Diego Vidal is the artist for “Dispose,” a short comic about entitlement, impatience, and space trash (naturally), written by Ryan Haack that appeared in Oneshi Press Quarterly Anthology #04. We spoke with Diego about making comics in Chile, Hellboy, and perspective.
Tell us a bit about yourself, Diego! What’s your background, and how did you end up creating “Dispose” with Ryan Haack?
Well, I’m a comic artist from Chile. Ever since I’been capable of doing coordinated motions I’ve been drawing and narrating stories, really. I’m from the poorest region in my country so even though I had a comfortable life I wasn’t that exposed to media, so only when I was already a teenager and had a clear interest in comics and drawing [did] I started to look for more stuff on the internet about it. (Also it helped that a lot of relatives had similar interests, all of them older than me, providing a lot of material for me.)
At around 12 years old, I knew I wanted to draw for a living, but since I wasn’t very proactive I never looked much into the production aspects of comics or how to make a living on art until I was around 18. A classmate saw [an] advertisement for a Comic Class, so with a very close friend of mine and another classmate I went to check the thing out. The teacher was a local comic artist who just wanted to teach aspiring artists how to make comics and illustrations and then how to work doing them! After 2 years learning from Claudio Muñoz (who I owe a lot to!) in his comics class, I started to look for work mainly in DeviantArt first and now Facebook. In that process, Ryan Haack saw my art and was interested, and “Dispose” was made!
Who are your comic art heroes?
Tough question, but people who I admire the most overall have to be Eiichiro Oda and Mike Mignola. Both have a very creative style, top-notch storytelling, charming characters, and have made a living having shit loads of fun creating their own fantasy world! (Which is what I aspire to do.) In specific, I love Oda’s expressive characters, world and designs (and overall goofiness! Also, he is such a hard worker, which I’m totally not!) and I think Mignola’s apparent simplicity in composition and lighting makes drawing look easy! Helps to show his domain in those areas!(I also love all the mythology and folklore in Hellboy!)
What are you currently reading, listening to, and watching for inspiration?
Haven’t read a lot lately to be honest, but I just started to read Berserk (Kentaro Miura), and I already love it! It’s awesome to get in on something old and understand why it’s a classic!
I’ve been listening to some music from old games from my past. Recently I felt in love again with the beautiful soundtrack of Ragnarok Online. Also started to get into the entire discography of one of my new favourite artists: Sheena Ringo!
I want to see the entire filmography of Akira Kurosawa! the last thing I saw was Seven Samurai. Also just started to watch Mob Psycho 100! And On My Block on Netflix.
Who’s your favorite comic book hero/heroine? Villain? Morally ambiguous anti-hero?
Sadly I haven’t read a lot of comics with great heroines but there are some that pique my interest a lot, like Sword of Ages (Gabriel Rodriguez), Space Girl (Andrew McLean), the new Immortal Iron Fist and Extremity (Daniel Warren Johnson).
Favourite villain, I would have to pick two! Venom cause he is badass and I love the entire anti-venom stuff! And lastly Buggy the Clown from One Piece. I love characters who can get relatable by just being idiots or a lot of fun!
Anti-hero, I would have to go with Lobo, mostly his first standalone stories, like “Lobo Is Back” and “The Last Czarnian.”
Have you made any comics, aside from “Dispose”?
As I said above, I’m not that hard of a worker so I haven’t done that many projects, and even though I still have worked on some, none of them have been able to be published yet!
I’m trying to practice writing my own stuff in my free time to start producing more comics each year. I have a 7-page short story that I’ll probably publish for free on my social media accounts, so stay tuned for that!
What are some other projects you’re working on now?
I’ve been working with Nathan Frison for the last couple of years doing “Message Sent,” I’m drawing the third issue now! I’m also in a local project here in Chile called Krudo, it’s a noir story set in a world of toys and plushies! It’s based on a web series of the same name, you can check it on YouTube!
What do you look for in a comic, as a reader? As an artist?
As a reader I want to have fun mostly. I can get into a really slow and introspective story, but I get into the really fun and engaging stuff with more passion!
And as an artist I want truth. I love to feel that I can get to know a little bit more of an author just by reading his/her stories. I think that art is anything done using a certain discipline or medium to express any kind of emotion or idea, and as genuine as possible as that is to oneself (meaning the people involved in making it) the better! It’s a very romantic take on the thing, but of course I appreciate overall quality! These can apply to any art form, and I really believe comics can tackle any kind of stories it wants to, but in terms of comics as it’s a special art form. I appreciate taking risks and coming [in] with exciting new ideas to narrate! After all, sequential storytelling in comics can get really crazy!
What does the world need that comics, or art more generally, can provide?
Perspective. Perspective on a lot of things, like different ways to look at the world or at different conflicts. Perspective on life, on humanity, on social and economic aspects that shape us and shaped those before us. After all, I think it’s impossible to prevent some reality leaking into the art we make, so when we look at art we are just seeing humans! Even when you see things heavily targeted to certain audience or with the objective to make money when you can feel it’s kinda fake, that in itself is a reflection of a mindset of a lot of people, and you can analyze aspects of it and realize what is their stand on a lot of things.
So I would make a call to always try to take a second reading of everything we consume; even if you are not the critic type, you could learn a lot [about] every aspect of life!
Who are you dying to collaborate with?
When I started, my objective was to get into Dark Horse to work on a Hellboy story! Now I’m focusing on creating my own brand and being more independent, but I would love to work with Mignola.
Also, I have a lot of creative friends in different areas of art. I have a friend who is also a comic artist; he has actually colored a couple of my pages in Message Sent (Daniel Romero! he is awesome! check his work!) so I would like to keep working or start new projects with my pals!
Where can our readers find you online?
While you’re here, grab a copy of Oneshi Press Anthology #04, featuring “Dispose” by Diego Vidal and Ryan Haack!