaffo Vargas for sending another dive into South American comic culture. This time it’s a profile of his favourite Argentinian writer, Carlos Trillo.

Carlos Trillo was a very prolific writer, mastering all kinds of writing, humour, drama, documentary, crime, fantasy, scifi, etcs.
The first time I discovered his work was with Marco Mono, a comic drawn by Enrique Breccia that intrigued me a lot, when I saw it I might have been 11 years old, it was of my dad. I didn’t get it, it’s quite sarcastic, with dark humor and talks about politics and the intrinsic of human nature and behaviour. It’s a brilliant book, basically a collection of short stories. I found my copy some years after when I was 16, read it, understood it and left me marvelled by Trillo’s mastery of telling a story and Breccia’s fantastic inks.
MarcoMono-Cover
**it’s humour even played by breaking the fourth wall in a way. There’s a story where you can see that Marco Mono, the main character dies and then you see Trillo and Breccia saying, shit man, I think that was too much, we shouldn’t kill our heroes, they are a symbol to follow, a necessary allegory, what brings us purpose…they are… they are…the one’s that will bring food on the plate!!! — and they revive him 😄
***In the picture below the guy writing non-stopping on his typing machine is Trillo himself, and in the 5th panel, the horizontal one, –the main character is going to enter a very dangerous castle– and you see Alberto Breccia on the far left saying: hijo mio! (my son!), it’s a veery cheeky and smart comic.
MarcoMono-Int
During those times I was able to find some copies of Scorpio, an anthology Argentinian comic that lasted all the 80’s decade, there were several and very interesting artists and writers there, but the one that caught my eye was by the same brough Marco Mono, Trillo and Breccia, this time the story was Alvar Mayor.
Alvar Mayor is a story that takes place in post conquest in early colonial cities in the deepest parts of South America, they mention Peru and the Incas a lot. Alvar Mayor is a man of adventure, a ranger-tracer that is looking for the next adventure to try to rescue somebody, to try to find an incan hidden treasure or just to run away his own past/ghosts. Similar to Marco Mono it’s 8-10 pages short stories.
Alvar1
There were no comic libraries in those times 80s-90s, so the best way to find this comics was to go in some streets in Lima Center and go deep into the informal tables set up in the street or small shops that would sell second hand magazines. You’d have to dig up through loads and loads of magazines and if you were lucky you might find something interesting. It feel really good go ‘hunting’ for comics and when you found something good it felt like a cold beer after a long walk. beautiful.
Alvar-Int
In those searches I also found Las Puertitas del Señor Lopez (The doors of Mr Lopez) by Trillo and Horacio Altuna. The same, short stories of 8-10 pages, I think most of Las puertitas, Marco Mono and Alvar Mayor would appear in different publications & magazines (there were numerous different types in ARgentina) and later if they were lucky they would be collected in one edition.
Las-puertitas-Cover-2
Las Puertitas tells the story of Lopez, a burocrat middle age man who is trapped in his world, undermined by his wife, co-workers and absolutely anybody near him. He escapes all the time when he goes to the bathroom, every time he opens a door the bathroom is a doorway to a different world, it can be any world, western, noir, sci fi, etc where he can be what he is not in real life: brave, adventorus, seductive, courageous, creative, oppinionated, etcs. It’s a fantastic book.
Las-puertitas-inte
I lost a bit of track of Trillo and of comics in general for some years until in the late 2000’s, I went to Argentina for some days and bought comics like a madman, I discovered and rediscovered loads and loads of comics. There’s a very important magazine that was big in the 70s-80s and gas back on during that time called FIERRO, a very interesting anthology magazine with very different Argentinian talent. I bought all I could find, around 10 copies (to my shame I sold my copies when leaving Peru thinking I was never going to be able to hold a place to save my comics!) and in one of them I found a newer story written by Trillo and Lucas Varela: El Codigo Guastavino.
***FIERRO was an anthology magazine, one of the most important ones in Argentina. Its name wa a bit of a pun on Heavy Metal. Fierro is a synonym of Hierro (Iron) in Spanish. Also the mythical and most famous series of poems about the Argentinian Gaucho world is a gaucho named Martin Fierro, hence the extra purpose on FIERRO.
 
