Thursday, November 23, 2006
Happy Gracias-Giving Day
So, this would be the 40th Thanksgiving I've celebrated. Well, maybe the first couple were a blur for me, but..... :roll: Anyways, today's was the usual turkey/stuffing/pumkin pie/family get-together. Mom and Dad hosted the day, with me and my siblings and their kids chowing down on juicy, plump, oven-roasted turkey.
In the spirit of giving thanks, I mentioned to my older brother Albert about how he inspired me to draw and collect comics. I let him know that I've stated in numerous interviews how he's the one who really put me on the path I'm on today. He shared some interesting details that I thought right away would be great to document in a future auto-bio comic! Al told me that when I first started drawing I wasn't very good! He said, with a good-natured laugh, that I was terrible....
He had a sketchbook filled with color drawings of baseball and football players. Expressive characters with large chins and their baseball caps/football helmets pushed down over their eyes. He also liked drawing cartoon superheroes like Underdog and Mighty Mouse. Ironcially, we don't remember him drawing characters like Spider-Man , the Fantastic Four , Captain America and the others. The comics he gave me when I was an 8 yr. old lad, the Marvel Comics with art by Kirby, Ditko, Romita, Trimpe, Colan and others are what really created my love for superheroes and comic books.
Al told me that he remembers me taking my first art classes in Junior High. By the time High School rolled around I would start getting books from the library on cartooning and drawing. Shortly after he introduced me to comics, he eventually got into sports and building car models, but little Javi hung to the superheroic radioactive soap operas of Peter Parker, Bruce Banner and all the other heroes of the Marvle Age of Comics!
And thank God for that, eh?! In many ways, I think Albert may be the proudest one of all. I remember being so happy that he came out one day to visit the set of El Muerto in East LA (not too far from where we grew up). To see him standing on the sidewalk with his daughter as they filmed Wilmer evading a speeding car was a trip. If it weren't for his strong early influence, there probably wouldn't be an El Muerto, comic book or movie!
Me and Al after a great Thanksgiving meal earlier today. So, all the love and gratitude to big brother Albert Hernandez. I guess I am one of the 'Hernandez Brothers' after all!