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The college contacted him a year ago about staging an exhibit, and the Cuban-born Castellanos suggested Hispanic Heritage Month would be a perfect fit. Baldo is the first comic strip in syndication that deals specifically with growing up Latino and the balancing act that living simultaneously in two cultures requires. The strip is published daily in more than 250 newspapers, including The Palm Beach Post.
“It’s always been challenging drawing the strip,” Castellanos said from his home studio in West Palm Beach, where he has lived for 18 years. “I still enjoy working with Hector, the collaboration. The challenge has always been drawing the same characters over and over. Before, I was freelancing as a commercial artist, and I was always working on different project.
“But it’s not the hardest job,” he laughs. “I had that job. It’s digging ditches for a plumber in Florida in the summertime.”
When Castellanos and Cantu started developing the strip in the late ’90s, there weren’t any comics that dealt with Hispanic or Latino families. “We were at the right place, at the right time, with the right product.”
Making a living as an artist isn’t the easiest road, though, but it can be done. Castellanos, a father of three, feels strongly about teaching children to follow their dreams, and, more specifically, ways they can be successful with art. He contributes content to cartooningpro.com, a site where artists can watch instructional videos by working artists.
” When I was starting out, there weren’t a lot of resources available. For those who are spacial and visual learners, it gave us a way to reach them. The conventional means aren’t working for some kids. The Internet has brought the world to your doorstep, and the videos give them a chance to look over my shoulder.”
For Castellanos, who began drawing as a child, art was a means of communicating and a way to make friends. “I was very shy as a kid and it also became a way to interact with kids, to break the ice and show kids what I was about. “
In the years he’s been working on the strip, he’s been bombarded by phone calls and emails and fielded a lot of practical questions about being a working cartoonist .
Art’s value, Castellanos says, “is not only about reaching them, it’s about giving them a platform to talk about what’s important to them.”
And he doesn’t just teach about art, he also teaches through his art. A series of strips about Baldo’s father getting diagnosed with diabetes allowed Castellanos to talk about a topic that was important to him. Castellanos says he prefers a series of strips to the “one and done” gags because he can deal with more complicated issues.
Castellanos’ exhibit gives fans a chance to peek behind the veil and almost captures what it’s like to draw a comic strip on a daily basis. Story boards, framed strips and a life-size cutouts of the characters are hung beside a large canvas that sums up Castellanos’ primary message: Dream.
IF YOU GO
Baldo Comics by Carlos Castellano: Through Oct. 14, the Jan and Gary Dario Gallery at PBSC. (561) 868-3909 | Directions, invite friends, more
It ‘s always a great feeling to have the support of family and friends whenever you take on anything new or that you are passionate about achieving. The same holds true when you are fortunate enough to find that same kind of support and recognition from strangers in the way of the media. In this case, my local news paper The Palm Beach Post and my neighboring news paper The Miami Herald.
In honor of Hector’s visit and of October being Hispanic Heritage Month, the Victoria Advocate, along with The Victoria College, is holding a “Baldo in Victoria” contest. We want you to write a script for the comic and the top three winners will be drawn by Advocate multimedia artists and featured in the newspaper.
For contest details click HERE.
Tia Carmen wants her OWN show and she’s making her move. Catch Tia carmen’s video submission to the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
Hey guys, join us as we celebrate Baldo’s 10th year in syndication.
This is our chance to personally thank the Baldo fans that have made our comic strip the most successful Latino familia in the comic pages.
You’re not going to want to miss the fun on this party-line call!
Ask us any questions you like. Discuss future storylines. Tell us what you like and what you hate about the strip. Whatever is on your mind is fair game. We want to hear from you.
We also have a few surprise guests lined up for the call that you won’t want to miss.
Register below to save your spot on the call.
Call date: Thursday April, 29
Time: 8:00 PM EST. / 5:00 PM PST
You know, sometimes it really amazes me as to how some people feel this uncontrollable urge to make comments, and take actions that are obviously meant to do nothing more than to tear others down.
Take for instance this recent email from a reader a few days ago. Unknowingly to me, it appears Hispanic Heritage Month is forcibly being shoved down peoples throats. Now I don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard of any such mention in the news. Surely this can’t be good thing. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s the actual aired segment. It was a ton of fun and I realized my Spanish can use a bit more practice. Fell into spanglish mode a few time. If you speak Spanish, let me know what you think.
I recently drove down to Atlanta, GA from N.C. where I’m currently vacationing, and had the privilege of being interviewed by the wonderful and gracious (not to mention beautiful) Xanthe Tilden of CNN En Español about the diabetes storyline which ran in Baldo last week. We’re proud to have partnered up with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health on getting the facts straight and the message out.
The interview was set up by the dynamic duo of PR and TV production, Carmen and Charlie Cruz of Effective Media Group. They even put us up for a night, took us to dinner and showed us around the Atlanta area. Xanthe even gave us a personal tour of the CNN studios. Thanks guys! ; )
We had a great time despite that fact I was all nerves (my Spanish isn’t at all the great). It made me realize just how far my Spanish had slipped and that I really needed to make a conscious effort to improve it beyond just casual conversation. I know I’m not the only one struggling with this issue. There are many second and third generation Hispanics who have a very weak handle on their mother tongue, if they still speak it at all.
Needless to say I’m watching more Spanish TV and making a conscious effort to speak only Spanish while at home. Besides, it’s better for my kids as well. I grew up learning two languages at once and never gave it much thought. I need to more consistent in enforcing the Spanish only at home rule with my own kids.
How about you? Have you or your children lost connection with your native language? If so, are you okay with that, or are you doing something about it. Let us know.