A U.S. Cartoonist in Colombia, Part 3

June 25th, 2009 | Posted in General

The last two days in Colombia were the most fun for me, mainly because after two days of solid CaliComix events I got a chance to see some of the city.

On Thursday morning Michael, my host from the Centro Colombo Americano, took me on a trip to a big plaza on the south side of Cali. “Plaza” in Colombia can mean several things, but in this case it was a giant marketplace like a street market but under a huge roof structure, surrounded by shops and restaurants.

Busy Cali Street

Cali Plaza Marketplace

Flower merchants in the plaza

Juice Bar

We took a break and at a “juice bar” in the plaza where you can order fresh fruit juices and various finger foods while sitting at the bar. You pick your fruits and order them mixed with either water or milk. Some of the foods like the empanadas looked good while some, like the pig intestines and fried hunks of pig skin were… uh… less so.

That afternoon I did my demonstration at the Centro Colombo Americano. This consisted of my setting up and doing a small illustration from start to finish. I picked a caricature of Prince Charles, one I had done in my sketchbook some months ago. I inked a version of it and scanned that ahead of time so we did not need to scan the one I inked in front of the audience in order to color it. I worked on the piece with a camera over my shoulder and the board displayed on a video screen and explained the process (with an interpretor) as I worked.

Penciling a caricature of Prince Charles
Drawing the caricature

Inking Chuck

Preparing to color
Getting ready to color…

Of course nothing ever goes as planned, and after setting up the Cintiq I could not find the Wacom pen. Paco ran back to the hotel and looked for it in my room, not finding it and ultimately bringing his Intuos pen, which worked fine. In the meantime I set up and drew some live caricatures:

Drawing more caricatures

Patricio Ruales, an illustrator from Colombia, put together this video of me drawing him at the demo and placed it on YouTube (Thanks, Patricio!). He must have added the color to the drawing that is shown at the end of the video:

Eventually I finished up the illustration and wrapped up the demo:

Mostly finished illustration
The (mostly) finished piece

That evening was the opening of my art show at the Colombo Americano. I have already blogged about the show, so you can read about it here. It was a lot of fun getting to meet more people and seeing them enjoy looking at my work. Michael tells me the Colombo Americano is trying to arrange it that the show will travel after it closes in Cali to other cities in Colombia. Here are a few more pictures from the exhibit opening event:

Me and Arturo Kemchs
Me and Mexico’s Arturo Kemchs

The crowd at the art show
The crowd at the show

Me and Michael Cedena
Me and Michael Cedena

Friday was a mostly free day, and a group of us went out into the city to see some sites. Here are a few pictures from our afternoon adventure:










Apparently Jesus is alive and well and serving a strange
whipped dessert confection on the streets of Cali

Lunch at a local diner

Friday evening we ended up at a University where we had more presentations and a cookout. I left very early the next morning.

What a fantastic experience. Cali is a beautiful city rich in cultural heritage, and I hope I will be able to visit there again someday.


  1. Tom,
    glad you made it back alive (just kidding) . It looks like you had a wonderful rich experience. Uh! regarding that confection aren’t they a little worried about flies ?
    I would be bzzzzzz
    Michael Garisek

  2. sir jorge says:

    great photos, looks like a cool trip

  3. Faboun'e says:

    This post is so great …!
    Lovethe video !.
    Good Work !


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

Workshops Ad

Dracula ad

Doctor Who Ad

Superman Ad

%d bloggers like this: