Jose García is a phenomenal illustrator and 2d animator living in Mexico City. He is the artist behind great works like Beren and Seasons. Jose is also the author and illustrator of My 8 Bit Story, a tale of a young woman who looses herself in a fantasy world filled with popular video game characters and themes. I talked with Jose about his artwork, favorite video games and future projects.
Ryan: The artwork in My 8 Bit Story is so beautiful. Are there any artists that inspire you?
Jose: Yes! I’m a big fan of Carlos Meglia’s work, Zac Gorman, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Enrique Fernandez as well as a huge list of artists on Tumblr. There are just so many great artists out there!
Ryan: It’s an exciting choice that there is no dialogue in My 8 Bit Story. Why the decision to have no words in the comic?
Jose: I mostly love wordless comics. I love the challenge of telling a story without words. It’s a great exercise for improving my storytelling and in this particular comic, it reminds me of the feeling games back then gave me. As a kid I remember playing games such as Kirby, Super Mario Land, which I mostly remember they had no dialogue but still got me all excited about their magical worlds. As a kid whose first language wasn’t English, simple games with no dialogue were the most I could relate to. I think with no dialogue the story becomes more universal.
Ryan: There are so many great video game references in My 8 Bit Story. What are some of your all time favorite games?
Jose: Actually, My 8 Bit Story is based on all the games I had as a kid. I didn’t have a lot, but those few left a great impression on my life. The story could have been a bit longer, but I decided only to use all the games I owned as a kid. A few years later I made a collection of all the games I always wanted but never got to play and could only fantasize about when I saw all those Nintendo magazines.
My favorite games of all time, well that’s though, but I think The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening really changed all for me. After that I started loving RPG games. [Favorites are:] Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Tales of Destiny, Illusion of Gaia, Donkey Kong Series, Spiderman: Maximum Carnage, Medievil, Final Fantasi VIII, Pokemon, Metroid, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Brother series. I’ve been a Nintendo fan most of my life actually.
Ryan: I saw your Bravest Warriors cover. It was great! What cartoons are you watching right now?
Jose: Steven Universe! I love how the characters are developing, and enjoy all the feels of each and every episode.
Ryan: I know you’re working on several projects. What new exciting things can we see from you?
Jose: Well, My 8 Bit story will come to an end pretty soon, so I’d like to make a crowdfunding to print the book.
I also want to re-print a book I finished at the beginning of this year, Seasons.
Seasons is a book about 4 love stories without text across the seasons of the year. You can actually see the autumn story here.
Also I’m working on a webcomic for Mexico, called Beren. We upload every Thursday, which I hope we can print soon, and translate it to English. You can see Beren here.
Every two months I’m self publishing an ongoing story called Ginger and Luna in Mexico along side my friends from my studio, Pildora Studio on our own studio comic compilation called Pildora Co.Mix. All stories are in black and white. I mostly get to do about 20 pages every 2 months. I’m working on a new book for First Second Books which I can’t tell you anything, only that it will be out by July next year so shhhhhh secret!
Ryan: Anything you’d like to say to your fans?
Jose: Thank you for following my work, I really appreciate it! I’d love to reply all the comments and get to know everyone of you a lot more, but I’m mostly working all day (and night) and get little time to actually be on the internet. I feel a bit guilty, and I’m a little bit shy and sometimes I don’t know what to say or reply, but I hope you enjoy my comics and I hope maybe they can make your day a little bit better! Thanks again to all of you, and Ryan for giving me a little space on his awesome blog.