AMA about using comics as a medium of personal expression.

Lic Guido-Visión Rosas Duarte
Jul 16, 2018

I am Guido-Visión, a comics creator from Mexico. You can check my work at and! Besides trying to build a career, in comics, I've found an ideal medium for personal expression, and even a form of therapy, whether I am working on a wordless humor/adventure strip like Mayor Montenegro, on a dream journal, or even exploring my own feelings in graphic poems!



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What was the most difficult thing about breaking into the comic book industry?
Jul 18, 5:06AM EDT0

Hi, Beazerne, very good question! The first thing we need to define is what constitutes the comic book industry. I wouldn't consider myself part of the mainstream industry, since I work on my own stuff independently. However, especially in this day and age, there is indeed a large group of people that produce their one work and use tools such as social media to promote it. I belong to that camp, while I also work with people my community to develop a local comics industry. We are actually having our second meetup tomorrow!

Jul 18, 11:02AM EDT0
How do you make your own work stand out?
Jul 18, 1:36AM EDT0

Hi, Cekovn, good question! Though there are obviously no magic formulas to get noticed, I try to be honest about what I want to express and to respect my own voice, instead of trying to duplicate whatever is trending at any given moment.

Jul 18, 2:38AM EDT0
What do you see the role of the writers as in terms of storytelling through comics?
Jul 17, 6:53PM EDT0

Hi, Coa! Good question! Even though comics is a very visual medium, the writing is an essential part of it. Even wordless comics such as Mayor Montenegro need to have a story, or they'd be a random collection of drawings!

I write my own comics, so it's a very loose and intuitive process, but collaborations between writers and artist can take many shapes and forms. The usual way is for the writer to hand the artist a script for him to follow. The format of the comics script is not as standarized as the movie script. I've seen samples of script pages by Alan Moore, and he writes incredibly detailed descriptios of what happens in each panel, while others, like Warren Ellis, write very brief descriptions of the action, allowing the artist to interpret it their own way.

Then ther is the famous (and somewhat controversial) Marvel Method, popularized by Stan Lee in the sixties, in which the writer writes a synopsis of what's meant to happen in the comic, the artist develops the story through the drawn pages, adding notes to the margins, and then the writer puts the dialogue and captions in. In this case, it is fair to say that the artist had input in the writing to, since they are deciding how to tell the story through the art. Nowadays, when a creative team works under this method, it is common for them to share the "plotter" creditm while the artists is credited for the art and the writer for the script.

I hope this long-winded answer was helpful! Thanks for asking!

Jul 17, 7:11PM EDT0
Having worked with comic art, can you tell what was the work you're more proud of?
Jul 17, 2:33PM EDT0

Hi, Omkarpatel! Wow, it's hard to determine a favorite of my own work, but I can tell you that the Mayor Montenegro webcomic was the point where I decided to commit to producing work on a periodical basis, and it's the project where I've been taking steps to craft something as profesional as I can, so I'm very proud of it!

Jul 17, 2:38PM EDT0
Do you identify to any of the characters you draw? Which one and why?
Jul 17, 9:25AM EDT0

Hi, Jovanatesic! In my Dream Journal I adapt my dreams in comic form, so usually the main character is a version of myself. The other strip with a recurring character is Mayor Montenegro. I do believe any honest work by an artist is a reflection of themselves. In this case, I do believe the Mayor Montenegro character represents an aspect of my psyche, perhaps a more id driven version of myself, looking for the adventures I dream about but don't pursue in real life!

Jul 17, 11:09AM EDT0
What was your first professional work and can you share a quick story behind it?
Jul 17, 9:08AM EDT1

Hi mark! Thanks for your question! Though I've been drawing for most of my life, and posting my work online for several years, it was only last year that I decided to seriously pursue making comics as a career. Things are moving in the right track and I'll have some news in that regard in the upcoming months.

In the meantime, I've also gotten some gigs doing illustrations for stuff like posters or book covers. The stories behind them are not particularly interesting, I'm afraid. Most of them I have gotten through friends and acquaintances that like my work.

One thing woth emphasizing is that if someone is interested to develop a career in this line of work, one has to we willing to put themselves out there, both in terms of showing your work and letting people know you are available. ANd, though nothing is set in stone, one should have an idea of what they want, since there are so many possible paths. In my case, for example, I'm not interested in doing work-for-hire for a mainstream publisher, so I won't pursue that path.

