After managing to get round some unforeseen problems, Basque comic book writer G. Zubiaga hopes to have the 2nd volume of his adventures about the Basque whaler Joanes ready for the NYC Comic CON.
Joanes the Basque Whaler. Photo: Guillermo Zubiaga
For Basque whaler Joanes, a comic book character created by Guillermo Zubiaga, life had always been about hunting whales, surviving storms, running away from pirates or not letting his ship get too close to rocky cliffs. However, Joanes faced an unknown threat when he learnt that the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, publishing company of The Flying Whaleboat, could lose all public funding under a budget-cutting proposal being considered by the state legislature.
Now, five months after one of the world's leading academic institutes dedicated to research in Basque-related issues was spared the budget cut, Guillermo Zubiaga feels a great sense of relief and gets ready for Joanes' latest landing, at the Javitz Center for the Annual 2011 NYC Comic CON.
"I remember truly disliking that piece of news. I recall saying something along the lines of, this could really stink!" says the Basque artist about the news of a possible budget cut.
Over 100,000 people are expected to show up at the second largest POP Culture convention in the US, which could represent a incredible showcase for the Basque whaler.
Guillermo Zubiaga is currently dealing with CBS' managing editor, shooting back and forth between last minute edits. The sequel to The Flying Whaleboat, the second episode of a series of 3 comic books recounting the adventures of Joanes, is expected to go to print imminently.
"I think it will not be absolutely necessary to have a "formal" presentation in Reno as we did in 2009 with episode 1. So in terms of having an official exhibit instead of Reno, all signs indicate that for this Episode 2, the NYC CON exhibit could easily become the most sounded "presentation" of Joanes yet", Guillermo Zubiaga recounts.
According to the Biscay-born artist, this second volume represents a turning point in the narrative work: "In other words its point of highest tension, or climax before the solution or conclusion is reached."
The Flying Whaleboat ended with whatever possible danger hangs over the recent success of Joanes (and his crew) as he has to live up to his unhallowed pact. "The second chapter comes to represent the personal voyage of the protagonist, and his transformation, from the idea of Joanes the anti-hero changing into a more adjusted idea of the righteous hero, although the internal scoundrel never fully disappears," Guillermo Zubiaga explains.
This second episode attempts to also monopolize on the excellent trading relations between the historical Basques and the Amerindians with whom they concurred on so much. "Their friendly relations cast a light of the Basque whaler, as good hearted and forthright, which has romanticized these emblematic figures even further", the Basque artist claims.
Just a month before the New York Comic Con kicks off, Guillermo Zubiaga has already started working on the third and last episode of the adventures of Joanes. "I have all the pages " broken down" in thumbnails, so I am going over a very pre-determined road map. I don't want to let this year pass before having the third part done or at least the pencils. Once that is achieved the rest should come as child's play."