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Vice Blog

NEW YORK - BALD EAGLES SMOKES WEED AND DIES

June 8, 2009, 11:36pm

For the past couple of years Victor Cayro, whose comic we showcased yesterday, has been my favorite cartoonist and the biggest asshole in my roster of friends. I first saw his work at the recommendation of Danny Hellman, who described his stuff as being batshit insane and Victor as the kind of guy who would show up to comic conventions completely drunk and pass out around noon. I thought that comics had gone down a path of sickening self-adoration—I was sick of all the Craig Thompsons, James Kochalkas, and Jeffrey Browns drawing idealized versions of themselves. I thought that comics as a medium needed someone like Victor Cayro to move things forward. No more self-love. He takes comics back to a primal Zap Comics level of intense feelings and true experimentation.

The first comic of Victor's I saw was "After Birther" from the Project Superior anthology. In it, Victor Cayro depicts himself as a nerd with cystic acne who lives with his deformed little brother and collects news clippings about a local menace known as "Whyte Devil." While tracing another artist's drawings in the park, Whyte Devil tricks Victor and his brother into reversing bodies. A battle ensues, in which Victor tears out of his own skin in order to become a new person—not once but twice. Eventually all of the characters die or something. I forget. The comic left me reeling with excitement about what I consider to be the most relevant artistic medium. That's pretty deep.

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Since then he's done comics for Kramer's Ergot, Typhon, and some other shit too probably.

Victor is kind of a nutcase who rambles and uses a lot of puns and racial slurs when he talks. On top of that he attacks me almost every time he drinks. He lives on almost nothing, has a lot of "theories," dresses like a hobo and is entirely a for-real great artist.

Why do you call yourself Bald Eagles, Victor?
BALD EAGLES are so hard-set in the psychology of Americans as the symbol of integrity, strength, and Freedom. My work standing alone permeates that, compounded with our treasured Bird of Predation. I will answer your other question: "WHY DO I MAKE COMICS?" So I can live forever. I Am the physical Embodiment of all living and dead BALD EAGLES ALSO, I make comics to entertain myself primarily, and others. Its gratification level is on par with pleasing a partner sexually, doing 300 consecutive push-ups, and holding a newborn baby your wife shat out her cunt. PLUS, let's not forget the power of thought: I am what I say I am—just maybe not exactly to the the degree of which I fantasize myself. Let's take the exchange between Chow Yun Fat and Ti Lung in A Better Tomorrow Part One. Ti Lung: Do you Believe there's a God? Chow Yun Fat: Sure, I'm one--you are… you're a God if you control your destiny. Ti Lung: Only, we never know how things will turn out. Chow Yun Fat: No you don't.

Tell me about your living situation/conditions. The last time I saw you I noticed that your fedora had a hole so big that it was basically a sunroof.
Not basically--the top was wholly severed. I got mad, punched the top out like a real Ghandi, who was renowned for using violence as a means of stress relief. That same night you saw me, I tore the hat in half. Something made me mad again--I think it was because I drank four Sparks in row within an hour and was pissed off that I was drunk, because I used up my allotment of drink tickets and thus meant I actually had to spend money at the bar. I'm a better person when I drink, as you can attest. Do you have Indian blood? When you drink you have no tolerance and it turns you into an awful parallel version of yourself that tries to beat me up.
I drink irresponsibly, large quantities in short time spans, then I'm fucked up. That's my secret, mystery solved. To further solve the mystery… I see you once a month maybe. In the sober days you've committed a number of inexcusable transgressions; however, through diplomatic AIM exchanges preceded by heated hate fueled emails we were able to calm the storm--but we don't get the chance to make the resolve while looking into each other's biological eyes. VIDEO CHATS don't count. Whenever you see me, usually at a Matthew Caron POGO in TOGO night, of course I'm drunk, and perhaps you say one thing to tip me off, or I just remember how you've pushed my buttons, and I feel that the least I can do is yank your hair for all the feathers you've ruffled. BALD EAGLES is very fair. I don't act poorly unless I've been provoked, OR unless I just really wanted to, whether it's warranted or not. Your first published work was in the Big Book of The 70s.
What's there to tell you besides that I was in it? I did a two-story strip therein entitled "Moodrings." I didn't write it, I drew it very poorly, but not intentionally. After seeing that in print, I was determined to come back to the drawing table, and the comics world, with a vendetta against myself. I and the subjective/objective reality I've created for myself suffers from an incurable case of LIONHEART syndrome, prone to initial defeats subsequently countered by second winds that blow the sails off opposing galleons. The whole bet's on Attila. However, it's a wrong bet.

Tell me about your comic for Legal Action Comics.
Both my inclusions to the Legal Action Comics anthologies are worth the read, I'm not going to to spoil the pleasant suprises they offer when Danny Hellman still has boxes left over regardless. What are you working on now? I have hundreds of pages of notes/scripts, etc. Doing commissions, working on scripts, and soon I'll be doing some web comic--bullshit, RIGHT? The pending projects, the real meat carriers are TOP SECRET--I don't want to see some half-artist take away my proposed ideas and get his dome sucked and published courtesy of me voluntarily handing out any gold nuggets. There is a forthcoming solo book from a reputable small publisher, and that's the extent of what I can disclose. In the meantime, chupar mis los testiculos, and besa mi culo during wet fart season.

Check out more of Victor's work here.

NICK GAZIN