Jan Number 11
Carlos Ortin, the author of the cover, was born and lives in Valencia.
Raised with the elegance of the Franco-Belgian style of drawing and the rounded shapes of the Atom Design, his first comics were published in the most iconic magazines of the eighties. His former characters were paradoxical individuals, influenced by the culture of the tebeo and the series B, like that writer attacked by his own stories, or the guy obsessed with the memory of his own death, or the student who is photographed and a different person appears in the pictures…
Carlos Ortin closes that period of life in 1988.
Then he dedicates to illustrate and he draws some books and wins some awards.
He closes that period in 2001, a true odyssey.
Outraged with the relations between editors and illustrators, he enlists passionately in the associative movement. He achieves a few things but in the end all the effort isn’t worth it.
He closes that period in 2007.
He updates himself with teaching projects and teaches classes and workshops to every new illustrator who wants to enroll.
Happy but tired, he closes that period in 2017.
Hopeful and especially in good company, he creates the digital magazine The Valencianer, with the goal to publish it monthly during a year.
After one year and a little more, he closes that period in 2018.
Nowadays, his mind wanders in whereabouts unknown.
This is his website.
Stamp: ©Raquel Catalina
Roger Omar, the author of Penguins and Elephants, was born in Mexico, specifically in Mazatlan, Sinaloa state, but lives in Spain, specifically in Valencia.
Since we know him, his name always appears right next to curious, original and sometimes disconcerting projects.
For a time he specialized in what we could call “interviews in the labyrinth”, in which the interviewed ends up lost in the corridors wondering if he has given the good answer or not.
An illustrative example: After a question of the sympathetic and pertinent type such as Have you done a recent project that you have special affection for?, Roger connects with something like How do you resort to self-deception in your daily life?
In 2002 he undertakes his great project: collecting childhood dreams around the world. Roger stands in a classroom of small children and lends a notebook to each one so that during a week they write in it the adventures that they dream every night. Once, a child started crying at Roger’s visit because he never remember his dreams.
Roger gives that entire crazy world to illustrators of all nationality and style, and reflects it in many diverse publications.
But the truth is that we do not know what Roger Omar dreams.
This is his website.
Stamp: ©Alfons Aladreta
Rosa Albero, author of the design of the head of The Valencianer and translator to the Valencian, was born in Alcoy but lives in Alcoi, I mean, in Valencia.
First, she was an actress. Then, newspaper designer, which is another way of acting.
Later she emigrated, as all real Alcoians do and which is another way to escape.
Never miss the opportunity to explain to everyone the idea that everything that is worthwhile in the world has its origin in Alcoy.
As a designer trained in the journalistic catacombs of the transition, she misses the brave carrier sheet and tipometer in hand modelers until dawn.
Rosa, also known in the underworld as The Russian, is the only member of the editorial committee of The Valencianer who has a fans club, with hymn, flag and, of course, fans.
Some reason must have.
This is her website.
Stamp: ©Cristina Durán
Román Ortín also known as Gaelus, was born and lives in Valencia.
This young man, who carries out duties such as Facebook manager, occasional translator and multitask in The Valencianer, is nearly a superhero in the office.
Inmediately after finishing his studies, he was signed up by the U.N.C.L.E. (we’re not joking folks) to perform missions that we can’t reveal.
At present he spends the week like a respected engineer while gathering strength to perform in the weekend as a fierce gladiator, wherever his services are requested.
Alea jacta est!
This is his website.
I have a friend named Julia. I ask for her favorite animals. Elephants and penguins, she says. She smiles. Then she looks with contempt at the electric candel that decorates our table.
I ring Vicente‘s door bell. A sunbeam lights my face while I wait. He appears carrying some packages of books. I go with him to the post office. While we walk we talk about the success of Tenderete. While we walk he smiles with irony, naughtiness or inocence, or with the mix of all. We enter a cafeteria. The lady that makes the coffee looks discreetly amazed by something. I recall that same look of discreet wonder in another face, in another cafeteria where I entered with Vicente in the past. I observe how Vicente is dressed: brown coat over a green long sleeve shirt. Or green coat over a brown shirt, I don’t remember now. Nor do I remember the lenght of his beard. I’ve seen his beard in 2 stages: long and messy, a look that portrays him as a respectable editor. And with trimmed beard and short haircut, a look that proves that he’s still a newborn teen… until he smiles and recovers the shape of a skillful editor. Vicente ask for a second coffee and suggests me to do some workshops and give me some contacts. “You’ve the pack: book, exhibition and worksops”, he says. I give him some blank sheets and black markers. He draws the first elephant. Then he draws a penguin on the head of the elephant. Then he grabs the suger packet and shows me its legend: “The first patridge that flies is the one that is shot” (African proverb). I give him a new sheet of paper. We say good bye and, as always occurs after meeting him, the dogs that walk in the street look at me in wonder.
