It's always exciting to not only share some quality time with other creators, but to try to learn and grow off of each other to create a better, positive environment on the indie comic book scene.
Hailing from the beautiful Puerto Rico, Orlando comes at us with a mission to make fun projects, be it comics or animated, for everyone of all ages.
So, without further ado, let's read from the creator himself, ladies and gentlemen, Orlando Cabrera:
I’m currently working on new comic strips and storylines for my two comic series currently in stores (‘’The Heart of Valentino’’ and ‘’Florence en Puerto Rico’’)
2- What made you want to create comics/animation?
When I was a kid, I used to sit down and watch the DVD extras for the film ‘’Ice Age: The Meltdown’’, and watch the evolution of my favorite scenes from the movie (The scenes with Scrat the squirrel chasing his acorn), and this is when I began showing an interest in sequential art. I would grab a piece of paper, pause what I was watching, and began trying to make my own storyboards. Then one thing led to another, and I eventually started turning those storyboards into comic panels, and that’s where along the way I decided I wanted to start making my own cartoons, to start out putting my ideas on paper in the form of comics, and then eventually learn to animate those same ideas.
I would say it’s definitely the creative freedom that you have. When you create art independently, you make it in your own time, and exactly how you want it (Unless there’s editors involved), while if you want to work for a major company, one has to keep in mind that this might not always be the case. Let’s say you’re pitching an idea for a new animated film for Pixar. Animated films have all sorts of different writers, directors, artists, and one simple idea can change over time, so you might not always get to keep your original vision. That is to say, it would actually be phenomenal and a tremendous honor to be able to work for a company like Pixar, but when you create independently, it’s your project, and your vision, and you get to make it however you want it, and that’s pretty great to.
4- What would you say to anyone that’s on the fence about creating an indie IP?
I would say that if it’s something that you really want to do, go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do. As long as you’re passionate about it, you will find people that love your work as much as you do.
5- What’s your biggest influence?
I always saw my art style as a combination between Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and the Raving Rabbids from Ubisoft (Particularly the French Rabbids comics by cartoonists Thitaume and Romain Pujol).
To get to know yourself as a creator before starting a project. When I started making comics, because my initial stories were so long and complicated, I was constantly changing and re-writing them, and it was very difficult to actually finish an entire comic. Then, for a final college project, I created ‘’The Heart of Valentino’’, which I made as a short and simple storyline in order to finish in time, and I realized that I actually really liked making comics this way.
And as it turns out, it’s likely due to the fact that a lot of my favorite comics are also very short and simple (Rabbids, Peanuts, etc) So, for me, it was a journey of finding myself as an artist. To figure out what exactly I like to make, and what gets me passionate and excited to work on a project. So, if you want to work on a comic book, animation, or anything creative, figure out what YOU like first. What are your favorite comics? Your favorite movies? Your favorite CHARACTERS from comics and movies? And once you figure out what you like, and why you like it, try and apply elements of it to your work, make it fun for yourself, and create something unique!
7- What do you suggest to indie creators do to make their work stand out on the stands or on virtual stores?
Create an appealing and unique design for your project. Whether you’re designing a comic book cover, or a website, first impressions are everything!
8- Give us your elevator pitch about your project and why it’d make a great buy!
Here at Di Franco Comics, we make animations and comics that are fun for the entire family! Whether you like magical cats who paint, mythological weather-controlling beings, or even quirky humanoid plants, we hope you love these comics as much as we enjoy making them! The first physical issues of ‘’The Heart of Valentino’’ and ‘’Florence en Puerto Rico’’ are now available in stores! Check out our website to order comics online, and to check out digital comics on Amazon Kindle!
Thank you SO much, Orlando for sharing some insights, it was a pleasure, and if you, dear reader, are curious to check out his stuff, go to his website at www.difrancocomics.com/ and his YouTube channel www.youtube.com/@difrancocomics7958 Thank you all for reading, and as always, stay creative, myfriends!
-Alvaro aka Lance Danger