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Rising Stars: Meet Anthony Carranza

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anthony Carranza.

Hi Anthony, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Well, it’s funny actually.. I never really took drawing seriously, I doodled a lot as a kid in class (don’t tell my mom.) Eventually in high school and being an athlete, I took art classes as an easy grade but actually grew loving to learn the fundamentals of sketching the body and eventually sculpting in ceramics. Despite this fun little hobby of mine, Baseball was my life. I have very few memories where I was not playing baseball in my childhood and I played competitively beyond high school until my pitching arm basically went out. After this drastic change to my life, I found a void inside of me. I was distracted for a very long time and soon realized being a baseball player did a lot of heavy lifting for my non-existing personality. While this may sound depressing, not being a baseball player left me a lot of time to sit and find love for outlets I really never had time for.. watching old westerns, early science-fiction and grindhouse horror films… I streamed pretty much anything I was interested in. I then started to dive into the world of mid-century Americana.. specifically comic books. One thing baseball did for me as far as art goes was introduce me to retro pop-culture in a casual way, the likes of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Ted Williams really passively introduced me to americana as a whole. I can vividly remember seeing an old soda poster in our baseball clubhouse that read: “Ted Drinks Moxie.” So I guess it was a snowball effect that I would find myself recreating that vintage element.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I don’t think anyone can ever say they have had a smooth road, and if they do they’re lying. Life is what we make with the circumstances we’ve been dealt and I think everyone is dealt their fair share of gut punches. For me, getting into the art game fairly late with very little fundamental training led to countless hours of studying old art books, comics, and mindlessly searching for “old art” on the internet. Zooming in, taking notes of what was intentional or years of decay. But with that being said… what came from these circumstances was finding a new love for history and art that I think goes deeper than the face value of “wow that’s so retro.”

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Pulp Americana began with the intention of recreating golden age comic book covers down to the smallest detail.. an ongoing learning process where I attempt to master the aging factors of old paper, the coloring methods of comic printing. But It bagan to evolve into something more complex where I was beginning to introduce more recurring characters such as “Tikiman” and “Sonic Saturn”. It’s grown and molded into this complex, accidental lore that people seem to cling to and look forward to.. One thing that never gets old is the fan art i receive of my characters.. or when people compare them to a famous comic character. I am known as being a student of the game, I spend countless hours learning the methods of artists who genuinely inspire me, Johnny Craig, Jack Davis, Wally Wood, CC Beck and Chester Gould to name a few. But also, it goes deeper than the art itself, vintage paper goes beyond slapping textures on it and calling it a day, when you look closely at my mock-ups you’ll find the aging process and printing textures are strategically chaotic, and they often look like thrift store finds. I am definitely most proud of the community and lore I’ve built around just making art for fun. Some of the best and most encouraging friends I’ve made on this floating rock have come from the retro art community. As far as being set apart from others? I like to think I strive for a sense of individuality and putting my name on the past.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
Man, The names are endless. For starters, one of the most influential figures in my life, not just my art would be my friend Dom Vitalli. Dom has always encouraged me to want more and push myself beyond my comfort zone. All of my family and friends are very supportive of my work, I have a special appreciation of my family’s support because I wholeheartedly understand they do not understand my weird love for old comics, science fiction and pulps but they have an appreciation for my love and passion for the art. I want to put a special spotlight on my older sister, Vanessa. Who has probably been the most physically supportive of my family and friends, she buys my merch, never misses my shows and is always spreading my name out there.


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