I will meet Carlos Maiques in the cafeteria of the IVAM. In the afternoon I call him and say, very worried, that I lost my wallet and won’t be able to meet him until I find it. Riding a bike I arrive half and hour late to the IVAM. Carlos is drawing in the cafeteria, sit beside that heavy backpack that he always carries. “Where did you find your wallet?”. “In the place where I hid it”. I see the pages that Carlos is drawing. “It’s my new comic with Stygryt“, he says. “Cool”, I say. Then he puts the pages inside his backpack and I give him some blank sheets. He puts his various markers and pens on the table and starts to draw arching his eyerbrows and guessing the distance between his eyes and Mars. Lara comes in. We meet because she’s giving me a beautiful Ex-Voto (linocut) that she made. I give her a couple of papers and she starts to draw her penguin. While I drink my sour coffee I shyly draw my elephants, made with tiny dots. Infront of me is Carlos, I can talk to him with familiarity. Beside me is Lara, I know her just a little. I speak freely with Carlos, knowing that Lara is like a visitor in the zoo. That makes me shy. Carlos is usually a shy person, but depending on the situation he swings from shyness to temerity. Today he speaks with temerity, maybe because I feel shy.
In the morning I go in bus to meet with Martín. Daniela, my friend with grey eyes, comes with me. Martín is waiting in the cafeteria “El Paraíso”, near Plaza España. ¡Martín!, I shout. Martín is one of the founders of the Festival Tenderete. He has straight black hair and thin hands. Brave and generous. He’s regularly traveling to the bunch of self-publishing festivals around Europe. He calls himself “The Evilness” in the group of Whatsapp. We kindly greet each other. He says that he started drawing fanzines at a young age in Lima, Perú. He applied to study fine arts in Spain, Italy, México and Brasil. Spain answered. He came to live in Valencia. He’s a publisher on his own “Ediciones Valientes”, created in 2007. I give him some white sheets and he uses a thin pen. He draws tender penguins and kind elephants. I also invite Daniela and she draws a penguin with a big egg. “I don’t want anyone stealing the egg”, she says… “Have you seen the documentary about that lonely penguin that goes in the wrong direction?”, Martín asks. The penguin left his mates and got lost. Herzog filmed it… I suggest Martín to draw that lonely penguin, and he shows me that it’s already drawn.
It’s 7:30 in the afternoon and I arrive half an hour late to my encounter with Carlos Ortin. We meet in Plaza Tetuán and we walk to the cafeteria of the alley. “We close at 9”, says the waitress. A gin tonic for Carlos, a beer for me. Carlos is and always will be an unsolved mistery. For that reason, when we meet, I listen more than I talk. For example, if the tells a story about 2 bands, one of lions and other of gladiators, I can’t distinguish one band from another until he gets to the end of the story. He also has an enviable control over his own curiosity: he could coincide in a restaurant, shoulder to shoulder, with his secret brother (if he had one), and he wouldn’t move a finger to approach him. He’s one of the first illustrators that I met in Valencia. Happy, I tell him that I already started my contribution for The Valencianer, and that it’ll be composed of elephants and penguins. “I have a story about elephants and penguins, but I’ll keep it for a next day”, he says. Then he smiles or maybe he gets slightly serious, I can’t tell. He also says: “Although I’m one of those who cries watching a corny movie, I’m not a big fan of sadness. Even for sadness talent is necessary”… “Like Arnal Ballester often says: to illustrate is the same thing as putting make up on a dead body”… “I always draw for a reason. I don’t draw automatically”… Probably these are not his exact words, but Carlos is the happy editor of this magazine and he will correct them… Congratulations Carlos for creating The Valencianer. This afternoon, Carlos is dressed with a sober black coat and wears a smile. I can’t tell if his smile is showing a little concern or if it’s just a lucky smile.