I had no idea what the story was about, but to my luck I found (now in a library, new era In Peru with comics in book shops and libraries!!) And I saw El Codigo Guastavino in book format, I bought it immediately. It was Trillo but also featured this new artist to me that looked very interesting, with a very graphic style and a mastery to construct different characters. Guastavino is a story that is like the rabbit’s hole. Starts funny and not very significant, funny and a bit odd, but all the time Trillo was playing tricks on you, making you think you were just to be entertained, but the truth is that it’s an essential book that shows you the horrors of bad politics and militarised governments, it’s an open critic to the Dictatorship they had in the 70s and to all the Argentinians that still think that it was a good rule with honest values.
Guastavino-cover
The story is about Guastavino, a middle age bureaucrat that has a very boring work, son of a general that played an important part during the Dictatorship years and who is in love with a old vintage porcelain dog. He’s obsessed with the doll and will make very silly and irresponsible things in order to get her, in his imagination (madness) the doll talks to him and also loves him back.
There was a very dramatic letter he wrote on FIERRO magazine where it was first published before it was collected in single book. Where he said to the public that this was a story about the horrors that happened in the past and that needed to be addressed and criticised, that it was a horrible thing that happend and that still to many Argentinians praised very wrongly this hard times, he finished the letter saying: No te vamos a extrañar una mierda Guastavino. (We’re not going to miss you one shit Guastavino). Which said loads about what Trillo was trying to say and to leave as a legacy with this story.
Gustavo Vargas Tataje
illustrator & Comic artist
web / instagram / twitter /
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Episode 75 – Show notes

Round C of the Genre World Cup was Sci-Fi (Pete) vs War (Mike) and Fantasy (Mike) vs Adult (Pete)

Mike has muttered about many of his fantasy picks before and here, as promised is the list of episodes you can find the extra info in:

  1. Conan
    The hard-hitting Hyborean is the epitome of the fantasy genre and his new lease of life under Marvel is faring well. Check out Mike’s Mutterings on
    Episode 45 for a Conan 101!
  2. Sláine
    Supported by some of the industries best writers and artists, the Celtic hero was the jewel in 2000AD’s crown. Find out all about the warpmeister in Mike’s Mutterings,
    Episode 11
  3. Rat Queens
    Fantasy fun with the most unprofessional, filthiest, drug-addled adventurer party to ever enter a tavern! Learn more about Rat Queens & other RPG-inspired comics in the third part of Dungeons & Dragons & Comics special
    Episode 55
  4. Monstress
    This Eisner Award winning high fantasy epic from Marjorie Liu & Asana Takeda is complex and challenging, just oozing imagination and originality. I reviewed it back in
    Episode 24
  5. Mouse Guard
    In an alternative medieval society, sans-humans, it is up to the brave mice of The Mouse Guard to defend the lands in David Peterson’s charming and strangely gritty anthropomorphic world. I will doing Mike’s Mutterings on this wonderful series soon!

Episode 74 – Show notes

Ace Cyberpunk Comics Auteur Gusaffo Vargas sent the following info on Selva Misteriosa  (Mysterious Jungle) by Javier Flores del Águila, thanks Gustaffo!

This is Selva Misteriosa, Mysterious Jungle by Javier Flores del Águila, it was published by the biggest Peruvian Newspaper El Comercio as a daily comic strip, from 1971 till 1974. The cartoonist would draw his pages in between the time he’d made while he was studying medicine, he’s a neurologist now.
The strip was cancelled after the military Coupe by General Velasco and never saw print, it was one of the greatest Peruvian comics ever made that people would speak about but that nobody saw again.
2 years ago it was collected in this beautiful book, the art is breathtaking. There were some original pages that got lost and the author willingly to help redrew those missing pages from the newspaper clips.

Here are some some pics and the lambiek link.
https://www.lambiek.net/artists/f/florez-del-aguila_javier.htm

Check out Gustaffo’s comics at:
https://gustaffovargas.bigcartel.com/

Show notes – Pitching your comic

First, find a publisher that does take submissions

The Definitive List of Comic Book Publishers who take Submissions

Ensure your work will fit with what they publish. Read their submission guidelines thoroughly but don’t apply immediately. Find out what they want and then take the time to do a bit of research on the process.

http://www.jimzub.com/here-comes-the-pitch-part-one/

http://www.creatorresource.com/?s=pitching

http://www.comixtribe.com/2014/03/19/bn-week-169-are-you-an-effective-pitch-writer/

Graphic Novel TK podcast on SoundCloud

Do send exactly what the company asks for and nothing extra.  The main advice is to be as direct and compelling in your pitch as you can be. And short, max 2 pages 🙂

Cheers
This Man This Pete

 

World Comic Recomendations

In episode 51 of the podcast I chatted with Brad Brooks, cartoonist, comic scholar and & co-author of ‘The Essential Guide to World Comics’. It was a pretty wide ranging conversation covering Harvey Kurtzman, what makes comics so special and the pros and cons of digital drawing. I also asked Brad for some World comic recommendations and as well as the ones mentioned on the podcast he sent through a list of some other favourites:
Argentina
The Eternaut
by Hector German Oesterheld and Francisco Solano Lopez
(Fantagraphics)
Mort Cinder
by Hector German Oesterheld and Alberto Breccia
(Fantagraphics)
France
The Arab of the Future
by Riad Sattouf (Two Roads)

