Just Fly / Volá

watercolor background, ink on sketch paper, digital coloring and composition | 2016 | 6×6

Growing up in 1980s Los Angeles was actually quite a lonely experience. I am an only child who spent much of childhood being bullied by older kids, and the few friendships I did make didn’t last long. My parents kept moving me from school to school, just as we moved from apartment to apartment. My experience was never about feeling rooted and at home anywhere. The only place where I truly felt like I belonged was in my mother’s house in Mejicanos, San Salvador. Every day I would go into my older brother’s room and go through his large magazine and book collection. I would lay them down on the floor and create my little island of knowledge that would protect me from the ills of the world, and whenever I felt loneliness, I would simply float on my island to wherever my family was.

The Central American Tree

ink on sketch paper, digital coloring and composition | 2018 | 10×10

I am not a big fan of nationalism and their symbols, which is why I never use any flags in my art. Instead, I prefer to use flora and fauna from the isthmus because neither recognize the arbitrariness of borders. An interpretation of all seven Central American national birds and trees as a single living organism.

Jorgito el Colonizado

ink on sketch paper, digital coloring and composition | 2016 | 8×8

As a child, I loved Curious George, but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned what a strange children’s book it really was. It is essentially the story of a monkey who is kidnapped from his native land at the whims of a white man — perhaps an unintended allegory for colonial expropriation. In any event, the Central American variant would certainly be a capuchin monkey having his labor expropriated by the rapacious United Fruit Company.

Just Dream / Soñá

watercolor background, ink on sketch paper, digital coloring and composition | 2018 | 6×5

My mother once told me that she sometimes felt like she was not meant to have children and be tied down, but instead to travel the world, seeing new things, meeting new people, and living the life of an aventurera. And so I pay homage to that dream of hers, and I come along with her as we both explore the universe.

Musings from a Conflicted Reagan-Era Salvi Boy

watercolor background, ink on sketch paper, digital coloring and composition | 2017 | 4×5

My feelings about being Salvadoran in the US are very much marked by my experience growing up during Reagan’s America in the 1980s. Every morning at school meant being forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance while staring at the portrait of Reagan, almost as if praying to a saint, all the while his administration trained and armed the Salvadoran military to kill my own people. At the same time, through a sort of cultural osmosis, “America” as an idea fomented a civil war inside me as a young person, arming a burgeoning American patriot with a sense of superiority whose orders were to destroy the Salvadoran in me. All this conflict to become a “Salvadoran-American,” a creature with a brown face who spoke like a white man.

The Central American Unicorn

ink on sketch paper, digital coloring and composition | 2017

Inspired by Guatemalan poet Maya Chinchilla’s “What it’s like to be a Central American Unicorn for Those Who Aren’t” from her book of poetry, The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética.

Victor Interiano is a Los Angeles-based Salvadoran cartoonist and creator of Dichos de un Bicho, a social media platform and blog that examines life as Central American in the United States as well as generates sociopolitical commentary and intersectional analysis on systems of power and popular culture. Thematically, Victor’s artwork is both a loving affirmation of Salvadoran identity, but also a dark, sardonic, and self-deprecating journey into what it means to be a Salvadoran living in the present political environment. Victor and his work have been featured on Remezcla, Masq Magazine, The Racist Sandwich Podcast, and Feministing.