“I’m 29 years old and I’m just some idiot who draws comics and cartoons in Mexico city,” is how illustrator Abraham Díaz describes himself. This humble introduction the illustrator gives definitely downplays Abraham’s jaunty sketches reminiscent of late 70s punk zines.
The illustrator has been involved with Mexico City’s punk scene for years, drawing flyers for local shows and additionally making album artwork for international bands too. As well as this, Abraham runs his own micro edition publishing house producing comics and outsider art under the name of Joc Doc, “we mostly do graphic zines and books whenever we can afford to do it,” he says. His own illustration work has been shown in comic anthologies around the world, from Kramers Ergot, Kovra and Spanish publishers Ediciones Valientes who recently published Tonto, a solo book of his cartoons. But Abraham’s most recent release, Nausea, shines a light on the sometimes disruptive nature of the illustrator’s home city.
“I’ve lived here for around 25 years in a poor working class neighbourhood in the south west of Mexico City,” says Abraham, beginning to explain the narrative behind Nausea. “It used to be a mostly calm place, but for about two years the violence in the whole city, especially in the margins, started to rise up in the teenage sectors of the population.” Consequently, Abraham’s 25 page comic illustrates this feeling in four short stories “somehow linked to the ‘capital’ and its nonsense violence, corruption, misery and the hopelessness that emanates from it in cities like Mexico.”
Basing a comic on his hometown obviously means Nausea is a story quite close to the illustrator’s heart and in turn, portrays his particular views on the city. The comic has also been a laborious process, taking around seven to eight months to complete, “mostly because I kept changing the story and I’m really slow at drawing,” he admits. Nevertheless, Nausea is certainly worth the effort and wait, gaining recognition as part of Viva Revolución Gráfica, an exhibition on popular Mexican illustration in Marseille, and now published by Kus! in Europe so even more can gain insight to Abraham’s illustrated interpretation of the city.
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