Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
Jaime Crespo's first drawings were made on the blank pages in a Bible.
In Part 1, the cartoonist traces his lineage back to his mom, who was born in northern Mexico and is Yaqui/Yoeme. She came to LA with her brother in the early 20th century. When their mom got deported back to Mexico, she moved up to run a cafe in Sacrament, where she ended up meeting Jaime's dad.
But his mom took Jaime to San Francisco when her husband became abusive. The kid was 4.
They made their way back to Sacramento to live with Jaime's widowed step-grandad and his new wife, a Black couple from Louisiana. He finished school up there and shortly after that, moved back to The City instead of New York, which he and his friends had dreamed about.
In the podcast, Jaime reflects on both stints in San Francisco—when he was 4 and then again when he was around 20. He reminisces about seeing hippies on Muni, his first Giants game and seeing Willie Mays, BBQ joints and bars that are long gone, and how he was moving away from sports like baseball and football, and more toward punk rock music and art.
He shares how he got started drawing at a young age with a story that's either charming or blasphemous, depending on how you look at it.
Check out more of Jaime's art at his website: corntortillapress.com. And follow Jaime on Instagram @the_real_comixvato.
In Part 2, Jaime starts off talking about how, like a lot of kids his age, Saturday morning cartoons were a big influence. Comics in the newspaper also played their part.
We shift back to his return to SF after high school. He worked as a screen-printer at The Color Machine and Winterland. The music venue was closed, but Jaime shares stories of playing and seeing shows at The Mab back in the day.
Jaime dives into the street art scene in The City in the '80s, which he dabbled in. He also talks about his first publishing experiences. He took a brief break from his art and left San Francisco to raise a kid and go back to college. But his friend Harvey Pekar got him back into drawing about five years later.
He shares the story of starting Corn Tortilla Press (check out their About page for all the stuff in Jaime's life we didn't have time to talk about here).
Jaime ends the podcast reflecting on what's become of the city he used to call home and what's possible for the future of San Francisco.
We recorded this podcast at Jaime's home in Alameda in May 2021.