I’m late. I park my bike and go to Bartleby, the bookshop. I ask Juanjo via whatsapp: “What’s the name of that cafeteria?”. “El Cafecito. It’s located in the church square. Do you remember it? Plaza Perera”. It’s 12:22, Juanjo sees me and shouts my name. We enter the cafeteria and I see 3 of his sketchbooks on the table. As always, he’s very kind. He has a tiny moustache and a tiny beard, very white skin. Black sweater with white thin stripes. He gives me his new set of cards “Card Toons”, and shows me the way to change the shape of the frog in the cover. I ask for a coffee, he’s having a croissant. Juanjo speaks with enthusiasm. From time to time he’s critic: “The technique doesn’t matter!”… “The goal of illustration is to generate ideas”… He tells me that his project “Milimbo” was born almost at the same time as her first daughter Maia, and that every night they tell stories to her 2 daughters before going to sleep. “Milimbo has undefined limits”… I take some notes and give him some blank sheets that he folds in half before drawing. He gets so concentrate that he doesn´t talk while he draws. He tells me that his feeling of freedom is bigger now that he’s a father. Then he describes himself as “highly disperse” and “intuitive”, which makes me question the image I have of him as a highly precise, disciplined person. How could he build those castles and labyrinths if he wasn’t so disciplined?
His black sweater has 3 buttons on the shoulder.
All right! I like this series. Besides collecting dreams, I’ll occasionally gather penguins and elephants.
You should guess who did every elephant and penguin
This happens in Valencia:
Vicente Ferrer and Begoña Lobo make “Media Vaca”
Carlos Maiques makes himself
Lara Ottaviani makes herself.
Martín López makes “Ediciones Valientes”
Carlos Ortin makes “The Valencianer”
Juanjo Oller, Trini and their daughters make “Milimbo”
Roger Omar makes illustrated dreams since 2002
Ms. Depar Empar, our mascot, triumphs in Russia
The second selection of our committee among the contestants to our pet contest of The Valencianer is our furthest subscriber. Her name is Adele Amineva, and she writes us from St. Petersburg, Russia!
We had to give her explanations about the traditional Valencian attire, its fabrics and prints, as well as about the typical hairstyle of the falleras. We did not know what to answer when she asked us why in Star Wars they had copied the hairstyle, but not the clothes, for the character of Princess Leia.
Adele has already received her fantastic BAT shirt, and already plans to wear it when the weather allows it in St. Petersburg. In addition, Adele is a young artist interested in lingerie fashion illustration, as you can check by visiting her Instagram account.
The well-known illustrator, cartoonist, fanzine maker, humorist, webseries actor and theater writer (at the moment) who signs as Yordi, has sent us this delicious stamp made with our publication in his thoughts.
Thanks friend! You’ve caught us at first!
In our stamp album, you can find all the great artists who collaborated with The Valencianer with their drawings, stories and wisdom.
From left to right and from top to bottom:
Elías Taño, Antonio Soto, Alfons Aladreta, Deima, Núria Bellver y Raquel Fanjul (Cachetejack), Carmen Frontera y Fran Mengual, Cristina Durán, Pedro Porcel, Manu Garrido, Carlos Michel Fuentes, Rosa Albero, Álvaro Pons, Nacho Casanova, Paulapé, Malota, Maria Herreros, Román Ortín, Miguel Ángel Giner Bou, César Sebastián, Xèlon XLF, David Brieva Rosáenz, @elgrangerardosanz, Ibán Ramón, Rosa Martí, Luis Demano, Alba Abellán, Núria Tamarit, Lalo Kubala, Rubén Gil, Carlos Ortin, Roger Omar and Depar Empar.
Although the number showing in the cover is the 11, we actually published thirteen issues of The Valencianer over a year.
Thirteen issues, like thirteen are the folks in the group of Jesús of Nazareth.
Thirteen covers, like thirteen are the world titles of Ángel Nieto (yes, thirteen, not “twelve plus one”).
Thirteen contents (stories, memories, walks…), like thirteen is the sum of the numbers of the Devil and the Bible.
As a clear demonstration that we aren’t affected by triscaidekaphobia, we close the first period of The Valencianer here and now.
Our sincere gratitude goes to all our enthusiastic subscribers and to our silent followers.
As a final act of this farewell we present you the map that we promised in issue number 0, the secret map of Valencia, the places where the magazine has been wandering during thirteen issues.
We had fun. Now we hug you. See you later alligator.