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A Never-Ending Adventure of Career Change & Mental Health - An Interview with OSCAR OSORIO


We welcome our friend Oscar Osorio into the Yeti Cave today to discuss his current ZOOP campaign for A Never-Ending Adventure. Oscar is a creator from Peru who explores career change, mental health, and an epic quest of creating comics with a Latin Protagonist front and center. His campaign has two weeks left, so let's not hesitate and jump in!

 

COMIC BOOK YETI: Hello and welcome on into the Yeti Cave, Oscar!! Feel free to kick your shoes off and make yourself at home! We are getting ready to dive into our Cryptid-Bits segment in which we learn more about you and A Never-Ending Adventure, which is live on ZOOP until 7/29. How are you doing today?

OSCAR OSORIO: I’m doing great! Living the writer’s dream. The campaign is live until July 29th, my birthday, so hopefully, it is a happy birthday.


CBY: Let's begin with the basics, where did your love for creating comics begin? Was there much of a comic community in Peru when you were growing up?


OO: I fell in love with comics in 2010, when a local newspaper got licenses from the Big Two and started publishing superhero comics. Starting then, I traveled to conventions in the US, wrote articles, opinions, and read a lot of comics. The community isn’t big in Peru and was much smaller back then, so I was the Marvel guy among my friends and family. This led me to start writing about my passion, to showcase it to others and, with luck, make them curious about comic books enough for them to pick something up.


My love for creating comics resulted from my passion for comics, as I started following creators, watching their YouTube shows, and listening to podcasts where they talked about their craft. I wanted to create comic books and saw it was hard, but possible.


CBY: Is A Never-Ending Adventure your first step into published work? The concept in combination with the multiple different art styles feels like a high level of immersion within storytelling and I love it!


OO: Thank you so much! Yes, it’s my first self-published work, although I created a five-page short story last year to promote my Substack page. It was a valuable experience learning how to make a book and how different people work together, as I worked with an editor, an artist, and a letterer, and I printed it to give it away at SDCC.



CBY: Speaking of concept, can you dive a bit deeper into it for us? What does this story mean to you and what are you hoping readers take away from it?


OO: A Never-Ending Adventure is a personal story based on my experience going from an economist working at corporate to a comic book writer. I wanted to showcase the fears and anxiety arising from making a big decision and how going into your passion won’t fix your problems in the short run. I hope this book serves as an inspiring (or cautionary) tale for people looking to make life-changing decisions and a way to reflect on their mental health. The human side, mixed with fun, action, and adventure that made me fall in love with comics, adds layers to this story and hopefully will deliver a powerful message in a fun way to the readers


CBY: What challenges have you faced as a creator trying to publish your work? This title feels like it may represent some of the struggles and hardships you have faced as well?


OO: Sure, this book shows the difficulties of becoming a comic book creator, especially coming from a completely different background. The main challenge is dealing with the pressure of making it, as I’m going from a stable income to financial uncertainty, and I need to make it work; otherwise, I can’t pay the bills. Other challenges include making a name in a crowded industry and differentiating your book enough for people to care.


CBY: It is fantastic to see more Latino representation within comics! Can you give us a bit more on the protagonist and the adventure we can expect him to journey on?


OO: Yeah! I’m excited for a story with a Peruvian writer and protagonist to be out there and for more people from all over the world to share their stories. Mark Bear, the protagonist, is someone moving from corporate to comics that has yet to accept his emotions toward this significant change and will need to do so to properly create an idea that will allow him to live from his passion. So it’s a struggle between being happy from working on what you love and being stressed because it’s not easy and you are on a clock. The Latino approach to mental health will play an important part, as Mark has this idea that he can’t show vulnerability, and we Latinos are not so into treating our mental health issues, which makes it more challenging. In that sense, this book is relevant in communicating that we must share and treat our mental struggles to progress in life.


CBY: Who else is involved with this project? What encouraged you to go with 4 different art styles as opposed to sticking with one?


OO: To portray Mark’s undiagnosed ADHD and mental dispersion, I had the idea of using different art styles as he goes from thought to thought. I’ve seen friends and family disperse, start talking about something and end up into something completely different. They can’t concentrate, which is particularly harsh for someone that needs to create something coherent to live. When Mark loses focus and starts thinking about something else, the artist changes, traveling between a medieval land, another world, and his past. Therefore, I’m working with Vinicius Carreiro from Brazil, Terri Susca from Italy, Mary Landro from Canada, and Amalas Rosa from Germany, each using their style. The fun part is that, even though these thoughts are independent, they are all connected as Mark is creating all of them, and there’s a reason why he’s having these thoughts.


CBY: How has working with ZOOP been for you on this campaign? What reward tiers are you most excited to share with us?


OO: The experience with Zoop has been fantastic. They have helped me in making the campaign and running everything smoothly. It was perfect for my first time running one of these. I'm excited about the rewards that include traditional items from Peru, such as the Llama Plushie and the Bull Sculpture. I wanted to include elements from my country to highlight the origin of the book and for readers to be aware that this comes from a creator from an unusual place, and there are a bunch of other creators from all over the world that hopefully get these kinds of opportunities in the future.


Oh, and I included a tier where I'll host you if you come to Peru, which provides for taking you to dinner and getting a private department for your party. At least I'll get the most unique award for a crowdfunding campaign in 2023.


CBY: Is there anything else coming out from you in the future that we can expect to hear about? What are your plans for the rest of 2023?


OO: Yes! I just announced my horror thriller anthology, Don’t Push the Red Button, where we will accept open submissions until August 20th. It has a beautiful cover by Francesca Fantini. More info on that and my future projects is on my Substack page. I’m just arriving in comics, but I’m here to stay, and I’ve got big plans.


CBY: Once again, thank you so much for chatting with me today! I hope you have a successful campaign and we can't wait to see a strong finish for you. Do you have any social media platforms you would like to share before we end?


OO: Thank you so much for the opportunity! You can find me on social media @oscarom29 and my Substack page oscarwins.substack.com. I’m active there and excited to connect with people and help the following creators make their books a reality.


 


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