Edgar Camacho from Metepec, Mexico has received multiple comic and illustration awards in his homeland and also built a devoted fanbase with his webcomic series Tiras sin Sentido. His English language version of Onion Skin is coming out from Top Shelf Productions. Edgar stopped by First Comics News to let our readers know all about Onion Skin.
First Comics News: What is Onion Skin about?
Edgar Camacho: It’s about taking the first step. Taking a leap into the void without knowing if you will be successful or not….About knowing yourself.
Edgar: She’s my girlfriend. In fact, in the book, I reflect on how we met and what it meant to meet her. She changed my life.
1st: Who is Rolando?
Edgar: This character is based on me, a square guy who is afraid to take risks. A guy who follows the rules but would like to break them. He is the protagonist of our story.
1st: Is Rolando a semi-autobiographical character?
Edgar: Yes. And I actually used myself as a model to do the various poses that I needed to draw, so Rolando turned out bearing a certain physical resemblance to me as well. Rolando’s life is not my life as a comic, but he does have many characteristics of mine.
1st: How did Nera and Rolando meet?
Edgar: The first time, he was in a restaurant and she was walking down the street. They look at each other, but that’s it. Nothing else happens. Then, they meet outside of a bar and they decide to go to a gig together.
Edgar: Nera’s a nomad by nature. When she meets Rolando, she lives inside an abandoned food truck in a kind of mechanical workshop.. a junkyard. Rolando has some money saved and decides to invest it to repair the food truck and join Nera on an adventure across the country, to take a risk and do something rewarding.
1st: Who is Zibodio?
Edgar: He is part of the Hellpigs, a motorcycle gang that harasses and blackmails other food trucks. He usually paints his face like a clown to avoid being recognized.
Edgar: He works in the pig barrel, the Hellpig business. They prevent other food businesses from growing by threatening and stalking them.
1st: What are the secret herbs?
Edgar: The secret herbs are a family crop… a mixture of ancient spices. Nera’s grandmother cultivated them.
1st: How do they end up with a biker gang after them?
1st: Who is Mrs. Nez?
She is the owner of a hotel, which used to have a food stall that also fell victim to the Hellpigs. She helps our protagonists discover who is behind the Hellpigs.
1st: What’s the point of the coyote?
Edgar: At the beginning of the story a coyote crosses their path. Rolando dodges him so as not to run him over. The coyote walks around until a certain character with the smell of meat sauce catches his eye…
Edgar: I think the moment is right because it also coincides with the release of one of my last comics in France. “Acacia 22”, came out in April for the French market, and this month, “Onion Skin” arrives in its English edition. I’m excited to share my stories with different cultures and in different languages.
1st: Are there cultural differences that required adjustments to the script for an American audience?
Edgar: Yes, specifically in the translation. I am very grateful to the Top Shelf team. They helped to give the English version a meaning that was more in line with the North American public.
Edgar: They are a delicious dish. Basically, they are fried tortillas cut into triangles, bathed in sauce (there are many varieties, based on tomatoes or green tomatoes and serrano pepper), accompanied by cheese and cream.
1st: Why is a story about a boy, a girl, and a food truck called Onion Skin?
Edgar: In the book, I make the metaphor that almost no one eats an onion as if it were an apple, but onions are necessary to flavor and complement food. People are like that…sometimes we can be someone’s onion, that compliments and spices up their life.