All artwork on this page is Copyright 2014, Gerardo Aguirre.

I "met" Gerardo Aguirre on Facebook and was immediately taken by the freshness, energy and pure fun of his cartooning. Looking at Gerardo's work, you can see the joy of cartooning. Gerardo lives in Córdoba, Veracruz. I know little about the comics scene there and wanted to know more about Córdoba, Gerardo and his work. He graciously consented to the following interview. It's my hope that the interview and his art that I've posted will bring his work to a wider audience and maybe lead to work from a comics publisher.

Neno: Gerardo, I see a big love for Jack Kirby influence in your work. Do you remember what the first comic book by Jack Kirby you read? What kind of effect or impact did it have on you?

Aguirre: It was 1979, and I 10 years old. Mexican television was transmiting the Fantastic Four tv cartoon based on Alex Toth designs. And Marvel Comics Group published a new edition of its titles. I had the first Fantastic Four issue by Jack Kirby but it really did not made myself very happy because as a kid I had my predilection for the tv cartoon art reference. I collected the Fantastic Four issues until the number 20 then I got tired that the drawing wasn't getting any better to my very young point of view. On TV Alex Toth superheroes artwork got all my attention, and DC Comics was still publishing Al Plastino's art by that time. A year later I was collecting John Buscema's Conan The Barbarian and John Romita's Spider-Man. I was lost into those comic titles art, when it happened by accident that a young adult person left forgotten his Fantastic Four number 55 on the sidewalk outside my house and my mother brought it to the inside. We got fascinated. It was like a great discovery. Then the name Jack Kirby really got a meaning for us. Jack Kirby this, Jack Kirby that... and we found irresistible to go find more about Kirby on comics.

Neno: Are comic books or graphic novels published in Veracruz? Is there a community or groups/meetings of cartoonists there?

Aguirre: There are no publishers in Veracruz for that kind of work. Maybe that's because they don't know me yet, je, je, je! Ok, bad joke. México City stopped publishing all kind of stuff in the late 90's because of economic costs. Do not tell anyone but Mexican comic book artists are like orphans that feel happy they had published something a long time ago and call themselves 'professionals' or 'maestros', and they are all divided. I had noticed they think of me only as a potential consumer of their work and I have to make them feel I am their number one fan to make them feel OK. People here are so divided... OK, they have comic conventions including in Veracruz that promote comicbook culture. All of this people could count as a community, but the one thing I'm sure of is that they could not feel very happy making mention of someone like me. And I believe they had already convinced me of that, je, je! I think THEY believe strongly on a promise. Like Aztecs believed on ancient prophecies. To go to work on Marvel, DC or Disney, and left behind their own identity as artists. To give themselves to something greater. To follow a chimera.

Aguirre: I tell you a real story... A very known pearson in Mexican comics has always dreamed to see his characters on animation during most of his life. One day the 'Frito-Lay' Mexican version company promotes a simplistic egg design cartoon on stickers and two years later there are two very elaborated animated pictures about this characters called Huevo Cartoon movies. Of course these movies were made in USA by Cartoon Network not in México as most of the people my thing. I believe that we all will have a very good chance in life at the right moment, all we need is to know very well what are we asking for to ourselves.

Neno: What kind of art tools do you use for drawing?

Aguirre: I use a common pencil. The cheaper the better. I started practicing inking using wasted 'Papermate' pens to be very careful not to screw it up on my beautiful works je je. That was already 1990. Now I use art brushes, fine ones for details and cheaper for big areas, and a bottle of india ink, I'm using a metal quill for inking small detailed drawings like the works I had been showing on facebook.

Neno: Thank you, Gerardo, for your honest replies. I think people who've enjoyed your work on Facebook will appreciate learning more about you. I use almost the same art tools you do! I know cartoonists who want to use expensive drawing pencils. I tell them a regular, cheap HB writing pencil is just as good and that's what I buy and use. If you'll allow me, a few more questions: You mentioned going to work for Marvel, DC or Disney might mean leaving your artistic identity behind. I know any work I created work for those companies would be owned by them forever! Oscar González Loyo, who was born in Mexico City, publishes his own webcomic, Joe's World. Are there cartoonists in Mexico you know of who publish their own comics either on paper or on the internet, instead of working for the big companies?

Aguirre: I can mention Carlos Benjamin Sanchez Madrigal (Starcomics, Sputnikstudio and Koigora). I searched for his work because of his publication Koigora. He makes sales and shows up in conventons in México City. Another is Fers, the creator of Soulkeepers Comic and the Soulkeepers group of associated artists. And Daniel Juarez G. (El Sombrío) who created Leyenmex Estudios and his comic concept 'Leyenda Azteca'. They all only show in conventions. They are all independent companies from México City and Guadalajara.

Neno: The drawings you've posted on Facebook are very imaginative and fun. Have you drawn comic stories or considered writing your own stories?

Aguirre: I believe now is the right moment to answer that question in a very proper way. All the images I had posted are really the characters from my original stories I had wrote on old and dusty school notebooks since 1987. I'd show them as sketches on pencil to be underestimated and protect my ideas from being stolen. This is the reason why they are interesting to the view, they're looking at you and make you feel that they keep a secret they want to tell. I had noticed superheroes are the real bad guys because their work is really to steal new original ideas to survive the time. I made up my plan to release my comic stories someday in the future. In the past, I had always started an attempt to elaborate a comic book myself and I had to stop because I understand it is to much work to do and the time so few. I plan to make a personal gallery with my original designs and everyone of these will have to make it's own history, not necesarily on comics, just like a son does his own life and comes back home... But I do not have trouble if my sketches inspire you because all of you had been inspiring me...

Neno: What do you think the legacy of Jack Kirby will be? Do you think people will still be enjoying his comics and the characters he created a hundred years from now?

Aguirre: I hope comic book industry get tired of Jack Kirby, he start walking his own path like Jerry Goldsmith and we all be free artists in the future : )

Neno: Thank you so much, Gerado, for your honest replies and for sharing your art. I think people who've enjoyed your work on Facebook will appreciate learning more about you. Stay creative, my friend.

NenoWorld Home