Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I'll be hosting my own radio show, believe it or not!

No tricks here folks, just another lucky treat thrown my way. I'll be hosting my very own radio show on Perspective Radio.Com:

Perspective Radio.Com is based here in the LA area. I met the folks who run the station last year at a local arts festival and ran into them again at this year's event. I updated them on the release of the EL MUERTO DVD and they suggested that I appear on one of their other shows, CinNews, to talk about my movie experience. (That interview was conducted last night, by the way).

But as I was talking to Renato from Perspective Radio that day at the art fair, he mentioned that they were looking to add another program to their line-up. A 'geek culture'-type of show. Sci-Fi/ movie/TV and ...comics. As we talked of the type of program it would be, he suggested that I maybe could co-host the segments on comics. Since we were speaking at an art fair that day, I would occasionally head back to watch my own table. Throughout the day I'd go back to the Perspective Radio booth and chat some more with Renato. I would start telling him about my nearly 10 years experience in comics. The trials and tribulations of self-publishing, the many travels to conventions and signings, the whole Muerto movie experience. I told him about all the artists and creators I had met in the last 10 years, and on and on.

He looked at me and said' "You should host your own show!". To which I could only agree! Seriously, that's pretty much how it happened. The next day I emailed Renato and started to outline my idea for how the show would be set up. I was even brazen enough to suggest that we drop the co-hosting idea for the other show and let me be sole host of my own show! Overnight I gave a lot of thought to hosting my own comic book radio show. Outside of the time commitment, I could never come up with any reasons not to do it. I thought about why I went ahead and accepted the movie deal. To bring my idea to wider audience. A radio show about the subject of comics is very different from a film adaptation of my comic book. But the point is, it's another platform form where to communicate ideas to another audience, in this case, my great love for the comics medium.

Opportunities like this are supposed to come once in great while. But here it was less than a month after the El Muerto DVD gets released and I have the chance to host my own radio show! The show will give me the stage to talk about the kinds of comics I like, and the various issues and people in the field that I think should be heard. I'll be focusing quite a bit on self-published comicss, with an emphasis on the artists. But there are so many other things to talk about as well. One thing I won't be spending too much time on, if any, are the Big Two publishers. I mean, they have more that enough mouthpieces, ah... I mean, outlets where their comics are talked about! Course, the thing about the Big Two is that they have had some great creators and comics in their pasts. So looking back at the comics I grew up with will certainly fill some programming.

And to be honest, as a kid I always thought Wolfman Jack, the legenday radio personality, was a very cool dude with a really cool job. Sitting in a room talking to people over the radio.
And even when I saw the Clint Eastwood movie, PLAY MISTY FOR ME, I thought that Clint's character had a great job: hosting a jazz show from the top of a lighthouse, in the middle of the night. Well, everything except the crazy stalker girlfriend he met!

This will be a pretty self-indulgent show, when you think about it. It'll be about the things I want to talk about! But it'll be my responsibility to Perspective Radio.Com and the audience to make the show interesting and entertaining. Shouldn't be too hard, considering I'm talking about comics!

Stay tuned here for info on my first guest and more about PLANET COMIC BOOK RADIO!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Live radio interview on Tues., Oct 30

Yeesh, it's been a few weeks since I posted here! Well, I've been working on some stuff behind-the-scenes, and in fact I will be using my upcoming radio appearance to announce just what exatly my newest project will be.

Tuesday, October 30, at 4pm, I'll be interviewed live on PerspectiveRadio.Com's CinNews show. Hosted by writer/producer/director Scott Essman, CinNews covers all aspects of the movie business. His previous two interviews have included Rob Zombie and filmmaker Frank Darabont (The Green Mile & The Shawshank Redemption). I'll be talking to Scott about making the EL MUERTO movie and, as I mentioned, I'll announce my latest project!

Monday, October 08, 2007

One Fast Day in San Jose

Saturday, Oct. 6, I made a whirlwind trip to the SiliCon convention in San Jose. Lemme tell ya, them one day turn-a-round flights are a killer!