France/Belgium

Imbattable (Invincible in English)
by Pascal Jousselin
(Dupuis/Europe Comics)

The Golden Age
by Roxanne Moreil and Cyril Pedrosa
(Dupuis/Europe Comics)
France/Iraq
Poppies from Iraq
by Brigitte Findakly and Lewis Trondheim
(Drawn and Quarterly)
Malaysia/Singapore
The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye
by Sonny Liew
(Pantheon)
Norway
Dunce
by Jens K. Styve (self-published)
Spain
Twists of Fate
by Paco Roca
(Fantagraphics)
US/Switzerland
Ceÿx Seys Ceix
by Kristen Haas Curtis
(self-published)
Some other publishers to mention are:
Stripburger ( http://www.stripburger.org) in Slovenia
Kuš ( http://www.komikss.lv/) in Latvia
Strapazin ( https://strapazin.ch/) in Switzerland
as all of these publish comics from all over the world, many of them translated into English.
And I’m going to sneak one in as well…
Brazil
Two Brothers
by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá
(Dark Horse Horse Books)
A huge thanks to Brad for sending these in.
Follow Brad on:
Instagram @ninthart 
and Twitter @ninthart
Cheers,
This Man This Pete!

Podcast episode 4 – Pete’s show notes

Will Eisner’s early years

Here’s a list of most of the reference materials I read while putting together the first part of my Will Eisner profile in episode 4 of The Lakes International Comic Art Podcast.
48_LRG

Alter Ego issue 48

Twomorrows Publishing has a great range of titles exploring comic history. Issue 48 concentrates on Eisner’s early years and includes an interview with the man himself on his days working with Quality comics.

http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_55&products_id=302

the-dreamer

The Dreamer

Eisner’s own retelling of his time as a comic book artist before developing the Spirit, it’s a thin volume and essential reading.

Available from Amazon

 

The Comic Detective

Ken Quattro unearthed the original court transcripts of the DC vs Fox Wonder Man trial.

http://thecomicsdetective.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/dc-vs-victor-fox-testimony-of-will.html

 

CBAV2-6_LRG

Comic Book Artist, Vol 2, No. 6

Tribute issue to Will Eisner with contributions from some of the biggest names in comics. Available as a digital download from Twomorrows Publishing

 


If you’re interested in the period of the birth of the comic book industry, the following books are brilliantly informative…

 

Men Of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book

by Gerard Jones

Wonderfully evocative exploration of the era.

 

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay Paperback

by Michael Chabon

Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Literature, a fictional tale of two comic creators during this era.

 

Book club with Michael Chabon

Radio 4 interview with Michael Chabon about The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, he talks about interviewing Will Eisner for the book.

 

 

Lakes Festival to Celebrate Will Eisner Centennial

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival recently announced that this years festival will mark the centennial of Will Eisner’s birth with three exciting projects to celebrate the work and impact he had on the comic industry.

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Eisner started supplying strips to comic publishers in 1936, encouraged by his school friend and future Batman creator Bob Kane. He set up a studio with former editor Jerry Iger, employing a staff of comic artists to draw strips for a range of early comic book publishers. The Spirit, Eisner’s most famous and lasting creation premiered in a weekly syndicated Sunday newspaper supplement in June, 1940. Eisner was able to deliver stories to his more mature audience using innovative storytelling techniques, drawing inspiration from cinema and film noir in particular.

After, a stint in the Army during World War II, Eisner continued The Spirit and set up a company producing educational comics, particularly used for training purposes. He produced a number of autobiographical long form comics, helping to popularise the term ‘graphic novel’. He created one of the first major works on comics theory with the publication of ‘Comics & Sequential Art’ in 1985. He continued to produce comics right up to his death in 2005.

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is commemorating 100 years since Will Eisner’s birth in the following ways:

A broad sheet sized centennial comic, with contributions from contemporary comic greats such as Sean Philips, Ed Brubaker, Jason Latour and many more.

An exhibition at the Brewery Arts Centre of Eisner’s comic artwork from throughout his long career with rare pages and several complete Spirit stories.

A competition for students to illustrate ‘The Spirit of the Lake District’

Full details of these great events are on ComicArtFestival.com

Keep listening to the Podcast, where we will be examining Will Eisner’s life and  his astounding contribution to comic art in future episodes.