S.P.I.C. Image

S.P.I.C.

By admin | January 1, 2007

Illustrator Robert Castillo combines episodes from his life and examples of his cartooning in this collection of six short films. Unfortunately, Castillo’s stories run along the lines of naughty schoolboy antics that are hilarious solely to those involved in the mischief but dull to the rest of the world.

The one genuinely unusual piece, which describes how he came to live with his parents for the first time when he was seven, is so incomplete that it leaves too many questions unanswered (why was the American-born Castillo sent to live with his grandmother in the Dominican Republic until he was seven while his parents stayed in New York and had another son during his absence?).

The title story, about diffusing a racial epithet hurled at Castillo in his youth, isn’t particularly inspiring.

Castillo narrates each story in a droning, humorless voice and illustrates his tales by filling cartoon panels with exaggerated caricatures of the people he is describing. Truth be told, his cartooning isn’t all that special.

“S.P.I.C.” won a Student Academy Award in 2004, which would either suggest there wasn’t much competition for that honor in that year or the junior version of the Oscar mirrors the grown-up version’s unfortunate habit of paying tribute to mediocrity in movies.

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