Jul 17, 11:06AM EDT0
What is your all-time favorite comic strip and why?
Jul 15, 10:11PM EDT0

Wow, Atanasoksik, thanks for asking! That's a really tough question! There are decades of wonderful work to choose from, and more than a fixed favorite, different things my attract my attention depending of my particular interests at any given time!

Talking specifically about strips, I'd say there is a special place in my heart for Calvin & Hobbes, which I was obsessed with as a child for a while, and probably ended up subcosciously planting a comics-making seed in my head!

Talking comics in general, some favorites include Jack Kirby's New Gods, Carl Barks's Duck stories (though I still need to read a lot of those!), Silver Age-era Superman, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman, Moebius's World of Edena... I could go on and on! 

Jul 16, 12:06PM EDT0
What subjects or themes do you like to express through your comics and why is this an ideal medium to do so?
Jul 15, 5:42PM EDT0

Hi, Koushick! Thanks, that's a wonderful question!

I feel comics give me absolute freedom to express whatever thoughts, emotions or concerns I have at a given time. I've been drawing since I can remember, so that aspect comes very naturally to me. Then, when I went to film school, I developed a taste and ability for storytellig. I think those two aspects, combined, hit a sweet spot for me through comics. I can tell stories through my drawings, and I don't have to worry about the logistical or budgetary concerns of filmmaking!

I started posting my art online during a time where I was going through therapy, and I found the ability to express the difficult emotions I was going through through my drawings was incredibly liberating and empowering. I think that period has informed my approach to this day, whether I'm working in something like Mayor Montenegro, which is first and foremost and entertainment product, yet still reflects my personal concerns, or things that are more explicitly personal, like my Dream Journal and Graphic Poems!  

Jul 16, 11:57AM EDT0
What are your tools of the trade from drawing? Do you have a favorite notebook or pencil/pen?
Jul 15, 2:26PM EDT0

Hi, Niloyxp17! Great question! For sketching, I tend to use the cheapest notebook and pen I can find. Persoanlly, buying fancy sketchbooks inhibit me a little beat, because I feel guilty of "wasting" pages on doodles. With inexpensive notebooks I feel free to doodle at will, and sometimes out of those comes a good idea!

For the Mayor Montenegro comic, I use fairly standard tools. I draw it on Blue Line Art Regular Comic Book Art Board. I use 2H lead pancils to lay out the pages, and ink with Winsor & Newton's water resistant ink. The bulk of the inking is done with a #1 Winsor & Newton Sable Round brush, with final details added with Hunt 102 and 107 quills. Sometimes I also use Faber Castell artist pitt pens for final touchups, and a Presto! Jumbo correction pen to cover up any mistakes!

If you'd like to know anything else about the tools I use, please let me know!

Jul 16, 11:49AM EDT0
What element of your work gives you the most personal satisfaction?
Jul 13, 11:50AM EDT0

Hi, Mahmoudayyad, thanks, that's a great question! One of the most important things for me, besides the craft or technical aspects of making comics, is that they are a medium for me to explore and express my own emotions. I think that aspect has made making comics, for me, a valuable and important tool of personal development!

Jul 13, 7:21PM EDT0

What information can you provide about Mayor Montenegro without spoiling anything?

Jul 13, 1:58AM EDT0

Hi, Nomedz, thanks for your interest! Mayor Montenegro is a humor/adventure webcomic about a lonely wanderer and his trusty steed. They usually hunt for game and treasure but end up getting in unforeseen adventres! It is a pantomime comics; that is, it's told completely through visuals, no words! For me, it is a cool challenge to try and tell stories that way, and hopefully entertain people with them!

You can check it out here, let me know what you think!

Jul 13, 6:55PM EDT0

What future projects are you working on and when can people expect to see them?

Jul 13, 1:26AM EDT0

The main things right now are my current ongoing projects: The Mayor Montenegro webcomic, my Dream Journal and my graphic poems.

I am working on a graphic novel in a style akin to the graphic poems, but it's still too early in the process, so I don't know when it will be ready. And I hope to release a print edition of some my online work sometime soon, but I don't have the details to make an announcement yet... hopefully soon!

