A good friend of mine, Janelle Gonzalez, called me on friday to ask if I would like to join her at a local event, the 4th Annual El Monte Arts Festiva, which was held this past saturday. Yeah, it was pretty last minute, but I decided that it would be a good chance to do some promotion, and maybe sell some books!
El Monte is a city north of where I live, probably about 15 minutes away. Janelle owns a bookstore here in Whittier, so she was exhibiting as a vendor. For me, it was nice to be able to just show up at a gig, as oppossed to having to arrange my own table and such. I just brought my supply of books and set up shop. Another guest of Janelle's was our mutual friend, Lalo Alcaraz, the cartoonist who does the nationally syndicated strip La Cucaracha. Lalo and I were the only cartoonists there, the majority of the artists were painters and jewelry makers. The show had a real nice 'local artists' feel, with most of the art displaying a Mexican cultural feel, reflecting the make-up of the community.
It's funny, when I got to the auditorium where the festival was held, I was suprirsed to see my friend Martin Espino performing up on stage! Although, Martin does these type of performances for a living. He builds his own instruments, such as water drums and all kinds of wind instruments. In fact, I met Martin back in April of '05, through a signing hosted by Janelle's shop. Martin's skills in pre-Columbian language and music were actually put to good use in the Muerto movie. I'm glad I was able to bring him onboard. Our director and film composer really enjoyed using his trememdous talents.
One thing I've always been fortunate to experience with my comic is that I can exhibit equally at comics show as well as more culturally centered events like this one. And now with the El Muerto movie, I've got an entry into the world of film, such as my appearance last week at the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival. Versatility has always been a hallmark of my publishing efforts. I don't think self-publishers look into enough alternate venues in which to expand their audience. Of course we're all making comics, and want to get the attention of like-minded consumers. But how about reaching out to people who don't frequent comic shops and conventions? Everyone in the industry talks about trying to reach beyond the insular comics crowd. Depending on what type of book is created, the creator should think about the potential audience that might be interested in it.