SBCF 2023 Interview: Virus Visal

Throughout the month of October, the Cartoonist Cooperative will be sharing interviews with members of the Co-op who have a new comic available at the ShortBox Comics Fair 2023

NOTE: The Cartoonist Cooperative is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way formally connected with ShortBox.

Cartoonist Cooperative: We’d love it if you could introduce yourself and tell us about your background in comics.

Virus Visal: Hello! I’m Virus Visal, a comic artist from México. I’ve been publishing online and also self publishing zines and comics. I had a webcomic that ran for around 11 years and a bunch of smaller self contained comics both online or in paper. My work has been published in English in two anthologies: “Dirty Diamonds #7 Imagination” & “Built on Strange Ground”. My new standalone comic “The Swarm” is at the ShortBox Comics Fair!

CC: Tell us more about your new comic!

VV: The idea of this comic was born from very horrible situations I got to see happen at my first office job, and then the stories told by other friends and colleagues at other jobs. While I myself have been lucky to escape such situations, I still have a lot of angst that such things keep happening and have a deep desire for revenge. 

Here’s the synopsis: Something terrible happened to Gaby at the office and she doesn’t know how to deal with it, she is so powerless… Or so she thought until watching a swarm of locusts, when there are many others like you it doesn’t matter if you are small and unimportant, together you can destroy anything!

CC: Tell us about your creative process; how did you develop this comic and what are the steps you took to bring it to the final stage?

VV: I had a small 12 page script saved on my computer for like three or four years, and when I got into SBCF I knew this was my chance to finally get this story off my chest. Sometimes a girl just needs to feel the pressure of a deadline to get to work, you know?

So I dusted off my script, re-worked it to meet the page count for the fair, and made concepts for the characters (first in human form and then changed them to bird people). Stuff just kinda happened naturally; I think this comic really wanted to get out of my brain.

CC: Talk a little about your creative philosophy. What keeps you making comics?

VV: That’s a great question, I just fricking love comics man! Ever since I was small I just loved stories and drawing, and comics are the perfect match. I’ve had so many fears and insecurities in my life, I even made peace with the fact that I will never “make it” in comics since I do have a day job in order to support myself. But despite everything, I just could never stop making comics: it’s the perfect medium and it’s the thing that fills my heart with creative passion (as corny as it might sound).

CC: What helps you get through creative anxiety?

VV: You are like a faucet of water and you gotta get out all the murky stuff that got in there in order to get to the clean water that’s waiting deep inside. Our work is like that: it’s okay to not be great or perfect, and it’s better to finish something you have doubts about because it will help you grow as an artist, and whatever you do next will be better and better with time and experience.I always say, you just gotta push through! No matter the fear or anxiety, just finish the darn thing!

CC: Can you tell us about your newest projects/projects you have in development? Feel free to plug anything here as well eg. socials, website, etc.

VV: Right now I’m working like crazy to finish a comic we made a kickstarter for earlier this year: Xibalbá (thanks to the Co-op for their help spreading the word about it).

I don’t have much to show for myself in English since most of my work is in Spanish, but if anyone doesn’t mind my rambling in Spanish you can follow me on social media:

Twitter –

Instagram –

Tumblr –

Bluesky –

Here’s the link to “The Swarm”!