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A is for graphic novel

"If they're broke, don't fix it." 

A is for Authentic - a graphic novel by Marcos Garibay with Art by Riki Takaoka.
A is for Authentic – a graphic novel by Marcos Garibay with Art by Riki Takaoka.

Sometimes words aren’t enough to explain a feeling. This is exactly what drove Marcos Garibay to create a graphic novel about his life, which he describes as an “autobiographic epic.” 

Ten years ago Garibay and his brother Armando started a production company out of their father’s home in Pueblo. The company was a result of their passion for the music and entertainment industry. 

Garibay says his interest in the entertainment business first began as a child in Durango when his mother started the first folk dancing group in the area. He watched the group grow and enjoyed traveling around the state for performances. Years after the death of his mother, he and his brother rediscovered music in their own ways and started a production company together. The two relocated the company to Denver, but Pueblo still remains a special place for Marcos, especially. 

He is currently working on a graphic novel, “A is for Authentic”, with artist Riki Takaoka that “centers around (his) life long ‘quality’ to live in a blurred line between fantasy and reality.”

“The book includes stories of my costumed advents as a child in Colorado Springs, my time as dancer in my mother’s group, my mother’s death, my journey past my anger and inner demons to find my place in the world, vigilante adventures during my early 20’s and the eventual formation of my own creative business, The Blackout Beat,” Garibay said. 

An original soundtrack accompanies the novel. Garibay said it is an important element to the novel because music has been a central theme in his life. 

“The main message that is echoed in all 10 chapters of the book is this: live your life in a way that is true to who you are, be authentic.  Follow your bliss and expect an unforgettable adventure. That is a message that I think we are never too old to hear,” Garibay said.

He also believes that the novel will speak to people in all walks of life including “dealing with the death of a loved one, realizing that the world isn’t as fair or just as we’d like it to be, and deciding how far you’re willing to follow your dreams and how much you are willing to sacrifice to get there.”

Garibay said that he chose to tell his story through a graphic novel because there are some emotions that cannot be put into words; like losing his mom and falling in love. Those are feelings he chose to express in panels of pictures rather than words because they are so powerful. 

A graphic novel also allows the author to be more of a director, he added. He was able to choose the angles, zoom, lighting and perspective of a scene that contributed to the emotion he was trying to convey. 

“The way those pages are planned out and drawn says more than a book full of words ever could,” Garibay said. 

With the profits from the novel, Garibay plans to fund a scholarship, the Mallory Gonzales Scholarship, for underprivileged kids to dance in Pueblo folkloric groups. The money would be used to pay for costumes and dance shoes. He said that 10 percent of each gift set sold would go to the scholarship fund. 

Garibay hoped to gain enough funds to finish the project through a campaign on kickstarter.com. The project fell $4,000 short of the $6,400 goal, but Garibay said a great deal of interest was gained because of the campaign and the project will still be completed, just in a different way. 

“Instead of ordering graphic novels that include all 10 chapters of the story we will release a 10 part comic book series and sell them in our new studio store and locally at comic shops,” Garibay said. 

The compilation will also be released in smaller parts along side the novel said Garibay. Each comic will include a code for a digital download of a new song off the soundtrack.  A physical CD of the soundtrack will also be packaged with the graphic novel later this year when they are released after the 10 issue comic series. 

It is also planned for the scholarship fund to go on. Garibay has begun talking to folkloric groups that could benefit from the scholarship. 

“A is for Authentic” will be available in Pueblo at Outer Limits Comic Book Store, Papa Jose’s and Garibay Law Office. Garibay will also be promoting and performing readings of the book at CSU-Pueblo and PCC this spring.

by Kara Mason

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Written by Kara Mason

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Kara Mason is PULP's news editor. She is also the Society of Professional Journalists Colorado Pro Chapter president. Kara freelances for other regional publications, covering government, politics and the environment.

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