'La Toma de los Vapores'.

Carlos Alvarado, in the comic world also known as Carlos Pincel, is a Costa Rican commercial artist, comic author and theatrical performer. He goes down in history as the creator of the first adventure comic strip in his country, which was also called 'Carlos Pincel' (1975-1978).

Carlos Pincel
He was born in Alajuela in 1958 as Carlos Enrique Alvarado Salazar and had no formal art training. At age 17, he created his character 'Carlos Pincel' (1975), whose adventures appeared in the now-defunct newspaper Excelsior. The main star was a stylish detective, who teared through Costa Rica's bucolic streets in his brand new Ferrari, resolving audacious police and espionage matters. The strip is notable because it was the first comic strip in a Costa Rican newspaper without a satirical or political undertone. 'Carlos Pincel' therefore strongly deviates from the work of the country's major cartoonists of the time, Fernando Zeledón Guzmán and Hugo Díaz Jiménez, but still his adventures didn't last long. When the paper went out of print three years later, it was continued for a short period in Diario Extra. After this collaboration ended, Alvarado could not get his strip printed elsewhere, and the comic was shelved. The nickname Pincel, however, stuck to the artist ever since.


'Carlos Pincel'.

Other activities
Alvarado then made an appearance in Carlos Enrique Figueroa's children's magazine Tricolín, which also ran work by Víctor Canifrú from Chile and Edmundo Anchietta from El Salvador. Through the Costa Rica office of the Radio Nederland Training Centre, he drew several educational strips for institutions like Unesco, Plan International, Unisida and Unamu. He also made comic strips and illustrations for commercial and advertising purposes. He spent many years working in the communication industry as an illustrator and graphic artist, initially through agencies like Siboney, and from 1990 onwards independently. He has designed advertising campaigns, storyboards, exhibitions and fashion shows, as well as carriages for the San José carnival and the Festival de la Luz, while also performing as broadcaster and master of ceremony. Carlos Alvarado is also active in the theatre world, and wrote his first play in 1978, 'Lágrimas en una carta', and performed for children as the character 'Payasito Caramelo'.


'La Batalla de Santa Rosa'.

Comics
He has occasionally returned to comics, most notably with graphic novels about events from Costa Rica's history, such as '"El Erizo": Juan Santamaría, héroe de la patria : Batalla de Rivas, 1856' (2014), 'La Batalla de Santa Rosa' (2016) and 'La Toma de los Vapores' (2017) in cooperation with the Museo Historico Cultural Juan Santamaría in Alajuela. Alvarado's detective made brief comeback in 'Las Nuevas Aventuras de Carlos Pincel' in a comic book presented by Historieticas in 2017.

Series and books by Carlos Alvarado Salazar in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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