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Published by Red Stylo Media Cold Spring, NY Š 2011 Red Stylo Media ISBN: 978-0-9829564-3-4 Editor: Enrica Jang Cover Art:Jhazmine Ruiz and Rich O’Dell Masthead Design: Jason Longo Cover and Book Design: Enrica Jang Collecvting Issues #1, #2 and #3 of AZTECA, a comic series published by Red Stylo Media. No portion of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the express written permission of Red Stylo Media. Characters, people and settings in this work are fictional. Any resemblance to actual people, places or events is either satyric or coincedental. AZTECA2012.com redstylomedia.com


Ciudad Paradiso, Vol. 1

Jang ruiZ Frattino Jacobson Cormack


The AZTECA series only exists at all thanks to the patience and generosity of the people listed here. every one contributed time, funds, attention and support. even Love. We Are, and will continue to be, forever grateful. Well...Forever or until the world ends. whichever happens first. Thank you!

Anthony Brenneman Lys Fulda Aleksei Garcia Matthew Giordano Sarah Gray Ryan Holliday Elizabeth Jang Jack Jang Erick Korpi Rich O’Dell Poet Without Apology Melissa Ruzicki Seth and Susan St. Martin Bob and Kim Shaw Steve Swanson Sarah Werkheiser and David Watkins


ContentS Part 1 s tory, E n r ic a J a n g Cover/Pencils, Jhazmine Ruiz Ink/Color/Letters, Andre Frattino

Part 2 Story, Enrica Jang Pencils, Jhazmine Ruiz Cover, Scott Ambruson Ink, Phillip C. Jacobson Color/Letters, Andre Frattino Part 3 s tory, E n r ic a J a n g Pencils, Jhazmine Ruiz Cover, Scott Ambruson Ink/Color/Letters (9), Andre Frattino Ink/Color/Letters (10-12), Alex Cormack Sketchbook Sur de Suenos, Poet Without Apology


Chapter One

C

I

P A

C

T

L

I


Chapter Two

O

C

E

L

O

T

L


Chapter Three

M

A

Z

A

T

L


Chapter Four

X

O

C

H

I

T

L


Chapter Five

A

C

A

T

L


Chapter Six

M I Q U I T Z L I


Chapter Seven

Q U I A H U I T L


Chapter Eight

M A L I N A L L I


Traveler’s Prayer I myself I, the Hand indeed I, the Warrior I, the Mocker I respect nothing... come forth spirits from the sunset from the sunrise anywhere you dwell as animals as birds from the four directions I call you to my grip... come forth knife to be stained with blood come forth cross my path

translated from the Nuahtl by Francisco Alarcón


Chapter nine

C

o

a

t

l


Chapter ten

t

e

c

p

a

t

l


Chapter Eleven

o z o m a h t l i


Chapter twelve

c u e t z p a l i n


Prayer to the Sun Before Traveling Come help me Nanahuatzin I’ll go first I’ll be on the road first-then you’ll go then you’ll follow the road I’ll be the first to cross all the desert lands all the canyon lands I’ll pass swiftly over the Earth’s smooth face-she won’t hinder me no matter what truly lies on her smooth face up in the sky I shall go I shall walk

translated from the Nuahtl by Francisco Alarcón


To Be Continued...


Sketchbook Each chapter in AZTECA begins with a symbol representing trecenas, 13day periods that divide the Aztec calendar. These pieces by artist Jhazmine Ruiz are recreations of actual Aztecan glyphs. Read more about the symbols and mythology behind each at AZTECCALENDAR.com Sur de Suenos is a spoken word piece written and performed by Poet Without Apology and is available as an MP3 download on our website RedStylo.com/AZTECA


Sur de Suenos spoken word by Poet Without Apology I know a place I know a place where the sun loves to play Loves to dance over bronze clouds And gets his shine from gold canyons I know a place where the sky Paints herself in the hues of laughter Where raptured emotions Capture songs sung in the slurred Speech of romantic dreams And music dances to the rhythm of a history Made long before our time It’s a place where tamales and stories Are shared as easily as candy Where horchata flows like fountains And every conversation could end with a kiss But in this place Besos cost too much these days Each one can betray the future Like 30 pieces of silver And pesos are a dime a dozen The fountain of youth Never seems to run empty But her spigot Doesn’t reach far enough Across the Gulf to quench the thirst Of dreams You see the thing about dreams Is sometimes we get stuck in them No escaping purgatory America has become the heaven That didn’t want them And they can’t stay In the underbelly of their dreams Or they die


The trap door on the border is closing fast The oxygen isn’t going to last much longer Because hell is drinking up all the air 2012 is just around the corner And we can’t count any higher In this place now Everyone walks in a daze Glazed eyes dilate the stories Of yesterdays that no one wants to remember The dot-dot-dash Pulsing through their veins are flat-lining Too many of us are forgetting That nobody Survives the phone calls of coyotes in Cuidad Juarez or Durango Holding heaven for ransom The road to El Dorado is barricaded And the future is still trapped rough layouts from AZTECA #2. Under the rubble Of the 1985 earthquake Because in Mexico Gravity weighs more In this place The Virgin Mary is turned bloody Left for dead after being raped By a man named after the Christ child So today Prayers are rising up to the ears of Santisima Muerte Spilling upon Aztecan alters As Mesoamericans offer up their tears Hoping to enter Mictlan Because nobody is dying naturally these days And Peter has locked the pearly gates


While Christ said Suffer little children and forbid them not To come unto me -All the children do now Is suffer Because kingdoms Are being built off of their bones They are being sacrificed before the end of this song Maybe El Niño de las Suertes waits with open arms But their only hope to resurrection Is on “The day of the dead” Right now On the other side of this door Bullets fly Someone dies Everyone cries Because games like Tag, you’re it Leave nobody standing Families run state side Screaming “Red rover, red rover, Jesus come over” But the Rio Grande Is already red on the south side….. And Jesus doesn’t answer

Pilar and El Serpiente Concept Sketches.


