Friday, November 9, 2007
I grew up spending many Dec. 31 evenings watching the annual Walter Mercado TV Special -what would Walter predict for the new year? My entire family wanted to know. Walter a Spaniard born in Puerto Rico, is ageless, which is to say, he has had so much work done that he is irrecognizable. A cross between my Puerto Rican grandmother, Liberace and L. Ron Hubbard, Walter has been spiritual advisor to generations of Puerto Ricans, Latin Americanas and Latinos. His classic sign-off wishing us peace and "mucho mucho mucho AMORRRRRR" is the least flamboyant element in a camp repertoire that includes caramel colored shellacked hair (used to be worn in a french braid, now he's a bit more butch), elaborately-brocaded and sequined capes, Baroque jewelry, and discreet make-up.
Back in the day, Walter kept it lo-fi, issuing LPs with his predictions, later hosting his own show, but now he is on the internet, on PRIMER IMPACTO, sindicated in newspapers like El Nuevo Dia (San Juan) and he issues a magazine. WALTER 2008 just hit the newstands. The magazine is a fabulous reminder of early 1980s lo-tech magazine self-publishing design and illustration elements. Everything about it, the fonts, the generic illustrations and the lay-out remind me of a bad high school year book from the 1980s. The content itself is of course priceless. I found mine on the NYC subway, it's a great way to prepare for the coming year by reading about tantric love, flowers and your sign, love predictions for the new year, your rising sign and you, etc.