Suindá and Its Argentinian Roots

Emiliano Correa started drawing when he was just 2 years old. What started as scribbles of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles turned into doodles in class and, eventually, sketchbooks filled with ideas.

Now an independent comic artist, Correa works with comic writer Travis Huber on Suindá, an action/adventure series that takes place in his home city of Corrientes, Argentina.

The story draws from the myth of a death spirit, of the same name, from Guaraní lore that Correa said he believes most people have forgot.

“It happens most of the time that people forget their culture, history and lore. Unfortunately here is not the exception,” Correa said. “A great percentage of young people have no idea about our legends or traditions. To give you an example, everywhere I go people ask me, what does Suindá mean? So this could be an alternative to remind people about our origins, our tales which are interesting and beautiful.”

Suindá is a reminder for some and a lesson for others in the culture and lore of past Argentinians. Correa said he found out through working on Suindá that the Argentinian people are proud that their culture is spreading and appreciated in other places. The Argentinian culture, its language, history and myths, are important to the story of Suindá.

Suindá itself is a Guaraní word, it’s the name of an owl that carries its own legend as most of the birds, plants and other animals from our region,” Correa said, “… our intention for this book was to tell, show and share a bit of Argentine lore; we have a bunch of mythological beings so we take some names from there and make some changes to their stories.”

Correa shared an example of this, in the form of the word Lobizón, the Guaraní word for werewolf. They use the name as a reference to explain a character. He is not a real werewolf, but he is a vicious man who eats raw meat.

Correa said Argentinian culture influences the story, but he explained that Huber is leaving his mark on the story, combining their culture into a more colorful story.

Suindá is published in English and Spanish and is a perfect example of mixing cultures.

“Yeah, it’s tough thinking about things in a bilingual format,” Huber said. “Fortunately, I know a little Spanish, so it helps some. Thankfully, Emiliano is there to help me find the correct phrases and how to translate them or how what I write would come across in Spanish. And Benjamin Cochia, our translator/letterer is brilliant at helping keep the flow and idea as consistent as possible across the two language formats.”

With the mix of culture comes a twist on the original stories. Correa said he thought of the concept for the series as a way to show his culture through comics. They take folk characters from Argentinian lore and twist the stories by putting them in a new context; Suindá takes place in a dystopian future with steampunk devices and an evil vampiric race that controls humankind.

Story twists extend as far as the series’ title.

“I wanted to work on the meaning people give to the bird and twist it to show something different. Here the Suindá is a bad augury animal, if you hear its song you die, or something bad happens to you,” Correa said. “I was always fascinated by this owl, and wanted to change that bad reputation and use it for a good purpose, or it might be a matter of perception, because it’s still a sign of bad omen, but this time for the bad guys.”

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If you’re interested in checking out Suinda, head over to http://headshrinkerspress.com/suinda/ where you can order a digital copy of the first issue. For more up-and-coming info on the series and issue 2 updates, be sure to check out their Facebook.

Also look for another post on Indie Comics about the creators of Suindá and how they started working together!

“Comics have opened me many doors, not only for my own success but to transmit culture and some crazy ideas to the world,” Correa said.

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