The Life

Everything about writing I guess started when I saw my first movie, this strange imagination of mine allowed me to see things no other people could, not even my own age, I mean kids at my age were playing ball and stuff, while I was playing with a stick imagining I was alone in the Dagobah cave facing myself (since no one was there with me), I always kind of have this gifted imagination that at some points in my life I thought it to be a curse and at some points thought it to be so great.
While all of this imagination made me like the ugly duck amongst other kids, I continued submerged in this fantasy world I have created almost to the point of delirium, for me all the world was a huge playground where imagination could turn any place into a Star wars environment, by the time I was like six or seven my Dad was in a great situation at his job and had the possibility to ask a lot of his traveling friends that get him almost all kinds of foreign stuff, in one of those times I remember it like it was yesterday, he picked me off at my mom’s house (they were divorced since I was like two years old) and he took me to a place I can’t quite place but it was a tall building of luxury apartments were he introduced me to a friend right in the door and they chat about I don’t remember what but then he went in and came back with a box that concealed four VHS movies… It was the original trilogy of Star Wars in a special edition box set that apart from the three movies, it included a fourth VHS that contained a great documentary called “The saga behind the saga”.
From then on, I considered that the back of the camera was the place I would love to be, maybe not directing but a part I love form everything I see is the “process” of everything that’s not the movie itself… fx, costumes, props, lighting, music, but above all the story… along with my imagination I have another Jedi trait…LOL…Well I like to think of it as such, but I can remember almost all the dialogue from a movie I see… and I later reproduced it like a recorder when I was alone playing with my toys so in part I guess that’s what took me by the hand and slowly turned to be a great hobby.
As I grew up… things get taken from you and they are given also… I was on the middle school and I started loving mechanics, diagrams, building schematics, ship schematics and a large list of etceteras but most of all I loved cars, there was a point in my life when I could work as a car designer but engineering wasn’t like the biggest ambition of my life, I‘ve always hated the office work but it is a necessary mean. So by that time I got a school assignment about writing a story for literature class and I created a funny character that was a mixture of Eddie Valiant and the obvious Mexican stereotype of a police man with the muscles and complexion of the Wolverine, Omar my cousin read it once and along my other cousin, his brother Christián who by the time was writing a fantasy story that could had made “The Lord of the Rings” a bed time story for kids they both in their infantile mentalities told me that I could write not only novels but comic and screenplays too and thus the monster was born…
In time I started sharing more of this with my cousin Omar and in return he shared with me his love for comics and along with it a much more refined taste for storytelling and so I guess Secret Alliances productions was born when we were like ten and twelve or seven and ten, I can’t quite place it but we have shared visions and ideas of many things we liked to do until the point that it turned into a way of live…
Regretfully things change along the years and after we sent our story for Marvel comics and never got any answer I kind of got a divorce from the magic and put my imagination aside and decided it was time I started doing something to eat well otherwise I could have had a much more difficult time so I decided to give into the other things I liked and became an Architect.
Thanks to God I’ve always thought things happen for a reason, maybe we needed to grow apart from each other influences to really decide what’s best for everyone and so, Omar continued drawing and trying to make it into comics and I got a Job in construction and design and also got a beautiful wife whose since then has been the inspiration of many things in my life and one day with other things in our minds… the miracle happened.
It was the night of the super bowl and Omar was going for the Pats and they were losing the game, so I thought of calling him and well… simply put; make fun out of him and so I did. Called him and by the time we were talking about family and jobs and this and that he dropped it just like that. “Can you help me with a story?”
I can’t say that I wasn’t waiting for this to happen, I mean I had a novel ready since three years back and I was getting it ready for a writing contest in Spain, when all of a sudden he told me to “resume” our creative team with my writing to his original idea and his abilities at digital drawing… and thanks to God we had now the internet to make it indie at first and hope that someone sees it and… well you know right.
That’s how it all happened and by now we are immersed in wanting to show what’s been inside our heads for so long.

At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi…

“A long time ago

in a galaxy far, far away….”

Those words have a very special meaning for millions of people around the world and I’m no exception to it’s magic. For many years I dreamed about twin suns and deadly space battle stations. As a kid I remember myself waving a flashlight around my house with my pajama pants stuck inside my socks (those were my boots) trying to save the galaxy one room at a time. When I was in the age of letting go all those fantasy stories I found a treasure, inside an old cardboard box were the three novelizations of Episodes IV, V and VI. After that there was no turning back. I remember a chill going down my spine the moment I read about a member of the Rebel Alliance yelling: “Walkers!” as I devoured the yellow dry pages. I was back there. In Hoth…

Then, when I discovered the expanded universe with graphic novels like Heir of the Empire, Shadows of the Empire and many more I also found other amazing super heroes. By that time I was also in love with the classics and the new ones The Spirit, Batman, Spiderman, X-Men, Daredevil, Spawn, Gen 13, Witchblade… and always looking for the latest work of my favorite authors: Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Todd McFarlane, Alex Maleev, Jim Lee… As a teen I wrote and drew many comics, of course all lacked a coherent plot and solid dialogue, hell, my comics did’t even have backgrounds. And that was nicely pointed to me by a comic book shop clerk (in all my 12 year old innocence I thought he might get me a job making comics). He nicely looked at my drawings and told me: “Making comics it’s not just about drawing superheroes and hot women, it’s about storytelling”.