Jul 13, 6:51PM EDT0

From where do you get inspiration to draw? What things do you do to stimulate your creativity?

Jul 13, 12:08AM EDT0

Wow, good question! Inspiration can come from anywhere, though I've noticed some people are more receptive to external stimuli, like being outdoors and hanging out with other people, while others are more introverted and find inspiration looking inwards.

I think I fall a bit more in the latter group. I look a lot at the work of other artists for inspiration, and I like to read stuff that gets my mind going. However, I also try to be conscious that it is good and healthy to look for inspiration outside every now and then!

Jul 13, 6:42PM EDT0
What advice would you give to someone wanting to begin making a comic on their own?
Jul 12, 10:29PM EDT0

To quote one of the world's most popular slogans: Just Do It! I spent many  years dreaming about making comics, but deciding to wait until I was "good enough" to make them the way I saw them in my head!

Eventually I realized that the most important thing was to begin. So, seven years ago, I started posting my art online, even though I was producing it pretty crudely, on regular pen and paper! It is actually to practice that I've refined my technique (though I still have a long way to go!) and managed to get closer to get things the way I wanted!

Thankfully we live in an age where, via social media, one can publish and promote their work at no cost, it's just a matter of taking the plunge, and being resilient!

Jul 13, 6:39PM EDT0
What attracts you to this style of storytelling?
Jul 12, 9:47PM EDT0

I've loved drawing for as long as I can remember, and I guess my education in filmmaking had a big part in developing my taste for storytelling. Since I've come to realize that I enjoy drawing more than shooting movies, I've found in comics a sweet spot!

I hope that's what you wanted to know, feel free to ask more questions!

Jul 13, 6:33PM EDT0

What is it like to work in Mexico as a comic creator? How would you characterize the comic industry there?

Jul 12, 9:20PM EDT0

Hi, Usman! Great question! The Mexican comics industry is fairly small, as far as I can tell. Mos of the mass-produced books are translations of American and Japanese material.

Most Mexican creators work independently, or in small collectives. I belong to a local group called Comicomuna, where we meet periodiocally and try to network between ourselves.

Jul 13, 6:30PM EDT0

Do you take any non-comic related jobs to support your income and if so, are they all artistic in nature?

Jul 12, 8:46PM EDT0

Hi, Tusher44! I currently have a day job to support my family, and whatever income I get form comics or illustration is an extra, but I am actively looking for options to develop a more robust career in comics and illustration.

I am not opposed to the idea of doing work for hire, but for the most part I am trying to dfevelop my own projects. Som of these are more artistic in nature, but I am also a firm believer of the many possibilities of comics as means of communication, so I'm also exploring projects in which comics are an educational tool!

I hope this is what you wanted to know... feel free to ask if you have more questions!

Jul 13, 12:49PM EDT0
How long does it take you to draw a comic strip?
Jul 12, 6:39PM EDT0

Hi, Dolly! Thanks for asking! It depends on the project. A page from something like Dream Journal, which I do in a deliberatedly quick and spontaneous style, can be done in under half an hour. On the other hand, something more elaborate, like Mayor Montenegro, can take, I estimate, something between five and ten hour, depending of the complexity of the page!

Jul 13, 12:29PM EDT0
Do you read and collect comics? If so, which ones and why?
Jul 12, 4:14PM EDT0

Hi, Sagar! I do collect comics, though I admit that lately, there are very few that I read just for entertainment. I usually read things I can use as reference for the projects I'm working on at any given time. Fortunately that can be a lot of fun too! 

Some of my favorite creators are Jack Kirby, Moebius, Carl Barks, Grant Morrison, Christopher Forgues and Brandon Graham. I also love the Silver Age (mid-50s-60s) era of Superman Comics!

Jul 13, 12:22PM EDT0
Have you tried other forms of artistic expressions besides drawing? Why or why not?
Jul 12, 3:39PM EDT0

Hi Mpop! I've been drawing since I can remember, and it was during my teenage years that I started to entertain the idea of drawing comics. In college, though, I fell in love with film. I studied motion picture production and worked on video production for a while. Eventually I reverted back to darwing and making comics, but the storytelling knowledge I acquired during my years in film/video inform a lot of my comics work!

Other than that, I love music and an always thinking abut learning to play an instrument, but I have no taken the plunge yet!

Jul 13, 12:17PM EDT0
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