So when statues cry bloody tears Everyone sees a miracle Because the tears of las abuelas Are just too common place And the cartels are screaming For a sacrifice Montezuma always knew The gods were thirsty We don’t consider the killing fields Of this place But this year over 20,000 souls Are planted in deserts that Grow nothing but regret Their black plague grow into rings around our noses Powdered white and Gets us high, but they get no Higher than the glass ceiling We are standing on And it’s about to break I know a place I know a place where the sun Loves to play Loves to dance over bronze clouds And gets his shine from gold Canyons But is burning everything in site So join me as I travel to the beaches of Quetzecan Because Spring Break in Cancun is overrated Let us drink the blood of our mother from the Gulf Like piña coladas Wait for the world to end And bypass the killing fields.

Early Alej/Nicho concepts


Thumbnails for AZTECA #1, pp1-2

Early Nuria, Hector and Chief DeSoto character sketches.


Initial AZTECA #2 cover concept

Final changes to cover #2


Artists

Enrica Jang is editor-in-chief at Red Stylo Media. She is both writer and creator of the AZTECA comic series and editor of The Poe Twisted Anthology and Shakespeare Shaken. Her screenwriting credits include the award-winning short film, Frienemies (2011). Read her blog at EnricaJang.com.

Jhazmine Ruiz is the penciler for AZTECA #1-3. She has

been published by Marvel Comics (Big Hero 6, Issues 3 and 4) as well as in various anthologies, including the Fletcher Hanks Redux Anthology. In her words: “I decided I wanted to become an artist for a living when I watched the Making of ‘The Abyss’ and discovered a team of conceptual artists designed the world I was admiring. The idea of bringing imagination to life captivated me, and from there I have designed for short films, children’s books, logo designs and comic books to bring that magic to others.”


Andre Frattino is the color/letter artist for AZ-

TECA #1 and #2. He illustrated the children’s novel, Here Comes Julie Jack (Wild Onion Press). He also wrote and illustrated The Reaper of St. George Street, a graphic novel published by Pineapple Press. Andre draws and writes the comic strip Son of a Gator in the University of Florida’s Independent Florida Alligator. Andre lives in Gainesville FL.

Phillip Jacobson is the inker for AZTECA #2.

He graduated in 2011 with a BFA in Sequential Art from the Savannah College of Art & Design. He plans to pursue his MFA at SCAD as well. Though predominantly a comic artist, Phillip also enjoys storyboarding, character design, and playing Pokemon. He was born and raised in Dallas, Texas.

Alex Cormack is ink/color/letter man for AZTECA #3. His work in animation has shown at festivals in England, Australia, and all over the United States; his short film South Pole won three awards including Award of Excellence in animation, Best Animated Characters, and the Best Animated Screen Play at the 2010 Los Angeles Movie Awards. His comics work is published in The Poe Twisted Anthology, The Minimum Paige Anthology, Hellbound 2 Anthology, and Image Comics’ Skull-kickers. Read his blog at AlexCormack.com.


Scott Ambruson is the cover artist for AZTECA

#2 and #3. Additional credits include Trailer Park of Terror from Imperium, inking over David Newbold and Federico Zumel, and two stories for the Crime Wave, published by Three J Productions. In The Collectors, published by Shadowed Path Press, he inked over the pencils of Jason Baroody. See more of his work at ScottAmbruson.deviantart.com/

Poet Without Apology is an accomplished spoken word artist and published author. He is a founder of Poets of the 5th Element, a member of the Unusual Suspects and a recipient of the 2000 International Poet of Merit Award. His published collections of work include Give the Dog a Bone, I’ll Drive, and White Flag Warrior.

“Traveler’s Prayer” and “Prayer to the Sun before Travelling” are translated from the Nuahtl by Francisco Alarcón in Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation. Chronicle Books, San Francisco (1954) http://www.plu.edu/~friesjj/poems/home.html

The beginning of the End is Now. Visit

AZTECA2012.com

to see the motion comic, read more about the artists and to see new art from upcoming issues of the series.


Coming Soon

Enrica Jang Ben Frazier Alex Cormack

Ciudad Paradiso #4


also from Red Stylo Media


A silent killer is cutting up bad guys in the resort city of Quetzecan, Mexico. All of the victims are soldiers in the Cardenas drug Cartel and the body count is rising. Strange Aztec symbols drawn in blood at every grisly scene only hint at the killer’s agenda as the clock ticks down to 2012...

The Beginning of the end is NOW

Mature Readers

U.S. $19.99 Can $22.99

azteca2012.com


AZTECA