in 1967 in Sonora, Mexico, and raised in California since 1969,
Rafael called the city of Bell Gardens his home, a distinction he
shares with the rock 'n roll legend, Eddie Cochran. At an early
age he discovered his love for comics, as it encouraged him to read
more, and began the fueling of his burgeoning imagination.
earliest reading assignments began with newspaper strips ranging
from Sagendorf’s "Popeye", "The Phantom", as well as spanish reprints
of "Phantomas" and "Steve Canyon" and "Blondie". Ultimately Rafael's
tastes matured with the likes of "Captain America", "The Fantastic
Four" and from Mexico, "Kaliman". During this time Rafael began
to take note of comic greats, Frank Robbins and Jack Kirby. In
addition, local illustrators like NC Wyeth (at the neighborhood
library) and Jesus Helguera (from the meat market) became contemporary
Rafael's problems really began when he got the notion to draw.
graduating Bell Gardens High School, Rafael went on to Woodbury
University to study Graphic Design, after which he attended Cerritos
College to strengthen his portfolio for The Art Center of Design,
and to study under Manuel De Leon, the noted anatomist.
into mainstream comics in 1990, and went on to video game animation
and design in 1994. Since 1996, Rafael has self-published the
Xeric Award winning comic SONAMBULO.
He is currently working as a storyboard artist in the field of