'La Importancia de ser Mexicano' (2018).

Ric Velasco - AKA Ricardo Velazko - is a Mexican visual artist and filmmaker, who is also active in Mexico's alternative comics scene. As a cartoonist, he is known for his philosophy parody 'Narizón de la Narizonería' (2016-2019), the graphic novel 'La Importancia de ser Mexicano' (2018) and a host of independently released comic books and fanzines. Among his main areas of interest are existentialism and questions of identity.

Early life
Ricardo Velasco Nieto was born in 1980 in Mexico City, where he also spent his childhood. An early fan of comics, he was twelve years old when he attended the cartooning workshops organized by the political-cultural magazine El Gallito Inglés in the former Carmen convent. With international comic artists like Robert Crumb, Moebius and Frank Miller among his major influences, he attended the National Institute of Fine Arts of Mexico for a while, but is otherwise self-taught.

Filmmaker/visual artist
Before turning to cartooning, Velasco worked in other forms of visual art. Together with his brother Enrique, he directed the short film 'Santo de mi Devoción' (2002), starring the famous Mexican theatre actress Julieta Egurrola. He then served as writer, editor, director and sometimes actor on several other live-action shorts, such as 'Perboxmance' (2003), 'Our Victory' (2004), Las Acciones Permanecen' (2006) and 'Bengala Libre' (2007), as well as the documentaries 'Robachicos: El Testimonio de un Juego' ("Robachicos: The Testimony of a Game", 2006), 'El Conejo que Camina' ("The Walking Rabbit", 2009) and 'Los Archivos Secretos de Santa Teresa' (2013). His video work has been presented at festivals like Pantalla de Cristal (Crystal Screen), the Cervantino International Festival, the International Contemporary Film Festival of Mexico City and MACABRO.

As a visual artist, Velasco curated and participated in several solo and group exhibitions in venues throughout Mexica and abroad, for instance in South Africa, Spain, Argentina, Japan and England. A retrospective catalogue of his work 'Humor y Video' was compiled by Josefina Alcázar and published by CONACULTA, INBA-CITRU and the Birkbeck University of London.


'Narizón de la Narizonería'.

Narizón de la Narizonería
It wasn't until 2015 before Velasco returned to his initial passion, comics. Inspired by 1960s underground comix and the creators of the 1970s alternative magazine Heavy Metal, his first comic project was 'Narizón de la Narizonería' ("Big Nose from the Country of the Big Noses", 2016-2019), a semi-autobiographical three-issue comic book series published by the indie imprint Edgar Clement Editor. A funny parody of philosophical thought as well as a reflection on what drives people in life, 'Narizón de la Narizonería' was collected in a 2019 complete edition by U.Comics/Verde Agua Cómics, presented with much success at El Salón del Comic de la FIL Guadalajara 2019.


'Las Extravagantes Aventuras de Valentino y Johny Paige'.

Other comics
From 2016 on, Velasco has also released several other indie comic books, mostly under his own imprint Bengala Libre Producciones. These include the sci-fi story 'El Resplandor Escarlata' ("The Scarlet Glow", 2016), 'Cabaret Beijing' (2016), the book of illustrations 'Planeta Chtulhun' (2017), the psychedelic gangster noir comic 'Las Extravagantes Aventuras de Valentino y Johny Paige' (2017-2018) and 'Batata Dulce' (2019), the story of a merchant of sweet potatoes.

Both as a collector and artist, Ric Velasco has attended many national and international comic conventions, fairs and festivals. In 2018, he was an artist in residence at the Maison des Auteurs in the French city Angoulême, where he made his graphic novel 'La Importancia de ser Mexicano' ("The Importance of being Mexican"). In the following year, the original drawings of this project were exhibited in the 'In Situ' show at the 46th International Comics Festival in Angoulême, France.

narizoneria.com

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