Hector Cantu and Carlos Castellanos, co-creators of the hit comic strip Baldo, are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by stepping out of the spotlight and allowing a quartet of star Hispanic cartoonists to take the reins of their creation for the next four Sundays.
David LeBatard, a.k.a LEBO, Carlos Saladana (Burrito Comics), Anthony Oropeza and artist Lorenzo Lizana (Amigoman - The Latin Avenger) and David Alvarez (Yenny) were each invited to create a Sunday Baldo strip. The strips will run in consecutive weeks, beginning with LeBatard on September 27. Be sure to check your local paper or sign up for a free account on GoComics.com and have them delivered to your email.
We had a brief chat with Hector and Carlos:
GoComics: What made you want to turn “Baldo” over to these artists for a Sunday?
Hector: We’ve had guest artists going back several years. Richard Dominguez did a Gato Negro series for us. We worked with Lela Lee of Angry Little Girls a few years back and most recently we had an appearance by El Muerto by our friend Javier Hernandez. So this is an extension of that.
Carlos: This time around we wanted to be able to display artists work in full color and in a format where it could stand alone. The Sunday strip seemed perfect for it.
Hector: We thought it would be cool to share some Sunday funnies space and put the spotlight on some cool artists. Hispanic Heritage Month seemed like the perfect time to do it.
GoComics: What is it about these particular artists caught your attention?
Carlos: They of course all have their own unique strengths.
Hector: We met David LeBatard a few years ago when we were invited to be part of speakers panel addressing Hispanic Ad Agencies in Miami. We’ve admired his art and it seemed like a natural fit for this.
Carlos: In the case of Carlos Saldaña of “Burrito”, and Anthony Oropeza and Lorenzo Lizana of “Amigoman” we were all featured artist in a new book “Your Brain On Latino Artists” by Frederick Aldama and have been in the indy comic book scene for many years.
Hector: When we had this guest-artist idea, we decided to contact other cartoonists in the book. Some were friends already, like David Alvarez, and others are new friends, like Anthony Oropeza, Lorenzo Lizano and Carlos Saldana.
GoComics: How did the process work? Did you have ideas in mind for the artists, or did you turn them loose?
Carlos: They were free to really explore any message they wanted to deliver. It could have been their own artistic interpretation of Hispanic Heritage Month, being Hispanic/Latino or their own interpretation of Baldo using their own style and or characters with virtually no direction from us in a stand alone Sunday strip format. It was exciting not knowing exactly what they were going to come up with.
Hector: We essentially just turned them loose, and that was a little scary at first. You never know what talented, creative people are going to turn in! We just reminded them that this is a family strip, and that we wanted either one or all Baldo characters in there. The choice was theirs. Of course they’re all pros, so they all did a remarkable job.
LeBatard’s art is beautiful and really captures the Baldo spirit. Saldana uses his Burrito character for a great take on Spanglish, and Oropeza and Lizano gave us a dramatic meeting between Amigoman and Baldo. Of course Alvarez graces Baldo with his beautiful Yenny. Wow!
We know readers will enjoy these artists and hopefully learn a little more about them and their work.