Artesano: The Political Cartoons of Junco Canché to be held Saturday in Barrio Logan
By Brent E. Beltrán
San Diego Free Press is always looking for contributors. Especially voices from outside the mainstream dominant culture. Some contribute one or two pieces. While others stick around for longer.
One such contributor brought fully into the Freep fold is Joaquin Junco, Jr. aka Junco Canché. Since May 19, 2014 he has contributed sixty editorial cartoons under the Junco’s Jabs moniker. His toons have taken jabs at a variety of local, national and international politicians, celebrities and evil-doers.
“It almost feels unreal. I dreamed about being a cartoonist in high school, but it’s no longer a dream,” he says about his first show. “What makes it better is that its taking place in Barrio Logan, a community where I have always had support for my artistic endeavors. ”
Junco describes his work as “visions and perspectives coming from a Chicano person influenced by leftist ideologies, growing up in Mexico and the United States, street art, decolonization and punk rock music.”
Everything he does is influenced by his upbringing. A straight edge, Chicano punk rocker in the flesh Junco utilizes the do-it-yourself aspect of that rebellious lifestyle to speak out, or in his case draw, on behalf of his community.
Heavily influence by former Lemon Grove cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz of the La Cucaracha comic strip and the soon-to-premiere cartoon series Bordertown, Junco applies his cartooning skills in a similar manner: poking fun at the establishment, especially Republicans, and supporting social justice movements from within his community and others outside like Black Lives Matter and the issue of marriage equality.
Before Junco was asked to cartoon for SDFP he was a student at Southwestern College and worked on the multiple award winning student paper, The Sun. Himself winning awards for his toons.
So far his experience with the Freeps has been a good one.
“When people have asked me about who I work for, I always make sure to let them know how wonderful the staff at San Diego Free Press is. Everyone has been supportive of me and my work. I have enjoyed every minute of it since the moment I sat down to draw the first cartoon.”
Working with SDFP “has made me a more focused and determined person and artist, making sure to finish the job, whether it’s art or another field. And it has expanded my portfolio.”
For the most part Junco has received positive feedback on his work. Though hate mail comes every now and then. Which is a good thing. It shows that he’s doing something right. Much like his cartooning role model Lalo Alcaraz who receives tons of hate mail.
Cartoons are not the only artistic undertakings Junco participates in. He’s currently a student at CSU San Bernardino and he recently painted a mural with fellow art students. He’s also shooting and making videos with friends and he’s looking into learning the art of tattooing.
“Any chance I have to learn a new art form, I take it.”
Junco’s ultimate goal in life is to make a living off his artwork and not have to struggle with a nine to five job to make ends meet. Beyond that he just wants to keep evolving every day as an artist and human and give back to his community. And he does that every week here at San Diego Free Press.
The reception for Artesano: The Political Cartoons of Junco Canché takes place Saturday, July 25 from 5-10pm at Border X Brewing, located at 2181 Logan Ave. in Barrio Logan. The exhibit will be up through August 9 and will be available for viewing during San Diego Free Press’ Galastravaganzaversary on August 8.
July 25 is also the annual Fiesta de Sol street party. Logan Ave., Sampson St. and Evans St. will be blocked off. To attend Artesano please park near Mercado Northgate and Chicano Park and walk the two blocks to Border X.
For the entire Junco’s Jabs cartoon archive visit here.