“Zotz” means “bat” in some Mayan languages, and it is the title of a comic book epic created by Daniel Parada.
The multi-arc story has supernatural elements and is set in 16th century Mesoamerica, in an imaginary world where the Spaniards never fully conquered the Americas, and new empires are born from the ashes of a 40 year war. In the midst of all this chaos, are the twin brothers Pakal and Kaan, whose characters are loosely based on Hunahpu and Xbalanque, the Hero twins featured in the Popol Vuh. Pakal and Kaan live in the fictional village of Chan, located somewhere in Chuchumatanes mountain range, near the disputed border of the fictional Tlacao and Teotl empires (successor states of the Aztecs and highland Maya formed after the 40 year war that drove out the Spaniards).
Daniel developed the story over the last 6 years, and was motivated by the lack of Mesoamerican stories in our popular culture. Which is surprising given the immensity and complexity of Mesoamerican cultures (past and present). Trying to capture some of this grandness within a single tale, was perhaps the biggest challenge in the development of Zotz.
Zotz: Serpent and Shield, Vol. #1, Issue #1 (ISBN-10: 0615562345, ISBN-13: 978-0-615-56234-6) is available on Nov. 12, 2011 for $6.00.
This is Daniel’s first comic book and definitely not the last. Stay tuned for updates on this ongoing saga…