I attended two Dia de Los Muertos events in East LA this past Thursday, November 2. Both events were held on Cesar Chavez Ave, just a couple of miles from one another. I've had a particularly busy last couple of weeks, attending the various Day of the Dead festivals here in Whittier and Los Angeles, as well as several screenings for El Muerto. Can't think of anything more appropriate for me this time of year! I've got a report over at my Message Board (where, by the way, we've extended our Zombie Month theme from October!)
I'd like to share with you the story behind this pic:
This was taken at the festival sponsored by AL BORDE, a free spanish-rock newspaper. This event featured vendors, great tamales, music, altars and an art contest, to which I entered my El Muerto serigraph, "El Otro Lado". I actually went in thinking along the lines more of promoting, rather than competing! Turns out the winner of the contest was an artist by the name of Luis Genero Garcia. I remember looking at his painting and thinking I had seen it before, but couldn't place it. At one point I saw him standing next to his painting talking to some people. I approached him to congratulate him on his victory, and commented that I had seen that piece before. He looked over my shoulder and then asked me if I was the artist of the El Muerto print. I began to share with him info on the comic and the movie.
Luis told me that he in fact was contacted by my producers a few years ago regarding his painting. Then it hit me like a ton of bones! In the early days of the Muerto deal, my producers, having been introduced to my comic by our director Brian Cox, had looked up El Muerto online and came upon Luis's painting. Later, my co-producer Susan Rodgers met Luis at an event and inquired if he was the creator of the El Muerto comic book! He told them he wasn't, and eventually I ended up meeting the producers and showing them my work. This was back in the days when I still didn't have my own website. Lesson learned!
Anyway, so Luis and I are sharing our perspectives on this story in front of our artwork. He commented that is was very interesting that they approached him initially, but in the end I ended up getting the movie deal after all! It was very appropriate, he commented, that a few years later our artworks would be hanging side by side at a Dia de Los Muertos show.
He was really gracious, and took a good-natured view of the circumstances. I was actually really glad that he won the art contest that evening. Oh, and another little coincidence, he and I are both residents of Whittier!
That's just one of the many unpredictable stories that has come out of my experiences with El Muerto! Most of my adventures with the character outside the confines of the comic book always seem more scripted and fantastic than anything I can create on the page. This has certainly been a very enjoyable and memorable last couple of weeks, believe me!