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
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.
I'm very influenced by films. I like movies. Arthouse films like The Holy Mountain, Brand upon the Brain.
Movies like Bad Boy Bubby
. 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
I got this comic called Tough and Stuf
f 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
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
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.
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
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
I have a tumblr, Essential
where I post sketches, digital drawings, animations etc.
as Scrinkle: http://scrinkle.tumblr.com/