We had the good fortune of connecting with Vince Alvendia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vince, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born in the Philippines but I was raised in San Diego. I was a Navy brat in the 80’s so I grew up on a healthy diet of Star Wars, sci-fi TV shows likeBattlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers, Mtv, and Saturday morning cartoons. Honestly, I probably watched way more TV than was good for me, but it definitely influenced my tastes in art, media, and pop culture. I’m also at an age where hearing a specific song on the radio, or running across an old show I used to watch on a streaming service, brings on a wave of nostalgia. Considering the current social and political environment, I feel very lucky to have had such an innocent childhood. Kids today have to grow up way too fast…
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My road to becoming an artist was definitely a twisty one. As a kid, I drew all the time, and it was what I was known for in my classes and my gateway to acceptance as the weird foreign kid. It even saved me from some sketchy situations in middle and high school with gang members because some of them knew me from class and I respected that I could draw stuff. I started off drawing characters from my favorite cartoons like He-Man and Transformers at an early age, and later on I would be heavily influenced by Disney and anime and manga. Specifically, Disney’s the Little Mermaid and an anime TV show called Robotech made me want to pursue a career in animation. The silent acting of Ariel, for lack of a better term, spoke to me. With anime as a genre, I was drawn to the visual style and gritty storytelling you could do with anime. I took a life detour and joined the Navy to sort myself out, ended up married with two kids, went to art school, got divorced, took a day job to support my kids, got remarried, found some success in the local art gallery and pop-up art show circuit, met Pop Psychologist Janina Scarlet and drew her graphic novel Dark Agents, and the rest is ongoing history. That’s the Reader’s Digest version… or maybe Cliffs Notes version? Do the youngsters even know what those are??? If you ever run into me at a show or convention, buy me a drink and I’ll happily blab the long version.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Things are different now with Covid 19 and social distancing, but if it were before this, I’d absolutely plan their visit around Comic-Con International: San Diego! If they were my friend, then they would most definitely be a nerd, so Comic-Con week is a must. The days before preview night , we would have to hit up the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park and its hub of museums, and peruse Spanish Village. Balboa park is my absolute favorite place in San Diego, whether I’m cruising the zoo or visiting a museum or just strolling through and taking it all in. It’s my favorite place to just decompress. I’d also have to bring them to Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, a San Diego staple, and the place where I had my very first book signing. It’s a really cool indie bookstore and has a really friendly and welcoming vibe. It would be my little humble brag.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would first like to give a big THANK YOU to my wife, who’s always believed in me even when I stopped believing in myself. I would definitely not be where I am today as an artist without her support. I would also like to express my deepest gratitude towards Dr. Janina Scarlet, my creative partner and writer of Dark Agents Book One: Violet and the Trial of Trauma, and New Harbinger Publications for giving me a shot. Last, and definitely not least, I’d like to thank my Circle of friends, and all of my friends and colleagues out there who have supported my creative endeavors- I’m looking at you too Mission Valley Book Club!