Artist Jesus Rodriguez remembers as a child watching his uncles draw lowriders and Chicano cartoons reminiscent of “Homies” characters popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He said he worked hard to make his art as good as theirs.
Today, Rodriguez puts his own Latin spin on some of the most popular superheroes and anime characters. On TikTok, Rodriguez responds to requests from his more than 30,000 followers to draw characters like Superman and Batman as Aztec warriors and the Joker, The Mandalorian and Dragon Ball Zit’s Vegeta in mariachi.
“I’ve always loved old-school animation, but my daughter introduced me to the newer animation,” Rodriguez, 36, told Remezcla in a recent interview. “Recently I did these Batman and Superman drawings and it blew up.”
Other characters Rodriguez has drawn in her own fusion comic style include Sailor Moon dressed in folk ballet attire; Japanese manga character Naruto as a bandito; and an Aztec version of Tanjiro Kamado from the anime series demon slayer.
Currently, Rodriguez lives with his family in New Mexico, where he works as a case analyst for the state. He said his dream would be to do art full time.
Although he said it was impossible to choose between Marvel and DC Comics (“I love them both”), Rodriguez is excited to see what Marvel will do with Latin characters like Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and Namora. (Mabel Cadena) in the upcoming sequel. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
“Marvel is more inclusive, so that makes sense,” Rodriguez said. “Times are changing. Not all superheroes have to be white.
To see more designs by Jesus Rodriguez and buy his work printed on clothing and other items, visit his page at TeePublic.