Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Past, Present, and Future with...Juan José Fernández!

Juan José Fernández is a visual artist and comics community organizer, most recently named as one of “Pittsburgh’s Creative Forces: 12 People to Meet in 2017” in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and one of seven 2016 Fuerza awardees by Café Con Leche for providing Pittsburgh Latinx leadership. A native of Venezuela, he resides in Pittsburgh where he co-organizes the annual Pittsburgh Zine Fair, writes and provides educational outreach for the Comics Workbook Workshop Residency in Swissvale, and leads the Pittsburgh Comics Salon. Juan studied at Linguistics at Carnegie Mellon Univeristy and Comics Making at the Center for Cartoon Studies.

You can reach him at or see his work at

Photo Credit: Njamie Njie

Past, Present, and Future with...Juan José Fernández!
What got you into comics? Was it a specific issue, a certain person, a tv show, etc?

"Neil Gaiman’s Sandman in my high school library collection lit a fire in my heart for the form but it was finding the comics of Rachel Masilamani at Bill Boichel’s Copacetic Comics in Pittsburgh that got me to put pen to paper."

What are you working on these days? 

"I spin a lot of plates. I co-organize the Pittsburgh zine fair with Christina Lee, Raiona Gaydos and Maggie Negrete - foster a local space for incubating pittsburgh’s comics thinking through making called the Pittsburgh Comics Salon - I’m working on the 5th issue of Dog City, an anthology that I co-edit with. And a special project called “Field Station” that is in the stages of forming. I like to work on a lot of things at once, but above all with others. I remind myself often that in all of this, despite what people want to tell you in life, there is no finish line."

Do you have a dream project? 

"A daily strip that was my main source of income. It’s a pipe dream."

What one piece of creative advice would you give? 

"Be like water."

Thanks Juan!