Gonzalo Alvarez is a Mexican-American illustrator, graphic novel author, storyteller, and game designer. Born and raised in an a low-income household within the small blue-collar community of Port Arthur, TX, he pursued a BFA in Drawing at Lamar University. Through comics, illustrations, and video games, Alvarez aims to animate the stories of his Mexican culture and bring it into pop culture entertainment.
His team at Macua Studios produced Borders, an internationally viral immigration game inspired by his parent’s immigration story. The art installation featured worldwide including Despierta America, Washington Post, and exhibited at Indiecade Showcase at E3 2017, Sheffield Doc Fest and more.
His graduating thesis work The Legend of Polloman, a Mexican fantasy adventure graphic novel series, debuted at Texas Latino Comic Con, Mexamericon, and Worldcon76 before finding a home at a publishing house and the Gall T Zacker Agency. He has dedicated the rest of his life to bring the folklore and culture of indigenous Mexico like La Llorona, Aztec Gods, and Alebrije’s into pop culture entertainment.
He enjoys sharing his story to inspire others to pursue their passion despite their underprivileged background and has spoken at universities and conventions worldwide such as UCLA, UNAM, Texas Latino Comic Con, and more. When he’s not drawing El Cucuy, he’s playing fetch with him or watching horror shows with his muse.
LAMAR UNIVERSITY, BEAUMONT TX
BACHELORS IN STUDIO ARTS EMPHASIS IN DRAWING 2012
after directing his first game Borders, a game about his parents immigration story, the game received international attention featuring on Univision, Washington Post and many others leading to its invitation to prestigious festivals such as Sheffield Doc/Fest Alternative Realities in the UK and Latin America and Indiecade’s Showcase at E3 2017. The game has been used for academic research in universities and has given panels worldwide.
His current project “The Legend of Polloman”, is a Mexican folklore adventure media series currently being adapted into a comic, game, and cartoon in an effort to inspire and entertain people about the rich folklore, culture, and history of Mexico that he grew up with. Readers follow a timid boy journeying the underworld of Mictlan to vanquish terrifying Folklore Legends like La Llorona and El Cucuy, in order to return home.
Polloman has featured at the Texas Latino Comic Con in 2017-18 and was invited to premiere at Worldcon76 for the Mexicanx Initiative by John Picacio. He has dedicated his life’s work to creating culturally significant projects and the doors that have opened have brought him closer to his goal of becoming a full-time creative.
FULL ARTIST STATEMENT PDF BELOW:
A bit more about me:
Much of my illustration influences come from an early fascination with the creepy fantastical stories of my Mexican culture along with the grotesque imagery of Saturday morning cartoons, Tim Burton, and Kentaro Miura.
Growing up, I also had an obsession with the rules and mechanics of video games, board games, and collectible card games, and remember designing games on paper as early as 8 years old. This has contributed to my current work in the field of game design.
I have traveled abroad to Japan and enjoy traveling among others things like playing video games, public speaking, and creating.