• Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Taking a look at Trino’s World in a popular culture context


May 26, 2023

S1: Welcome again. You are listening to KPBS Noon Version. Comedian-Con Museum simply opened Torino’s World. The exhibition showcases one of the vital well-liked and celebrated cartoonists in Mexico , Jose Trinidad Camacho , higher referred to as Torino. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando wished to put the exhibit in a much bigger popular culture context , so she spoke with writer and San Diego State College English professor William Riccio.

S2: Invoice , earlier than we discuss this exhibit of Trans World , speak a bit bit about your self and your obsession with popular culture , each professionally and personally.

S3: Nicely , I discovered how one can learn from comedian books. My sister and my grandmother , Anna , raised me on Little Dot Archie comics Unhappy Sack. And actually I discovered to learn with comics. So comics , popular culture , well-liked leisure , you realize , have been my world. And I used to be born within the early 60s. And so tv was every thing. I certainly one of my early publications and my mom received my late mom received very mad. I stated I used to be raised by tv. Proper. However however it’s true. If not , after faculty , we get our TV trays and we would sit in entrance of the tv. So TV comics , the flicks. I grew up in Laredo , Texas , alongside the border. They have been our leisure and tv in Laredo earlier than cable was , you realize , we had three , 2 or 3 American channels and we had seven Mexican channels from Nuevo Laredo. And so English and Spanish , well-liked and leisure was my IV bag , proper ? That is that is simply what I like to do. And so personally , they have been a refuge for me. They have been supply of not simply leisure. I discovered I am an English professor now and my deep affection for language , each English and Spanish , is a end result of popular culture. And so for me , that was just like the wealthy treasure trove from which I derived a lifelong obsession with comedian books and tv and well-liked tradition.

S2: And also you went on to check sort of Mexican American stereotypes that proliferate in American popular culture and have written about that and actually investigated that. Sure.

S3: Sure. My first main e book was Tex-Mex Seductive Hallucinations of the Mexican in America. And it was wholly centered on the evolution of Mexican stereotypes in america , kind of like like COVID , the evolution of the virus , as a result of it’s viral. The thought particular concepts of Mexicans transcend books , tv , billboards , films. The the bandit , after all , the now the narco. The bandit has developed from Pancho Villa into the narco , the drug narco drug vendor. The Latina sizzling blooded , attractive femme fatale , after all , has been a staple since Lupe Vélez. However the thought of the unfavorable thought of the and also you say Mexican , however , you realize , most Latinos , there are these humorous little packing containers that I needed to open and examine as a result of they’re so endemic. That’s , they seem to be a pure a part of the background of American leisure. So I wished to interrupt that down. That is why I known as it a seductive hallucination , as a result of it is in all places. It’s very permeated consciousness to the purpose the place it must be damaged down as a result of we do not give it some thought anymore.

S2: And we’re sitting right here on the Comedian-Con Museum and you’re a professor at San Diego State College , which now has a program centered on comics and sort of elevating it on this tutorial stage. I am so. Excited.

S3: Excited. I am a really small participant in it , however I am part of what’s now known as the Middle for Comedian Research at San Diego State College. The 2 ringleaders are this unbelievable professor of historical past , Beth Pollard , and an equally outstanding librarian of particular collections. Pamela Jackson and I get to play of their sandbox and what I get. I have been instructing comics the college stage since 1985. I began at Cornell College after I was nonetheless a graduate scholar. And I’ve taught and written and printed about comics as as a sort of facet gig , a bit facet hustle since then. And fortuitously I get to collaborate with Beth and Pam and an entire group of professors , lecturers and staffers at SDSU which are into comics.

S2: We’re right here in Torino’s world on the Comedian Con Museum , and that is Jose Trinidad Camacho’s work. So inform me a bit bit about sort of your familiarity with him and sort of the lineage from the place he comes from when it comes to his cartooning ? Positive.

S3: Mexico has a wealthy custom of sequential artwork , that graphic narrative , these are the flamboyant phrases as professors name comics , however they’re comics and. And he is in an extended line. I assume it might begin with Jose Posada together with his printmaking store in Mexico Metropolis after which shifting into the twentieth century. You’ve gotten a cartoonist like Rios , who was identified for his left wing satirical revolutionary comics Three. , on the on the finish of this cycle is only a very achieved , humorous , foolish , nasty , soiled comedian e book comic. , I used to be considering for an American viewers not accustomed to Reno’s work , who may we consider him as ? And he is sort of foolish. So not Garry Trudeau , not Doonesbury , however Garry Trudeau , Doonesbury plus Jon Stewart , perhaps from The Every day Present. Sassy , ironic , comedic , after which a bit nasty. , he is he is received some soiled stuff and it is cool. It is humorous.

S2: Nicely , it is fascinating as a result of it looks like his work spans such a various vary as a result of he does kids’s books and but he is additionally accomplished a film which sort of reminds you a bit of Fritz the Cat and that sort of lewd and crude model of comedy.

S4: Yeah , yeah.

