Art Baltazar: A Cartoonist in Heart and Soul
Carl: I’m here with super cartoonist machine Art Baltazar! He has worked on the Eisner and Harvey Award winning Tiny Titans, as well as Itty Bitty Hellboy, Superman Family Adventures and many more – and he often works with artist and writer Franco, who I’ve interviewed in the past.
Art, I’d like to ask you a few questions for my readers.
Art Baltazar: Yeah, man, let’s do it.
Carl: What made you love comics the way you do?
Art Baltazar: I’ve been reading since I was a little guy like you! I used to go to the store – my mom worked at a shop that sold comics, so when I go visit my mom, she goes and buys me some comics – I’ve just been reading forever. And I love it, I love cartoons. I used to watch the Flintstones and stuff like that, and Tom and Jerry. It’s good stuff!
Carl: I watch Tom and Jerry, too.
Art Baltazar: Oh, they’re great, aren’t they?
Art Baltazar: I love those old ones. They chase…all they want to do is smash the mouse. He never wanted to eat him; he just wanted to beat him up. I like that!
Carl: Did you want to become a comic book artist when you were a kid?
Art Baltazar: Yeah, man, when I was in fifth grade, is when I used to buy these little notebooks and I used to draw characters on every page and on all my notebooks I would title it, “My Life Story.” And it would just be all these characters and then I’d buy another notebook and I would put, “My Life Story, Part II” and then “My Life Story, Part III.” And I knew in fifth grade it was when I started creating my own characters, that I knew I wanted to be a comic book artist for the rest of my life.
Art Baltazar: A cartoonist, yeah. It’s true.
Carl: What comic books did you read when you were a kid?
Art Baltazar: Oh, when I was a little guy, I read a lot of X-Men, I read Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, but I read Richie Rich, Woody Woodpecker, Casper the Friendly Ghost – do you know those guys?
Art Baltazar: I read all of that stuff. I would read all of them, yeah.
Carl: Spider-Man is my favorite character.
Art Baltazar: Aw, he’s awesome. I read him when he was getting scratched by the Jackal. And when the cartoon was on I thought the Jackal and the Green Goblin were the same guy, but they drew them different on TV. I was all confused but then when the Green Goblin showed up I knew they were two different guys. It’s true.
Carl: What comics do you read now?
Art Baltazar: I read, let’s see, I read Walking Dead now; I still read Spider-Man now and then; I read a lot of Superman books; I read Invincible. I read a lot of my friends’ books, like Kurt Wood’s books and Scoot’s books and Chris Giarrusso …so I read a lot of stuff, and a lot of times I get books at these shows so people hand me, or we trade comics, and I read a lot of those. And I like Sasquatch a lot. I’ll ready anything with Sasquatch in it. Because he’s awesome. It’s true.
Carl: Why did you choose to work on kids’ comics as a grown up?
Art Baltazar: You know what? I don’t know, it’s just the way I draw. I’m a cartoonist in my heart and soul, and when I would try to draw superhero comic books, I was never better than the guys who were already drawing them, so, when I draw, my stuff comes out really cartoony and I like to make cartoony books that are funny, that kids can read. But adults like to read them, too. So if I make a little kid book, I don’t really do that, I leave it up to Dora the Explorer and those guys, you know? I love making comics for everybody.
Carl: What do you think makes a good kids’ comic?
Art Baltazar: A good kid’s comic. Man, you just got to make it funny. You got to make the character’s cool. You got to make it were somebody wants to know more about that character. Where do you draw him? Or do you want to put him on a t-shirt? And you just got to make him funny. Make it funny and awesome. You got to make him funny were after their done reading it they want the next one. You know?
Carl: Yeah. One last question are you having fun at Comic Con?
Art Baltazar: Yeah man. I love it!
Carl: Me too.
Art Baltazar: I love the interviews too! High five!
Carl: Thank you for answering my questions. It was nice to meet you.
Art Baltazar: Right on brother! Yeah dude!