S1: Welcome back. You are listening to KPBS Midday Edition. The Comic-Con Museum just opened Torino’s Globe. The exhibition presents 1 of the most well-liked and popular cartoonists in Mexico, Jose Trinidad Camacho, much better recognized as Torino. KPBS art reporter Beth Accomando wanted to spot the exhibit in a bigger pop culture context, so she spoke with author and San Diego State University English professor William Ritchie.

S2: Bill, just before we speak about this Trans Globe exhibit, inform us a small bit about your self and your obsession with pop culture, each professionally and personally.

S3: Properly, I discovered to study from comics. My sister and my grandmother Anna raised me on Small Dot Archie Sad Sack comics. And I actually discovered to study with comics. So comics, pop culture, well-liked entertainment, you know, was my globe. And I was born in the early 60s. And so tv was all the things. I 1 of my early publications and my mother pissed off my late mother. I stated I grew up on tv. Suitable. But that is the truth. If not, soon after college, we get Television trays and we would sit in front of the Television. So Television comics, motion pictures. I grew up in Laredo, Texas, along the border. They had been our entertainment and tv in Laredo just before cable, you know, we had 3, two or three American channels and we had seven Mexican channels from Nuevo Laredo. And so English and Spanish, well-liked and enjoyable had been my infusion bag, appropriate? That is what I like to do. And so they had been a refuge for me personally. They had been a supply of not only entertainment. I discovered that I am now an English teacher and my deep affection for language, English and Spanish, is a outcome of pop culture. And so for me it was like a wealthy treasure trove from which I drew a lifelong obsession with comics, tv, and well-liked culture.

S2: And you have gone on to study some of the Mexican-American stereotypes that are proliferating in American pop culture and you have written about that and truly explored that. Yes.

S3: Yes. My very first large book was Tek-Mek Seductive Hallucinations of a Mexican in America. And it was fully focused on the evolution of Mexican stereotypes in the United States, sort of like the COVID, the evolution of a virus, due to the fact it is viral. The conceptually precise concepts of Mexicans go beyond books, tv, billboards, motion pictures. Bandit, of course, now drug. The bandit evolved from Pancha Villa into a drug dealer. The Latina hot-blooded, attractive femme fatale, of course, has been a staple due to the fact Lupe Velez. But the concept of ​​the adverse concept and you say Mexicans but, you know, most Latinos, there are these funny small boxes that I had to open up and discover due to the fact they are so endemic. That is, they are a all-natural element of the background of American entertainment. So I wanted to break it down. That is why I known as it a seductive hallucination, due to the fact it is everywhere. It is an all-permeating consciousness to the point exactly where it have to be broken due to the fact we no longer feel about it.

S2: And we’re sitting right here at the Comic-Con museum, and you happen to be a professor at San Diego State University, which now has a plan focused on comics and is sort of elevating it to this academic level. I am so. Excited.

S3: Excited. I am a incredibly compact player in that, but I am element of what is now known as the Center for Comic Book Research at San Diego State University. The two ringleaders are this unbelievable history professor, Beth Pollard, and an equally exceptional unique collections librarian. Pamela Jackson and I can play in their sandbox and what do I get. I’ve been teaching comics at the university level due to the fact 1985. I began at Cornell University when I was nevertheless a graduate student. And I’ve been teaching and writing and publishing about comics as sort of a side gig, a small side hustle ever due to the fact. And luckily, I was in a position to collaborate with Beth and Pam and a entire group of SDSU professors, lecturers, and employees involved in comics.

S2: Right here we are in the globe of Turin at the Comic Con Museum, and this is the perform of Jose Trinidad Camacho. Inform me a small bit about how you had been introduced to him and sort of the lineage he comes from in terms of his drawing? Of course.

S3: Mexico has a wealthy tradition of sequential art, that graphic narrative, these are fancy terms as the professors contact comics, but they are comics and. And he is in a lengthy line. I guess it would get started with Jose Posada with his printmaking shop in Mexico City and then move into the 20th century. You have a cartoonist like Rios, who was recognized for his left-wing satirical revolutionary comics 3. You know, at the finish of this cycle, he’s just a incredibly prosperous, funny, goofy, nasty, dirty comic book comedian. You know, I was pondering about an American audience unfamiliar with Reno’s perform, who could possibly they feel of him as? And he’s sort of silly. So not Harry Trudeau, not Doonesbury, but Harry Trudeau, Doonesbury plus Jon Stewart, possibly from The Day-to-day Show. Cheeky, ironic, comical, and then a small nasty. You know, he’s got some dirty stuff and that is cool. That is funny.

S2: Properly, it is intriguing due to the fact his perform appears to cover such a diverse variety due to the fact he’s carrying out children’s books, and but he’s also performed a film that sort of reminds you of Fritz the Cat and that sort of raunchy and crude style of comedy.

S4: Yes, yes.