S3: Santos And I can not even say the title of it as a result of it is received a it is received some pornography there. His film belongs on Grownup Swim. I imply , it is undoubtedly irreverent. It is a couple of wrestler and zombies. And this wrestler has this dominatrix , a girl , naked chested lady. , one of many issues that strikes me about Reno’s work is that we have to watch out as People to not impose our puritanical lens onto Mexico. Mexicans usually are far more and that is regardless of it being a closely Catholic nation , they’re a bit bit less difficult going concerning the physique. They’re a bit bit extra European about nudity. And so what may scandalize us ? , I may see it on Fox Information , proper. Or The New York Submit , kids’s e book artist pens , pornographic animated movie. After which , you realize , we would all be , oh , my God , we received to cancel him. However no , no , he is he is a nasty and sassy and irreverent. And when he performs to adults , he is , you realize , enjoying to an grownup viewers. However when he is doing his kids’s books , he is simply making an attempt to entertain. He is very entertaining. I imply , why ought to individuals come out to the Comedian-Con Museum to see the exhibition ? As a result of it is humorous. However carry carry a pal who speaks Spanish as a result of there are a number of jokes which are sort of inside Mexi Mexican jokes.

S2: And since that is for radio. Describe the visible model of his drawing. I assume.

S5: The closest approximation in American comedian strips could be one thing.

S3: Fashion clever could be like Hagar the horrible. He is received a really unfastened and fluid freestyle. It actually appeals to me. He isn’t certainly one of these. It is not like Ernie Bush Miller’s Nancy. There’s not. These will not be meticulously deliberate and drawn panels. His panels are free , straightforward , floating , frenetic and humorous. Humorous. And he is I’ve to say it once more , he is sort of foolish. A few of his jokes are , you realize , he isn’t above a crappy pun , you realize , to get the punch line. And a few of.

S2: You discuss that , he is he is sort of received some foolish humor to him. And a few of these look political on one stage , however then sort of have a punch line that may be very foolish. Sure.

S3: Sure. Sure. I feel that may be among the approach we right here in america are attuned to Mexican.

S5: Artwork and tradition.

S3: We presume typically the foregrounding of the political. And we’re aghast to search out out that Mexicans like People are simply into the identical crap that we People are. , that is that is the surprise. I imply , one of many conclusions of Tex-Mex seductive hallucinations of the Mexican is that Mexicans are not any completely different than People. That’s , they’re humorous and racist.

S5: And unpredictable.

S3: And filled with irony and contradictions. They’re human. They’re human. They’re all too human. And I feel we see that in in three information work. I imply , what does three no try and do as a cartoonist ? Principally , he is making an attempt to make you snigger now. He capitalizes on our acquainted I imply , why does he enchantment to an American viewers ? Nicely , a number of his jokes are about American popular culture from The Avengers to Star Trek to Star Wars. Mexicans watch TV two and so they go to the flicks. And so his focus is on we are able to consider it as North American well-liked tradition. And so in his work , we should not be shocked to search out these gamers. Now , he is additionally received Mexican staples. He is received Luchadores , he is received the Mexican wrestlers. And what he is received , which is what’s true of most comedian strips , is he is received his eye open to hypocrisy.

S2: And also you introduced up Luchadores. Yeah. And speak a bit bit about sort of the significance of that in Mexican tradition and the way it’s performed out in a few of Chino’s work.

S4: Yeah , I a.

S3: Few years again I received to be one of many speaking heads in Carlos Avila’s documentary on Mexican wrestlers. And one of many issues I stated there that I feel is true is that Mexican wrestling in Mexico is like opera for the working class. , we do not have the blue hair’s going to see lucha doorways , although. You have received working class individuals who’ve labored arduous week desirous to do one thing on a Thursday night time , a Friday night time , a Saturday night time. And so they go to the fights. They go to the wrestling fights. And as Roland Bart identified in his landmark work mythology , the fakery of wrestling is what appeals to individuals. They know it is faux. They know it is rigged. They are not there for a sort of judicial straight final result. They’re there for the exaggeration. They’re there for the clowns , for the spectacle , for the violence to individuals. I imply , since , you realize , somebody , the primary human laughed when the opposite human slipped on a banana peel. We prefer to snigger at this stuff. And that is what you get once you go to a Mexican wrestling match.

S2: One of many issues about his work , too , is there’s this very humanistic high quality to the sort of humor that he is doing.

S3: Sure , it appeals.

S5: I imply , this is not I imply , it is virtually it virtually does the work a disservice to name Torino a Mexican cartoonist.

S3: He’s. He is Mexicano. He is from Jalisco. He is actual happy with that.

S5: However the historical past of.

S3: Cartooning from the cave drawings of Lascaux to at the moment is simply human beings attempt to depart a bit hint of themselves behind. And what he leaves behind are some actually humorous meditations on the human coronary heart and the human soul.

S1: That was Beth Accomando talking with William Riccio. The cross-border collaboration of Torino’s world will probably be on show on the Comedian-Con Museum in Balboa Park by July fifth. Arising , an area writer writes a couple of dystopian future that in some ways places our current into query.