The brothers Iván and Andrés Ramírez Ortiz are comics creators and illustrators from Costa Rica, who were responsible for the indie comics magazine Revista Fotocopia (2009-2010) and its successor Ultracomics (2010-2014).

With no official comic book industry, the few local comic creators in this Central American country are forced to either work for foreign publishers (like John Timms, Daniel Mora and Franco Céspedes do) or venture into self-publishing. The Ramírez brothers had a lifelong passion for drawing when they launched their monthly photocopied zine Revista Fotocopia in 2009. They changed its name to Ultracomics when the publication got a more professional lay-out in August 2010. In a 2012 video interview with The Tico Times the brothers explained that they are the only comic creators in their home country with a constant publication rhythm, consisting of 16 pages per month. Still the success was limited. Ultracomics was for sale in about ten stores throughout the capital San Jose, with a print run of 30 copies. Even though the authors eventually made some money out of it, Ultracomics was cancelled after 50 issues, making it the longest-running Costa Rican comics magazine.


'Buscongo', by Andrés Ramírez.

During their four years in print, the Ramírez brothers enjoyed experimenting with graphical and narrative techniques. Besides taking inspiration from other comics available in their home country, mostly US and imported manga, they also referred to Renaissance art, American pop culture and philosophy (Ayn Rand, Friedrich Nietzsche) in their stories, which mostly dealt with self-discovery through rational and spiritual development. Over the course of five years, they produced four stories. Andrés wrote and drew 'Buscongo', a long serial about a group of friends who try to find the meaning in life through drugs and alcohol, but in the end discover that true independence comes from knowledge of the mind. Iván was responsible for 'Jairo el Soñador' ('Jairo the Dreamer'), a soul-searching story about loneliness, the adventures of the female warrior princess 'Liona', who lives in a world where monkeys and lions have evolved into human form, and 'Mente y Máquina' ('Mind and Machine'), a story about artificial intelligence, with robots taking over Costa Rica when organic humans have gone extinct. 

Ivan Ramírez has continued to work on 'Mente y Máquina' after Ultracomics' demise. Andrés is active as an illustrator, storyboard artist and muralist.


Liona, by Ivan Ramírez

Revista Fotocopia de Costa Rica

Andrés Ramirez' website

Series and books by Iván & Andrés Ramírez Ortiz in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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