El Mariachi Muerto

The "Z-word"

I’m often haunted by an idea. It can crop up again and again in my sketchbook. A repeating character or shape that occurs page after page. Such was “el mariachi muerto.” What started as a Grim-Fandang-meets-Burton doodle soon became an all consuming thought throughout my entire Sequential Art class. I developed the characters and the world over the course of the semester in anticipation of this massive final project.

El Mariachi Muerto

The process behind this extremely tall work was grueling as I followed a more traditional comic production method. I drew the entire thing by hand. on three tall sheets. These were each then traced using my pen of choice. With the final line work I stitched them together on the computer and added texture and color.

Line Work
Storyboards
Line Work
Next Last

My love of hidden complexity and symmetry is prevalent here as ever. Note how the piece is divided into three acts delineated by the three distinct panel page shapes, each separated by a narrow column panel. The first act shows the life and death of our protagonist, Lazaro in the shape of a guitar. The second shows his rebirth in the shape of a cross. And the third shows his heroic act for a lost love and his return to the grave in the shape of a tomb stone.

Senior year was massively busy for me and as such I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time as I would have liked on this grand piece. The original story had around a dozen more panels but I parsed it down substantially to make it even remotely feasible. While I’m quite happy with the line work the color leaves much to be desired. Add this to the pile of projects I hope to one day revisit. Looking back can be so hard though!