Adalisa Zarate is a Mexican comic book author, translator and track director. She started working when she was 16, self publishing, then with Mexican editorial houses and is now expanding to make web comics in English to reach bigger audiences. She is the creator of Traveling Seers.
Synopsis: Baseball players never die, they just move on to another league– The Afterlife League. There, they can play baseball forever. But what happens when a team of living, breathing humans comes to play? To challenge baseball’s “living” history? Come watch the game in Traveling Seers.
Is your comic available in any other languages? If so, what language(s)?
Yes, in print form, in Spanish.
Did you go to school for either art or writing? If so, what school?
I have an incomplete Bachelor’s Degree in Modern English Literature, from the UNAM. I have all the classes and grades, I just didn’t do the paperwork for the title due to real life issues.
What is the main genre of your comic? What appeals to you about that genre?
Sports. I love baseball; it’s my passion, so I just had to do a baseball comic.
Are there any other genres that apply to your comic?
Comedy, Educational, and Supernatural. Weird combo, I know.
What was your inspiration for the story?
When I was little, my dad used to tell me a lot of baseball stories while we were watching games. Those stories made me love baseball even more, and when a friend suggested I do a comic about my love of baseball, instead of doing the usual sport story following games and a team, I thought about sharing what made me love the game in the first place.
Do you have any favorite artists or writers who influenced your style?
Too many to list. For sports comics, specifically, I think the biggest influence is Masanori Morita’s Rookies. And I can’t not mention Todd Nauck, Terry Moore and Chris Sanders.
How long does it take you to complete one page?
Between two to three days.
What is your process like for creating comic pages from start to finish? What tools do you use?
First, I do a lot of research and write and storyboard the whole chapter. Then I go to Manga studio, and do pencils, and inks. Finally, and just for the latest volume, I go to color on photoshop. Covers for the printed version can be done either in photoshop or with markers, depending on the mood.
Is your comic a finished work? If not, how long do you think it’s going to be when it’s complete? Is there a definitive ending or will you just keep going for as long as possible?
Not exactly. Once again, as long as there are baseball stories to tell, I will continue. As the story goes with small short stories in an anthology form though, some people could say that volumes 1 and 2 are done.
How long did it take you to plan the comic before even beginning to physically create it?
Oh, this one was a very easy one. It took me about three months from “I should do a comic book about baseball” to “Page one, Play ball!” I do adore baseball so it was easy.
What was the biggest hurdle you faced during the course of making your comic? If you could go back in time to the point where you just started making it and give yourself a pep talk, what would you say?
Knowing that in Mexico, baseball is not as popular. That always pushed me back. I’d tell myself “forget Spanish, do it in English from the get go!”
What is your favorite part about working on your comic?
The research. I adore finding out new stories I didn’t know about the game I love, and so, every time I hit the books, I find a new story to tell.
What is the most difficult part about working on your comic? How do you overcome it?
Keeping a balance between the comedy and the dark humor inherent with having about 80% of your secondary characters dead. Also, reminding myself that as interesting as the backstories of the living players may be, people are here for the dead players and the game.
Do you have a favorite character to write for? If so, why? Tell us more about them!
I love Murphy, the goat who also is the owner of the team, but writing for him is not that fun as he doesn’t speak! Other than him, Maria, Jose and Phoenix are easily my favorites. Maria is a baseball player from Mexico who is the rookie of the team, and has to deal with his ghost guardian, Jose, not liking baseball as a career choice. Jose, of course, is my audience mirror as he’s the one who is learning to like the sport, and Phoenix is the fiery shortstop who will not let anyone talk down to her.
Which character gives you the most difficulty to write for?
It’s a toss between Southpaw, the left fielder, and Hands, the Pitcher. Hands because I still haven’t found the story to showcase most of his personality, and Southpaw because, as he’s the one who tells the stories about old players, he needs a ton of research.
Which character gives you the most difficulty to draw?
Ironically? Phoenix and Murphy. Murphy as I have to keep him in the background most of the time, and Phoenix because of her tattoos!
Where can we find you?
My personal site is calicochimera.com. Here is where you can also find my other current active webcomic, “Building Blocks,” as well as many, many illustrations I’ve made for other projects. On Facebook I’m AdalisaZ, on Twitter, luxshine and on Instagram, luxshinedraws. The “Building Blocks” comic is at tapas.io/series/BuildingBlocks and Traveling Seers is at tapas.io/series/TravelingSeers.
Anything else you want the people to know about yourself or your comic?
I really, really love baseball 🙂 But my comic is not just for baseball fans, but also for people who want to know what the big deal is but don’t want to sit through a game!
Have you read Traveling Seers yet? Let us know what you think in the comments!
Also, shout out to ShadowBestie for helping me format these interviews!