One day as a college student on his way home from school, Kansas City, KS, native and artist Anthony “AO” Oropeza stopped in a comic book store off Main Street and noticed a lack of superheroes of Latin descent. On the drive home, AO decided to change this with the creation of a superhero of his own. But there was a problem: what should he call the superhero? To reach a more critical mass, he looked toward well-known Spanish words like uno and gracias. A perfect fit was formed when he landed on amigo; at that moment, AMIGOMAN was born!
Now AMIGOMAN can be seen in bilingual comic books such as Hello, I Am AMIGOMAN!/¡Hola, Soy AMIGOMAN!; AMIGOMAN: The Origin – Part Dos (2); AMIGOMAN Visits the Del Oro Zoo; and AMIGOMAN vs. Frankenstein.
AMIGOMAN is featured on Johnson County Library’s Summer 2015 Guide, Escape the Ordinary, in both costume (cover) and as his alter ego, mild-mannered Antonio F. Alvarado (inside). Antonio is a high school history teacher, but in his teens fought to escape gang life, even when some of his childhood friends were not as fortunate. As AMIGOMAN, he continues to work for the improvement of his city, Del Oro, but not without obstruction along the way from villains like the Big Tuna Luna, mad bomber Ed Ex, and the ever-so-slick El Loco – characters to be featured in upcoming issues.
Off the page, AO has been working on an extraordinary project to put AMIGOMAN comic books in the hands of preschool to 8th-grade students in the Kansas City area through a crowd-funding campaign. These bilingual comics aim to make a difference in the lives of students by promoting reading, dealing with real-life issues, demonstrating overcoming adversity, as well as being very entertaining.
Strong Ave. Studios has been working hard over the years to produce books for readers of all ages, especially readers in preschool through 8th grade, and creating the AMIGO-Reading Rating System for parents to know what book might work best for their child's grade and reading level. Strong Ave. Studios consist primarily of AO and Lead Creative Artist Lorenzo Lizana. For more information and their latest creations, visit www.AMIGOMAN.com or www.strongavestudios.com.