Welcome to the artist interview series! This series is all about getting to know cool people making cool work, and today, we’ll be hearing from freelance comic artist, illustrator, and designer Teo Hernandez DuVall, contributor to the GLAAD Comics Winning 2023 Outstanding Graphic Novel or Anthology for Young Men in Love, contributor to the Eisner Winning 2019 Best Anthology Puerto Rico Strong, and illustrator of the upcoming YA graphic novel Brooms out in October 2023.
About Teo Hernandez DuVall
I’m a comic artist, illustrator, and barista born, raised, and based in Seattle. I graduated from the School of Visual Arts and then drew Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy, Webtoon’s American Road Trip, and Sokka in ATLA: Team Avatar Tales. I’m also the artist of the upcoming graphic novel, BROOMS, releasing October 2023.
Other times I’m the merchandise artist of a woman-owned, neighborhood coffee shop. I love our iced rose latte with oat milk. My spouse and I are proud parents of a red-nosed pittie and a tiny panther.
I usually don’t remember what piece exactly drew me to an artist’s work, but in this case, I believe I first saw Teo’s work on a project titled Leave a Trace. The colors were so striking, and the tenderness Teo captured in the queer characters with a simple yet strong composition was so touching that it kinda burned into my memory like a sunset. I specifically remember and love the ones shared on his Stimola Literary Studio profile.
I also had the pleasure of reading GLAAD winning Young Men in Love: A Queer Romance Anthology, a comics anthology from A Wave Blue World that is absolutely brimming with gorgeous comics showcasing queer men in love. It immediately became a favorite comic anthology for me, and Teo’s violet-hued comic included inside was sweet and emblematic of the work I’ve come to know from him.
So let’s get to know Teo a bit and talk with him about comics and their life! 😃
Act Cool by Teo Hernandez DuVall.
Teo Hernandez DuVall + Comics
How did you get into making comics?
In fourth grade, I drew a rocket for my elementary school’s t-shirt contest. I went through dozens of photos of rockets and used my favorites bits of each one in the drawing. I just love the artistic process.
I fell in love with comics after reading Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman in high school. That’s also when I started reading X-Men and Hellboy. The Wolves of St. August is my favorite arc.
Wav Fest Poster by Teo Hernandez DuVall.
Do you have a favorite comic, standalone or series?
Barbarous by Ananth Hirsh & Yuko Ota. It’s an urban fantasy series about a college dropout / washed-up witch who lands a management role in a strange apartment building. It’s a slow burn enemies-to-lovers romance between her and the building’s bestial resident handyman.
What’s one comic you would recommend to someone new to comics?
I would recommend The Abominable Charles Christopher by Karl Kerschl. It’s series about a young sasquatch bumbling his way through a series of forest adventures. Karl Kerschl’s animals are stunning, and his writing is clever, sweet, and melancholy. Everything about it is beautiful.
I’m glad to have a few more comics from your recommendations to add to my reading list!
Teo + Life
What’s something you’ve created that you’re really proud of? Doesn’t have to be related to work!
I’m proud of the training my pitbull, Bear, and I did together. He was a really anxious dog, and with a lot of dedication and love he’s now calmer and more confident. He’s the best boy.
I love seeing and hearing about people’s pets, and it sounds like the work you did with Bear really had a positive impact on his life! Would you mind sharing a photo or two of him and your tiny panther? (Love that description btw lol)
Bear and R.G. are so cute! They both look so happy, that’s so sweet. 😃
If money and time were no issue, what do you think you would do?
I would love to luxuriate in more drawing time. I have a graphic novel idea based on my heritage and favorite genres that I would love to bring to fruition in a way not tainted by the pressures of capitalism.
The rest of the time I would be cultivating my city apartment garden and growing spider plants, cast iron plants, California poppy, and herbs for my spouse’s kitchen!
I love cast iron plants and poppies, that’s so cool that you have them! I lived briefly in Germany as a young child, and we would often walk past a field of poppies that were just so stunning.
Current and Upcoming Work
Teo’s portfolio is quite extensive– it feels like he’s always got something going on or another! We talked a little about their upcoming work:
Is there anything you’ve finished recently or about to finish?
Yes! BROOMS–a YA graphic novel about young witches of color flying in underground broom races in alternate 1930s Mississippi. It’s a unique, authentic story. The young women are so fun, and they really came alive to me. They’re kind and brave. Troublemakers and badasses. I really admire the way they live their lives. It comes out October 2023.
Brooms looks so good! I love that description of the young women as kind and brave, troublemakers and badasses. That’s such a beautiful way to be! I also really love Bex Glendining’s and Jasmine Walls’ work in general, and I look forward to seeing Ariana Maher’s work here, too.
Stay Gold by Teo Hernandez DuVall
Do you have any upcoming publications, exhibits, or events we should keep an eye out for?
I’ll be at New York City Comic Con in the Artist Alley this October alongside the release of BROOMS. Then I’ll be at Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, also in late October. You’ll also be able to find me at some Seattle comic shops and bookstores this Fall.
Follow Teo Hernandez DuVall’s Work
Thank you so much, Teo, for sharing your thoughts and spending some time with me for this interview! It’s been wonderful to get to know more about you and your life in and out of comics. And thank you to all of you readers for reading!
I encourage everyone to check out Teo’s shop and Gumroad, pre-order a copy of Brooms, support them on Ko-Fi, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram to hear more about their latest and upcoming works like Brooms from Levine Querido, as well as his book tour dates!
If you enjoyed this interview, I encourage you to sign up for my newsletter Into the Bramble to see more artist interviews in the future, as well as other comic-related series like More Comics Please! and Behind the Design!