- Catch and Release? – AO Releases the 2nd AMIGOMAN™ vs. Big Tuna Luna Comic Book – a 3-State Team Effort.
Article by AMIGOMAN™ Creator, Anthony “AO” Oropeza 01/12/2018
Well, it’s finished! My final part, well, there were only two parts, of my introduction of newest villain to hit the mean streets of Del Oro, the final intro book of The Notorious “BTL”, also known as – The Big Tuna Luna!
The title of the book(s) – “Their is Something Fishy in Del Oro Part 1 & 2”, is our latest set of completed books in the AMIGOMAN™ chronicles. When I say “our”, I mean my partners in crime (storytelling) St. Louis’s – Lorenzo Lizana and Arkansas’s – Jon Woodard. These two guys were awesome enough to to play a huge part in assisting me in this project by putting their talents together to make a couple really great books. These two seasoned veterans in the comic book game, trusted me enough, or maybe they trusted my AMIGOMAN™ and Big Tuna Luna comic book characters and story enough, to put their time and energy into my project.
Either way, this was a really cool collaboration between us three, and sure, it took us a couple of years to knock them out, but that was because of me. The delay was all my fault. But you know what, we didn’t quit. They stayed with me and finished our project! And in all honesty, I don’t care too-too much that it took a couple years to complete. See, the writing of the story was actually finished 3-4 years before we started the project and we are all aware that each of us, like so many other comic book artists, all have other gigs. Personally, I work a full-time job and take-on various sports art and various graphic freelance work throughout the year. That is how I spend many of my nights and weekends. The others, Lorenzo and Jon, handle freelance work work and travel to comic cons throughout the year. But they were cool enough to make time for my two little books.
As for the AMIGOMAN™ comic book and fortunately – for me, both of them are work horses and they love comics! And their love of comics combined with their fondness for AMIGOMAN™, the characters, and story has taken the quality of book to another level. These top-notch creative professionals, Lorenzo and Jon, are what made the wait worth it. And in all honesty, these books are better then what they would have been 3 or so years ago if I would have went with different artists.
So within my article here, I would like to show an examples of how we worked pretty well as a team, and how they trusted in me, my story and my process.
So a few years back I had a small vision for the cover art for my part two introduction of The Big Tuna Luna book. Originally the book was not supposes to be a two-part book, but with budget issues (I didn’t have enough money to pay for help), production was delayed. Then while the guys were staying at my place for a KC comic con weekend, we discussed how we would all take-on the project – costs, meetings (Google Hangouts), and how they would be cool with me tweaking art they sent back my way based off of my mock-ups and storyboards.
See, they both understand the creators side of a project. I guess they understand every comic book team requires certain positions to be covered. Like baseball. You cover your position and when the ball heads your way, make the play. And both were great on the team. Why? Because they are both professionals and seasoned creatives. They both understand when a creator and writer has a vision, their jobs are to execute the vision of that creator’s project with their talent – for the team. And it worked really really well.
AMIGOMAN™ The Big Tuna Luna Part 2 Book Cover Art Mock-ups
So I gave each of them both a copy of my 24-page mock-up and a copy of my script. Then they would send me back any of their work based off the 24 pages and the cover art. My job was to review and make sure the art worked with the script (the story), and I had to make sure the art and the words on the layout (pages) made sense to the audience I wrote it for (grades 4-5 and up), along with about a hundred other things on my plate.
Nevertheless, we all worked within each others home and work schedules. They sent me sketches and I tweaked just about every one of them – sometimes twice! One of my fears is that they would not like my tweaks and it would cause an issue and slow down or stop production. And guess what, it didn’t! It never did. These guys were fantastic! Once they sent me a mock-up, I sent a tweak and they sent something back- fixed! Then I would get back to to work on my side. My job after I received the final art was to cleaned up the art, resized it, lay it out, placed the bubbles and letters for the inside pages, and then layout, design and color the cover.
Then, after all that work, we have a completed book – well, two actually in this case. And sure, we aren’t anywhere close to the size, distribution, bank role or anything else like Marvel or DC, and I do not have a dream to be like them.
See my goal or goals are different. I want to put out books specifically for a younger audience – in two languages. I want to continue to visit schools and talk to students about our stories, our art, our struggles, our ideas, our process and if I’m lucky – I’ll inspire.
But none of that happens with out a team work, goals and each “players” understanding of their role. I have been very fortunate to work with these two talented creatives on this project and hope to continue to do so in the future.
So now that both parts are finished, in English, now my next step is to translate them to Spanish, and then publish both languages together in one book.
So right now, our BTL books are available in the English only version (currently working on the translated versions) via our AMIGOMAN.com/shop. Get your copies today!