Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Diego Quintanilla

Diego Quintanilla was a new face at the first Smudge Expo last month. He’s a college student who is studying animation and just getting into creating minicomics. I bought his mini, and he kindly answered my usual questions via email.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I mostly sketch in my book, I draw for personal projects and all that.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

I use pens. Nothing fancy, just rollerball pens that you can get anywhere. Sometimes I'll use Microns though.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

I was born here in D.C. at some point in the 90s.

Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?

Well, I don't really live in the D.C. area, unless you count Wheaton as part of D.C. I don't know why you would, but if you do, then there you go. As for why, our family was living with this other Latino family in a cramped apartment space back in D.C. and when my mom got pregnant with my sister, that's when my parents decided to find a nice place in the suburbs.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I'm in school right now, learning all this on the go, trying to learn things in my spare time too of course.

Who are your influences?

I'm very influenced by films.  I like movies. Arthouse films like The Holy Mountain, Brand upon the Brain. Movies like Bad Boy Bubby and Irreversible. Like, I really love visuals, you know? Looking at interesting things and all that, images that provoke, something that makes you think what the symbolism behind it is. I also like animated films too; my favorite is The Triplets of Belleville.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

I've just started this career, having done my first Smudge Expo just recently, so can't really say I'd change anything.

What work are you best-known for?

I got this comic called Tough and Stuff about a boy with two moms. Almost half of my class knows about it (a lot of them skipped class the day I gave out copies) along with whoever bought it at Smudge.

How can people order your comics, or do they have to buy them from you in person?

People can buy them from me in person, there is no other way.

What work are you most proud of?

I've made three comics, two are creation myths that I made up and one a "how a jaguar lost its spots" sort of stories. I also liked the mini comics I made. I've just started so my options are limited here. That isn't to say I don't like my work - I just think I can go no other way then up.

What would you like to do or work on in the future?

In terms of comics, I've already got two ideas in my mind. One's about a horny lizard taking care of a fox and an episodic story about Nollywood. I'm real excited and I hope to put them on print real soon!

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

I'm not sure, I guess my answer would be, "don't worry, it comes when it comes." That's my answer to a lot of things, it doesn't work with everyone, I know.

What do you think will be the future of your field?

Do you mean, what will happen to me in the comic book field, or what will happen to the comic book field? If it's the first, I'm not expecting anything grand. I imagine myself in my sixties still selling my comics. I think I'd be more focused on making animation, but I'm guessing I'm getting off topic.

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

I'm expecting to go to Small Press Expo, just as a guy looking around and stuff, not an exhibitor.

What's your favorite thing about DC?

The museums! I love The Museum of African Art, The Museum of the American Indian, and The National Gallery of Art are some of my favorites. I remember watching a whole bunch of Jan Svankmajer films which was fantastic.

 Least favorite?

This is just a personal opinion; I'm not city folk, I enjoy the suburbs. I love D.C. but I wouldn't be in the epicenter of all the political and social hubbbub, it would be overwhelming.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

I don't usually eat out, but I do enjoy Los Chorros which is in my hometown, Wheaton. Try the quesdailla or pupusas! Those are what I always get so I can't vouch for what else is on the menu.

Do you have a website or blog?

I have a tumblr, Essential Avant-Garde Noise, where I post sketches, digital drawings, animations etc.  as Scrinkle:

I also have a deviantart page where I post as DickQuint: 

(updated 3/27/2014)

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