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Crosscurrents

Drawing comics from real life

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by Trinidad Escobar
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Trinidad Escobar

Oakland-based poet and cartoonist Trinidad Escobar was born in 1986 during a typhoon in the Philippines. She was adopted by a family in the U.S. and  grew up an ocean away from her original homeland.

She's currently working on a graphic memoir about her experience as a transnational adoptee, but her work is wide-ranging: from deep explorations of race and class; to Star Wars fan art; to sweet comics about the adventures of her two young sons. She talked to KALW’s Jen Chien about drawing from her imagination.

ESCOBAR: Complex emotions can be captured instantaneously with comics, that kind of have to be carved out with words.

You can see Trinidad’s work at the Kwentohan Komiks exhibit at the I-Hotel Manilatown center in San Francisco until April 17.

Jen Chien was the managing editor for Crosscurrents and KALW News from 2016 to 2018. She has been a contributor to All Things Considered, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, BBC/PRI’s The World, Making Contact, SF Public Press, East Bay Express, New America Media, and KPFA in Berkeley, where she took part in the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. She is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Emerging Journalist Award from the Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California. She holds a BA in American Studies from Smith College, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Performance from New College of California. Before entering the field of journalism, she had a successful career as a professional dance and theater artist, teacher, and massage therapist.