I am a featured artist on the superb comics site grandpapier.com. Click on the provided links below to read these comics in full.
I wrote a 16-page story titled Hacienda for comics artist/instructor Frank Santoro's first-ever Comics Composition Competition and took the top prize.
"Our decision to award “Hacienda” First Place recognizes Dave Ortega’s creation of an ambitious, multi-layered narrative that cuts through history, class, status and power in a deftly constructed story which takes the reader back and forth in time to reveal the conceit and illusion undergirding dominant paradigms in a way that only comics can. This complex concoction of culture and character made for a winning combination."
Read the whole thing at grandpapier.
A 30-page story about what I imagine took place in a jail cell in Northern Mexico at the height of the Mexican Revolution. After reading that over one million Mexicans were killed in the years between 1910 and 1920, I got to wondering what it must have been like living among all that death.
TO DIE IN TORREON
A two-page story based on an anecdote in John Gibler's disturbing TO DIE IN MEXICO. This story was featured in an anthology published by the Harvard Bookstore.
ABUELA Y LOS DEAD MEXICANS
This comic intersperses the stories of my grandmother's escape from Mexico during the Revolution of 1910-1920 with those from 'official' history. Featured players include the Revolution's "Big Four": Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, Alvaro Obregon and Venustiano Carranza; as well as my great-grandmother Evarista and her daughters Consuelo (my grandmother) and Beatriz. I am currently working on this comic into a graphic novel to expand on my grandmother's life.
WINTER WAS HARD
A graphic novel set on a wintry New England night, Winter Was Hard — featuring the oddball superhero group The Miracle 5 — is stuffed to the snowdrifts with mystery, suspense, action, adventure, war profiteers, subterranean temples, and wrathful goddesses as a sensitive robot simply named "O", a well-meaning weapon in the tradition of "The Iron Giant", thwarts mischief-makers even as he ponders the larger questions, such as, “Why is life so fleeting?” (though most people’s answers to these questions don’t involve snow pooters and trans-dimensional travel).
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A short story about art school kids.
A sketchbook that I kept for the Brooklyn Art Library's Sketchbook Project.
TALES FROM THE GAY FUTURE
Some one-page comics that I made for Rob Kirby's BOY TROUBLE anthology.
A story about the Miracle 5 and their nemisis, Nostrils Martinez.
Based on a Nez Perce legend about the trickster god, Coyote.
AT LEAST ONE OTHER PERSON
A homeless man and his imaginary friend do some pondering.
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Two horror stories that were originally published in a zine of the same name.
RED GREEN GOLD
You got to be seen green, you got to be dead red, you got to be wearin' gold.