Take it or leave it; that seems to be the chief maxim for erotic gay comic book author David Cantero (Cartagena, Murcia; 1972), regarding not only his work but also his life attitude in this unsettling world. Just find out by yourselves.
SPANISH GAY FICTION: As for your work as a whole, you seem to have specialized in erotic comic book. Thus, what led you to create Boxing Julián?
DAVID CANTERO: I have always been interested in sex. I think there is no story without sex. Sex moves the world more than we think! [Laughs.] With Boxing Julián, I wanted to show how difficult it is for some people in this society to live with themselves, with their sexuality.
SGF: How was the response to your comic book?
DC: I had a very nice feedback from readers; some of them recognized themselves in the character, and they shared with me their personal experiences. I felt touched by these testimonies.
SGF: How important is Boxing Julián to you?
DC: My stories are all special to me. Back then, I was very happy with the character design for this comic book. Today, twelve years after, I cannot even look at it! [Laughs.] I did it a long time ago, and now I just see errors everywhere! [Laughs.]
SGF: Have you ever been familiar with a similar situation in real life?
DC: Yes! Unfortunately, it is a pattern that repeats itself too many times in our society ― Maybe not so extreme, but in different degrees.
SGF: Do you think that there is always a tormented homosexual behind a homophobe?
DC: [Laughs.] Not always! But yes! It is usually true!
SGF: The world of fiction has always found boxing appealing as a theme. What is your opinion about this sport? Is there any previous work that has been inspiring for Boxing Julián?
DC: I chose boxing because it is a very manly sport with a lot of physical contact. It is brutal and direct. It fit very well with the character, and it was perfect for channeling his rage. The movie Rocky really helped me, actually!
SGF: Ben’s quiet attitude towards Julián’s aggressive behavior is really painful. Why did not he report Julián to the police?
DC: I did not want to delve into Ben’s nature that much; I just wanted to show a nice guy. We never know if he is gay. . .We never know why he did not sue Julián. . .I like this kind of endings, making the reader think!
SGF: Do you feel that the toxic couple relationship that Lola and Julián represent is still recurring nowadays?
DC: In my opinion, these situations will never end while education and religion still continue to create strong stereotypes for men and women.
SGF: Do you think that Julián will eventually do to Lola what his father did to his mother?
DC: Of course! Even worse! [Laughs.] I had an idea for a sequel to this story, where we would see Julián, Lola and their son twenty years later ― Maybe I will do it!
SGF: You have previously worked in collaboration with other scripters. Why did you create Boxing Julián alone?
DC: In general, I work alone. I have many stories and series. It is rare that I make collaborations. At present, I am (sometimes) collaborating only with Patrick Fillion for the series The Brigayde for Class Comics Inc.
SGF: How would you define your style as illustrator?
DC: My style is a mix of European comic books (such as The Adventures of Asterix), Marvel comic books, and Japanese animation. I am in love with the line; inks are very representative of my style. A definition for my style? Well. . .I do not know. It is just the way I like to draw!
SGF: Julián is a dreaded character; however, his design is really alluring. Did you make this contradiction deliberately?
DC: Sure! There is nothing more disturbing than someone to hate and desire at the same time!
SGF: Are your characters physically based on actual people?
DC: The characters are not real persons; I created them according to their personality. . .I always think of details for the characters because they make them strong.
SGF: Apart from the fact that you were born in Cartagena, I feel a Mediterranean air throughout the comic book. Did you want to depict a lifestyle that you know first-hand?
DC: I created this story when I was living in a village near Tarragona. This place was full of Juliáns!!! [Laughs.] I thought that this background was perfect for the story!
SGF: Can you tell about your upcoming projects?
DC: Right now, I am drawing the episode 7 of the series The Brigayde, written by Patrick Fillion. You can see my working progress at Patreon. This year, I will be working on my series Exodus (Volume 5), and probably Dibearcity (Episode 2). I am also working on my children’s books for my other publisher, La Cantera Editorial: my next book, Sky and Heart, is just in process.
 Owned and operated by Patrick Fillion and Robert Fraser, this independent comic books publisher has specialized in gay erotic-themed comic books since the beginning of the 21st century.
 This tourist Spanish destination is located in the autonomous community of Murcia, by the Mediterranean south-eastern coast; it is famous for its Roman Theatre, the naval base, and the Carthaginian and Roman parade, among other attractions.
 Port city located in northeast Spain on the Golden Coast by the Mediterranean Sea; the location contains significant remains from the Ancient Rome.