S3: Santos. I can not even inform the title due to the fact it has some pornography. His film belongs to Adult Swim. I imply, that is undoubtedly disrespectful. It really is about a wrestler and zombies. And this wrestler has this dominance, a bare-breasted lady. You know, 1 of the issues that strikes me about Wren’s perform is that we have to be cautious as Americans not to impose our puritanical lens on Mexico. Mexicans are normally substantially taller and this is regardless of getting a strongly Catholic nation, they are a bit lighter on the physique. They are a bit much more European about nudity. And what could scandalize us? You know, I could see it on Fox News, appropriate? Or The New York Post, pencils for children’s books, a pornographic animated film. And then, you know, we’d all be, oh, my God, we’d have to cancel it. But no, no, he’s nasty and brash and disrespectful. And when he’s playing to adults, he’s, you know, playing to an adult crowd. But when he’s carrying out his children’s books, he’s just attempting to entertain. He is incredibly funny. I imply, why would folks come to the Comic-Con museum to see an exhibit? Simply because it is funny. But bring a buddy who speaks Spanish due to the fact there are a lot of jokes that are sort of Mexican jokes.

S2: And due to the fact this is for radio. Describe the visual style of his drawing. I guess.

S5: The closest approximation in American comics would be some thing.

S3: Style Sensible would be like Agara the Horrible. He has a incredibly loose and flowing freestyle. I am truly attracted to it. He is not 1 of these. It really is not like Ernie Bush Miller’s Nancy. Does not have. These are not cautiously planned and drawn panels. His panels are cost-free, light, floating, frenetic and funny. Funny. And I have to say it once again, it is sort of silly. Some of his jokes are, you know, he’s not above a terrible pun, you know, to figure out what it is. And some of.

S2: You speak about it, he has some silly humor about him. And some of these look political on 1 level, but then they have a sort of punch that is incredibly silly. Yes.

S3: Yes. Yes. I feel it could possibly be some thing of the way we right here in the States are adapted to Mexican.

S5: Art and culture.

S3: We at times assume that politics is the very first strategy. And we are appalled to find out that Mexicans like Americans like the similar crap as us Americans. You know, that is the miracle. I imply, 1 of the takeaways from Tex-Mex’s seductive hallucinations of Mexicans is that Mexicans are no various from Americans. That is, they are ridiculous and racist.

S5: And unpredictable.

S3: And complete of irony and contradictions. They are folks. They are folks. They are all also human. And I feel we see that in 3 news stories. I imply, what is not Tri attempting to do as a cartoonist? Fundamentally, he’s attempting to make you laugh now. He capitalizes on our popular I imply, why does he appeal to American audiences? Properly, lots of of his jokes are about American pop culture, from The Avengers to Star Trek to Star Wars. Mexicans watch Television Two and go to the cinema. And so his concentrate is that we can feel of it as North American well-liked culture. And so in his perform, we ought to not be shocked to come across these players. Now it also has Mexican meals. He has Luchadores, he has Mexican wrestlers. And what he does have, which is correct of most comics, is that he has an eye for hypocrisy.

S2: And you brought Luchadores. Yes. And speak a small bit about the significance of that in Mexican culture and how that played out in some of Chin’s perform.

S4: Yes, I am.

S3: A handful of years ago I became 1 of the speaking heads in Carlos Avila’s documentary about Mexican wrestlers. And 1 of the issues I stated there, and I feel it is correct, is that Mexican wrestling in Mexico is like opera for the functioning class. You know, we never have blonde hair to see lucha doors, although. You have functioning class folks who have worked a challenging week wanting to do some thing on Thursday evening, Friday evening, Saturday evening. And they go to fight. They go to wrestling matches. And as Roland Barthes pointed out in his popular perform mythology, the fake wrestling is what attracts folks. They know it is fake. They know it is rigged. They are not there for some sort of judicial appropriate outcome. They are there for exaggeration. They are there for clowns, for spectacle, for violence against folks. I imply, due to the fact, you know, somebody, the very first man laughed when the second man slipped on a banana peel. We like to laugh at these issues. And that is what you get when you go to Mexican wrestling.

S2: One particular of the issues about his perform, also, is that there is a incredibly humanistic high quality to the sort of humor he does.

S3: Yes, it is appealing.

S5: I imply, it is not, I imply, it is pretty much carrying out a disservice to contact Torino a Mexican cartoonist.

S3: He is. He is Mexican. He is from Jalisco. He’s truly proud of it.

S5: But history.

S3: Drawing from the cave drawings of Lascaux to this day is just that human beings attempt to leave a small trace behind. And what he leaves behind are some truly funny meditations on the human heart and the human soul.

S1: That is Beth Accomando speaking to William Ritchie. Torino’s cross-border collaboration will be on show at the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park by way of July five. Quickly, a nearby author writes about a dystopian future that challenges our present in lots of strategies.

By Editor

Leave a Reply