Girls & Comics (I): Bàrbara Alca #issue10

Interview: Diana Cubo

How would your biography begin? (Where you are from, where you live, etc.)
Bàrbara Alca (Palma, 1990), an artist and designer based in Barcelona, whose plants keep dying on her.

When did your interest in illustration start? And specifically in comics?
Reading children’s stories and my grandfather’s comics, and trying to outdo my brother in drawing one way or another.
I started creating little vignettes for the blog El Estafador while I finished my university studies, until these vignettes or stories became longer and more elaborate, and turned into pages.

What inspires you when making comics, personal experiences or crazy thoughts?
Sometimes they are stories that my friends and acquaintances tell me, or perhaps some gem someone says that I sharpen up into a piece of nonsense.

Who are your favourite comic-book writers?
Daniel Clowes, Charles Burns, Aisha Franz.

Today, what would you say has been your professional milestone?
I have illustrated the latest volume of stories by Isabel Sánchez called Pequeña y Grande (ed. Alba). I don’t know how they found me or why they took notice of me, but it’s super cool. I hope I will be that lucky with my comic. WINK WINK (tears)

Is it possible to live off making comics in Spain or unfortunately do you need to have another job to pay the bills?
Another job. At least from my experience.

At present in Spain, many groups and artists support each other. Who have you worked with?
I started with El Estafador, Fritanga Fanzine, Riot Grrrl in Mallorca, and also with Ruby Star! But lately, I prefer to work with a single author since out of that you can get a much more consistent work, as you can see in the fanzine I made with Roberta Vázquez, Paraíso Online.

Apart from the endless hours spent at comic and self-publishing festivals, what positive experiences do you get from this?
Meeting people you share such an intense passion/job/life with; sometimes engaging in a conversation with a cartoonist you idolise (if you manage to say a word), and other times making a face and think, “wow, he doesn’t have anything to do with the comics he makes”; and nonsense like that.

Would you say that it is difficult to be in the world of comics being a girl?

Tell us a little about your current work and upcoming projects.
On my own, I published Burofax Tartan 1 and 2. I also launched Paraíso Online with Roberta (2016), and I’m about to print Burofax Tartan’s Disco Stew. Now I’m working on another project (endless drum roll)

Where can we see your stuff and buy everything?
In my BigCartel shop, at fairs in which you’ll recognise me by my huge fruit tablecloth, in stores like Fatbottom in the Raval (BCN) or the gallery Taca (Palma de Mallorca). I also sell via mail order.