Venezuelan-born, LA-based artist Carlos A. Etcheverry has just released Borlo Comix, Vol. 1: The Cruelest Comix in the World. This psychedelic R. Crumb inspired creation is bizarre, fascinating, and funny, reflecting the multiple realities and dimensions contained within the artist and his creation. We got the chance to ask Carlos a few questions via email to learn more about Borlo and about his artistic life in Los Angeles…
What’s your favorite taco?
“Tacos El Tauro” a black truck with badass flames and lights that you can find in Sunset Blvd near Los Globos, I love their asada cheese fries!!
What brought you to Los Angeles, and what keeps you here?
I met this gallery owner online 15 years ago and she flew me from Venezuela to have a show at her space, the late Ghettogloss gallery in Glendale Blvd, the show went great! made friends and contacts right away, loved the city, the beach, but I mostly stayed because of Grifiith Park, the Hawks and The Coyotes; Work has been decent too.
Who is Borlo?
Borlo is a mischevious entity who jumps through dimensions triggering chaos and despair, he loves red cotton balls and talks in his own binary language, he looks like some sort of clown to us because that’ how someone who’s about to rape your mind would possibly look like.
When did you start drawing comix, and what interested you in that art form?
My parents have a certain degree of normalcy and you know, a lot of normal baby boomers back in the day actually read comics, some of them saved them for their children, so eventually i found myself surrounded by piles and piles of Superman, Archie, and even Laurel and Hardy comics! I grew up reading those plus the stuff you could find in South America in the 80’s, Mafalda, Condorito, Kaliman, Memin and so on.
In elementary school I used to draw an Archie rip-off comic but with an all horse cast called “Caballomania”, I even got to sell a bunch of xeroxes of it! later on I discovered Ranxerox and El Vibora comix and Crumb, of course, hanging out with the best bad older people I’ve ever met, I think ultimately Ranxerox did it for me, I wanted to draw comics as intense and beautiful as those, or at least get close to it, eventually Borlo got me just quite close I could say, but the only two quotes I could get from Liberatore about my work in recent days were: “interesting” and “time to keep living” which I’m happy to take!
Who are your favorite all-time comix artists?
Tanino Liberatore of course, I love the Schuitten Brothers, Phillipe Druillet, Phoebe Gloeckner, Richard Corben, Suehiro Maruo, Max, Enki Bilal and Pepe Moreno who happens to be a guest artist in Borlocomix Vol 1!
Why are Borlo Comix “the cruelest”?
That’s the title for the first volume, those are particularly cruel because the outcome of the stories is never seems to favor the protagonists, I also find that particularly cruel to the reader, not that I didn’t do my best to give you a good ride through it all, but it is honest of me to warn you that most likely the little universe contained in that book is going to carry you through horrible possibilities, to find it fun would depend of course on your own mental issues!
What are the most beautiful things in the world?
My girlfriend, my bicycle and Hana, Hawaii.
Do you have a lucky number?
number 9 number 9 number 9
What do you do when you want to chill out and relax?
I like to make obnoxious mixes with lots of samples and weird stuff and play them loud on my bicycle’s speakers on my way to Echo Park lake where I like to smoke (and sit on the) grass, drink iced coffee and read comix like there’s no tomorrow! I’m currently on a 2000AD kick, can’t help it, they’re too good!
Do you have any recurring dreams?
I hang out with rockstars, dead and alive, last time I hung out with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in some nameless anglo-caribbean town, I saw Mick walking down the street with grocery bags and I went and asked him if he knew where I could get some weed, he told me I could go with him, pick up some weed at his place and meet with Keith to get faded (all in his accent, of course), he had a long hippie beard, they both did, and rasta clothes! we met Keith on the way to some bridge where we saw the most gigantic blue-ish moon and smoked a fat giant joint wich also got me pretty stoned in my dream too!! I got tons of these dreams, those are the fun ones!
What is your entrance music? What is Borlo’s?
Do you know the soundtrack to the Movie Suburbia(1984) ? not so much the punk songs but the instrumental pieces by Alex Gibson? Ideally that’s my entrance music but I think I’m stuck with whatever Borlo gets, which could be anything from a Medieval folk song to peruvian pan flute techno to heavy dark ambient, but that’s also ideally ’cause the live music being played at our shows and book signings has been nothing but amazing! We had Moomaw and Mefisto play in the book christening, Dmitry Wild and Humberto Olivieri in my recent Brooklyn show and in Meltdown Comics I had Erleen Nada, I still can’t believe it myself, I’m very thankful for their involvement and I’m also working on some Borlo tracks with some of these guys, Borlo Musix vol 1 is coming soon!