A few years later I had the chance to meet Oscar Gonzalez Loyo (mexican comic book artist) at a convention and he was kind enough to see my drawings and teach me some tricks of the pros. Tricks I use until this day.

Oscar Gonzalez Loyo, comic book artist

Years went by, I wrote more stories and drew more characters and comics. Right about that time I first teamed up with my cousin Eduardo to keep on working on all our dreams, we wrote an X-Men story that we sent to New York via Fedex, we wrote a script for Episode II and kept sending e-mails to the Star Wars website until we got blocked by the server. We wrote many, many stories that we hope we can share with you in a not too distant future, but we never got lucky, or maybe we just did suck at it! LOL But we tried, we tried really hard…

In the end he went to college to become an architect, I went to Art School and for a year or two I became a tattoo artist, I never got to be good at it so later I changed the tattoo machines for books and became an English teacher. That really made me happy for almost two years but every time I came back home and had to prepare my classes I did it in the drawing table my parents gave me when I turned 15. It was not a desk it was a drawing table, in my drawers I had pencils and brushes not pens and markers, there was something terribly wrong with that picture. Then I remember an advice my grandma gave me (I’ll tell u that story some other time) and decided to call it quits. I left my teaching job and started working on a portfolio to show in some text books editorials here in Mexico. Next month I got a call from my father.

 

Héroes Verdaderos, WKP 2012.

He read an article in the newspaper about an animation movie in production in Mexico, so I took my new portfolio and went to the studio for an interview and finally that day I got lucky, I got incredibly lucky. I got the job but I had to work for a month as trial with no pay. Since I was unemployed I had no money for transport or food and for a moment I thought I was gonna lose the opportunity but the Animation Director, the supetalented, Aaron Rey just picked me up. He gave me all the money I needed to make it for the rest of the month and it wasn’t just him, other guys in the animation department helped too. Daniel, Cesar, Alfredo, Alejandro, Christian, they all helped me. And to them my most sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Aaron Rey, Sculptor/Animator/Friend.

Even when I was looking for a job as an assistant I got the job as junior animator, that experience allowed me to learn incredible amounts of new amazing stuff, thanks to my friends there I met the works of Glen Keane, Richard Williams, Ollie Johnston, Frank Tomas and even learned about an amazing graphic novel named Blacksad by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido. Those are real teachers, trust me.

After the premier of “Heroes Verdaderos” (True Heroes) I was left jobless again, the critics and the box office weren’t really fond of the movie and the studio had to shut its doors. But after a few months I got a new job in another movie (to be released in Mexico by the end of this year) but this time as a storyboard artist. The experience of making this movie was really amazing, I had the chance to work side by side with some of the best in the industry and to learn a whole lot more!

One of the most interesting things abut this movie was in the election of the director, because he had never worked in animation before, he was coming from live action films and TV series. And since I was working close to him doing all he requested and more I was able to acquire an understanding on camera movements, angles, rhythm, axis, and lots more. It was actually last year that I learned a trick form the Art Director Rafael Gonzalez for the backgrounds in animation on how to make it look like you have a PAN movement with a 2D background, for many of you that may be obvious but for me was like an epiphany… In that moment I knew how I was going to tackle the “Fall Scene” for Mace Windu.

Rafael González, Art Director at Anima Estudios

As soon as my part on the production of the movie was done, I realized that was the time to invest all that learned through the years and apply it to Secret Alliances. Which brings us right to this moment. The road has been a bumpy one, but having the chance to do this has been full of gratifications and joyous moments.

What’s my goal? What do I want to get from this? Just one word: CANON. I dream about Secret Alliances becoming part of the wonderful and magic canon of Star Wars. And if I may be so bold: a job in the comic book industry, who knows? I might get lucky just one more time.

So this is it, this is the moment I’ve been waiting my whole life to experience, the chance to show as much people as I possibly can why drawing is the best thing ever happened to me, this is me, Omar, trying again really hard. To all my family, to all my friends and teachers, to everyone who ever came in to my life and meant something to me. This is dedicated to you. Thank you for letting me love you as much as I do.

Thanks to you for reading.

Sincerely yours, Omar.

Good night, God bless.