A Look at “Los Hooligans,” Robert Rodriguez’s Student Comic Strip

Originally published in the Daily Texan on August 9, 2002, along with the feature “II Spy.”

“That big, dark hole,” quipped director Robert Rodriguez upon learning that he was going to be interviewed by the Daily Texan, his old college haunt at the University of Texas from 1988 to 1991, where he drew his own comic strip for the paper called “Los Hooligans.” Like the “Spy Kids” series he would go on to create for the big screen, the comic followed the adventures of a brother and sister who were always getting into trouble. In fact, the logo for Rodriguez’s production company, Troublemaker Studios, comes from one of the children portrayed in the comic.

“‘Los Hooligans'” was just based on my family, and even before I did the ‘Los Hooligans’ strip, I had been making movies about my family since I was 12. So ‘Los Hooligans’ was really based on what I had been doing in movies, and then I did that, then I went into my films.” Anyone familiar with Rodriguez’s UT roots knows about his student film “Bedhead,” which is shown every semester in RTF professor Charles Ramirez Berg’s film history class and also features children, a subject that Rodriguez is constantly mining for inspiration.

The following are among the first of the “Los Hooligans” comic strips that appeared in the Texan in the fall of 1988 (click the strips to examine more closely):

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