Published On: Wed, May 7th, 2008

Daily Dose of Sofrito: Bodega Ave

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Bodega Ave. is a pop fantasy and ridiculous satire based on a bunch of pre-teens living in Brooklyn, New York. The diverse cast of kids reflects not only upon New York but most of America. Many of these stories come from personal experience and memories growing up amidst a neighborhood of dredlocks, braids, and jewfros. This comic is about growing up weird and out of place in the world. For those of you who have ever felt the same way as a child or adult, Bodega Ave. is the place for you!

The Creators

Tara Lopez – Artist
Tara is an immigrant from Staten Island (AKA “Da Dump,” or “Shaolin”), now living in Brooklyn. She is an alumnus of Parsons School of Design (No, I don’t know Tim Gunn but sure wish I did), where she majored in Illustration and animation (Like Rob Zombie). Currently, works as a freelance illustrator and Graphic Designer… Oh, and comic artist .

Aurin Squire – Writer
Aurin is from Opa Locka, Florida. A place nobody has ever heard of that causes people to get a quiet and glazed-over look in their eyes. For this reason he just says he’s from Miami, which always elicits a knowing nod, friendly smile, and an occasional “Scarface” reference. He graduated from Northwestern University and from The Actors Studio, majoring in film and creative writing respectively. He has been a reporter for various publications, including The Chicago Tribune and Miami Herald. Due to a myriad of work-related projects he has spent the past year traveling between New York, Florida, and New Mexico.

Tatiana Suarez Pico – Writer/Translator
Tatiana is a New York-based actress with writing aspirations. She has a business degree in Marketing and an MFA in acting. Tatiana is a story contributor, provides the lovely Spanish translations for the comic, and has many jobs to support her love of acting, which has made her poor in the pocket but not in spirit… which is where it counts the most.

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Character Bios

Alejandra Christina Lopez
Friendly, energetic, slightly scheming, Ale is the unspoken leader of her the group. She tends to find herself in silly situations but is always able to think her way out of them. She plays herself off as tough, but is not-so-secretly very sensitive and caring. Don’t ever tell her that though, or you might get punched in the face.

Edgar Olof Santos
Edgar is the twin brother of Sven. Edgar is extremely laidback and friendly, but like Sven has an obnoxious joker streak. He’s very good friends with Ale leading most people to believe they like one another (both deny the accusations). Edgar and Sven are of Irish/Swedish and Dominican descent, which accounts for their unusual red hair and Nordic names. Although, he’s the older of the two, Edgar’s easy-going nature usually leaves him vulnerable to jokes from Sven.

Caren Steinburg
Super sweet and super ditsy, she’s Ale’s self-proclaimed best friend. She’s very loyal and will go out of her way to help any of her friends. She comes from a not-really-practicing Jewish family, though her father tries, in vain, to make them attend Synagogue. Caren is known for spacing out, but often she will surprise her friends by making remarkably intelligent observations, which totally go unnoticed by her.

Sven Augustin Santos
Sven is Edgar’s twin. He was born three minutes after Edgar, which gives him a bit of an insecurity complex. Sven is extremely competitive. He comes across as sarcastic and obnoxious but deep down Sven is a very sweet kid. Usually, the only people to see this side of him are girls, whom he treats with unique chivalry. He is a huge practical joker, often using his unsuspecting brother as the butt of his jokes.

Haruko Alia Thomas
Haruko is one of Ale’s closest friends. She’s a self-described tomboy who rarely, if ever, backs away from a challenge. Haruko is exceptionally smart but socially awkward. She tends to say things in the wrong place at the wrong time, often resulting in uncomfortable silences for all others involved. She was raised speaking English and Japanese by her parents and taught herself Spanish, as a hobby, in one month.

Esperanza Angelica Dominguez
Esperanza is Ale’s arch nemesis. She is rich, spoiled, and exceedingly arrogant. She loves to flaunt her money and resources to Ale whenever she can. Espe, as she is known to those close to her, has a crush on Julian, Ale’s older brother. And, much to Ale’s chagrin, she makes a point to drop by to see him. Espe is the head of her group of friends, which include the other rich kids at school.

Maria Christina Lopez
Maria is Ale and Julian’s mother. She works as an “Executive Assistant” in Manhattan. Ale suspects this title is fancy-talk for secretary. When not busy at work, Maria has her hands full running after her two children and somewhat irresponsible husband. She loves to shop and is not-so-secretly addicted to the Home Shopping Network. She can be extremely neurotic when it comes to cleaning and is often found “straightening up” the house.

Hector Gilberto Lopez
Hector us Ale and Julian’s father. He is frequently seen lounging around the house but don’t be fooled, Hector is a successful engineer. He has a carefree personality (in contrast to his high-strung wife) and takes pleasure in spoiling his family, especially, his “Baby” Ale. As a young fool, Hector attended culinary school and is therefore, the primary cook for the family. Hector is always late and will readily evoke “Puerto Rican Time” whenever needed.

Julian Lopez
Ale’s older brother. If he’s not chillin’, playing video games or reading comics, he’s likely causing mayhem with his friends. A slacker and a dork, he’s very popular at school and with the girls. Even though, he and Ale are two years apart, they are very close. Julian will come to Ale’s rescue in times of need… as long as it doesn’t coincide with his video game time!

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Synopsis – Battle of Titans
When money talks will the Lopez family walk? Mega-developer Garth Slaw has moved to Bodega Avenue. And, he has big plans for the block.

As the houses around the neighborhood are bought and vacated, Ale and her family remain the lone holdout. Mr. Slaw presents a plan for ‘TITAN’S UNIVERSE’ (TU), which is going to make the lives of all Brooklynites much easier. No more traveling around to supermarkets, tire shop, pet stores, winery, gourmet restaurants, or roof repairs: all are contained in the 99 acre behemoth that will be built on top of the ‘highly under-utilized’ Evergreen Cemetery between Brooklyn and Queens. TU has been designed by market polling and therefore has everything anyone could possibly want. Ever. It is open all the time. Many residents dream about TU. It is not uncommon to find people sleepwalking to TU, to wake up in the food court with a shish kabob and over $200 in scented candles and herbal tea from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

What they don’t know is that Mr. Slaw plans to make Ale’s neighborhood a parking lot for Titan’s. Ale only has one choice to save Brooklyn: make Mr. Slaw’s life in the borough a living nightmare. She will drive him to insanity if that’s what it takes. Ale begins a campaign to sabotage Slaw’s house, business, and Stepford family.

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Daily Dose of Sofrito: Bodega Ave