Costa Rica’s Arcadio Esquivel Mayorga
Arcadio Esquivel Mayorga is a Costa Rican cartoonist. Esquivel primarily draws political cartoons, although he has a wonderful strip. He is a wonderful artist and writer.
Esquivel’s political cartoons are typical of many great Latin American cartoonists, such as Quino. The cartoons are sparse and usually speak to big ideas, such as violence or the environment. A typical cartoon might show a generic dictator with a boot in his mouth. His cartoons are regularly published around the world.
Around 2005 or so, Esquivel started publishing “Wenceslao,” a strip about a boy and his neighbors. The boy sees the world from a very innocent vantage point. If children thought about issues like violence or global warming, they would think about them as Wenceslao does. He is logical and free of ideology. Unfortunately for people in the real world, we don’t think like this. This is not to say that the strip doesn’t have gags; many of the strips do. Esquivel self-published a collection of “Wenceslao” strips in 2007. This collection reprints 100 or so black and white strips (which look better than the color strips that are on the internet because I always prefer black and white). Hopefully another collection will be published soon.
Aside from being an excellent cartoonist, Esquivel is an accomplished classical artist. He works in a number of mediums, but I think he prefers charcoal. He has a lovely “how to draw” program that airs on Costa Rica’s Canal 13. The program is similar to Bob Ross’ show. It is relaxing, useful, and accessible. In addition, he at least a dozen (probably more) “how to draw” books. I believe the books are all self-published.
It’s a good thing for the public that Esquivel chose cartooning as his medium. He has a lot of ideas to share!