‘Marvel’s 616’: “Amazing Artisans” Highlights the Work of Spanish Artists
See some standout panels from featured artists Javier Garrón and Natacha Bustos!
In the new Disney+ series Marvel’s 616, the “Amazing Artisans” episode explored the craft of Marvel’s Spanish artists Javier Garrón and Natacha Bustos. They discussed their journeys in becoming an artist to drawing for Marvel, a day in the life as an artist, and talked about how they sometimes incorporate themselves into the comics.
Marvel’s own Editor in Chief C.B. Cebulski said during the episode: “Stan [Lee] always said that the Marvel Universe is the world outside your window, and he really wants people to open up a comic and feel this is the world they live in and that they could find characters they could see themselves in.” That’s exactly what Javier and Natacha showcase in their work—they pour little bits of themselves into it and by doing so, allow others to see themselves in the characters as well.
Selected as one of Marvel’s Young Guns, one of the best up-and coming artists in the comic book industry, Javier Garrón started his career in drawing at a young age and often drew characters like Disney’s Donald Duck. When he was a child, his father took him to a specialty bookstore and offered to buy him one single comic. Javier chose a Super Hero comic and he said about the experience that, “It was the beginning of the end.”
Javier’s most well-known Marvel work is in his run on Marvel’s MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN. Created by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli, Miles Morales initially shook up the fandom who didn’t want their Spider-Man messed with, as writer of Miles Morales Spider-Man Saladin Ahmed says in “Amazing Artisans.” He goes on to say how Miles is Black, Puerto Rican, and younger than Peter Parker, but also self-sacrificing and serves others, cornerstones of what makes Spider-Man a hero. Upon reflection, Cebulski noted that what Saladin and Javier brought to Miles is the same as what Stan and Steve brought to Spider-Man back in the day.
Javier specifically added relatable fashion to Miles Morales, taking into account how teenagers dressed and how they got their hair cut, and it caught the attention of readers on social media.
When it came to his daily routine, Javier talked about how he wakes up every day at 6:00 AM and goes to the gym. As seen in “Amazing Artisans,” his workout routine typically involves yoga and boxing, and that experience seemed to not only fuel his energy level for the day, but also when his pen hits the page. He discussed how drawing isn’t easy, it’s a battle, and that same battle can be seen on the page in Miles’ fights with his biggest enemies, like the unstoppable Rhino.
Check out artist Javier Garrón’s run on MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN #1-10 and 12!
Drawing saved Natacha Bustos life at school when she was younger. As a child with a white father and Black mother and growing up in Spain in the 1980s, it was unusual for Black people at the time to be in Spain, therefore Natacha faced a considerable amount of bullying, often feeling alone and like an outsider. When she drew, kids started to take notice and asked her to draw things for them, and the bullying stopped.
In the episode, she compared her ability to draw to having a super power since it saved her. Channeling these experiences of isolation and being different as a youth then directly translated into her run of MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR, specifically in Lunella Lafayette, AKA Moon Girl’s character, as seen in the first issue.
In the process of drawing Lunella, Natacha used herself as an image reference to make the character look more realistic, often taking pictures of herself and then drawing them onto the page.
When drawing Devil Dinosaur, Natacha wanted to make him more like a dog, fun and affectionate, as seen in MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR (2015) #2 and not in just his character design, but also how Lunella responded to him in her facial expressions.
Check out artist Natacha Bustos’ run in MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #1-41!
For more about Javier and Natacha, check out Marvel’s 616, “Amazing Artisans,” streaming now exclusively on Disney+!
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