San Jose, for those unfamiliar with Muerto folklore, is the city where EL MUERTO was debuted as a comic book back in 1998...last century, or millenium, if anyone's counting! I was invited to show the film and also attend a comics-to-film panel, so I was arranged to to it all in one day, as that worked best for my schedule.

My flight from LAX was scheduled to leave at 7:45am, and unfortunately I arrived at the airport at about 7:30! I rushed to the ticket booth to get my boarding pass as was told by the nice lady that it was too late to board. I panicked, of course, and tried this line on her: "Um, Miss...I'm scheduled to make an 11:30am appearance at a show in San Jose. Is there anyway I can make that flight?!". So, probably not even concerned with my reason, she dialed the checkpoint upstairs, then told me, "Okay, go up that escalator". So I rushed and then told the security guy running the screening process "Ah, they called from downstairs. My flight leaves in a few minutes..", I tell the guy, even as he's looking at me like he'd rather bounce me down the escalator!. I misunderstand what he says and proceed to the back of the line, which is about 100 or so people long. I hear a very loud, angry yell, "SIR..SIR!!!". It appears that I wasn't supposed to get in the back of the line but actually get to proceed ahead of everyone. It was really nerve-wracking hearing a guard yell in an airport. Everyone looked at me for a second as if I was a Mad Bomber or something!

So I go through the security screening, then scramble down the hall, pulling my jacket and shoes back on as I frantically try to make my gate. Of course, the plane had left.

I felt like a limp noodle. "Ah crap.... Damn...%&$#* *$#&^(%^ _@#$@&$%^ !!!!!" You get the idea. I walk to a United Airlines customer service booth and ask for the next flight. 12:30. And the screening is scheduled at 11:30. More language follows that would embarass a drill sergeant. Okay, better call Chris Knight, my liason at the convention.

"Hey Javier, how's it going?" he asks. "Um, not good.............I missed my flight." Gulp. And worse, I had the copy of the DVD on me! No me, no screening! But I tell Chris to get someone over to Blockbuster ASAP and rent the damn thing, I'll pay! Eventually we suggests that I look at another airline, and lo and behold, another filght is available in about an hour. That means I make the screening and can grab myself a couple of sausage biscuits at McDonald's!

So I board the flight a much nicer, happier Jav. Flying into the city of San Jose, I can't help but think of the time I went there, back in 1998. I drove up with a friend, my boxes of b&w photocopied EL MUERTO comics ready to debut to the world (or at least the attendees to that year's Alternative Press Expo). Now I was flying into the same city, with a copy of the Muerto movie in my carry-on bag! Pretty flippin' cool, I thought to myself.

I get picked up at the airport by Chris and get shuttled to the San Jose DoubleTree, where the con is being held. Because I had just arrived, I wanted a little time to decompress, so I handed the tech guys the DVD and told them I'd be back in an hour and a half for the Q&A. As I wandered around the exhibitors area, I ran into a couple of LA-area comic creators and caught up with them. I also ran into Lee Hester, a local San Jose comics retailer who I had met years ago through my pal Rafael Navarro. Lee's Comics is one of the area's movers and shakers, and Lee himself is a very entertaining, dapper gent. Some years ago he and I walked across the floor of the San Deigo Comic Con singing James Bond Theme Songs! And all the time I was dressed up as Rafael's character, SONAMBULO!! (That was in my pre-El Muerto Creator days, when I could take the time to spokesmodel as my friend's creations!) How's that for a nugget of Jav-Lore?

So Lee and I catch up with one another, and I tell him that my film is screening next door. Lee then tells his employee to watch the booth as me and Mr. Hester head on over to catch EL MUERTO! I wasn't planning on watching the film again, but as usual I sat down and enjoyed it. Each time I seem to focus on another aspect of the story or on a particular character. This time I was transfixed on the lovely Angie Cepeda.... and her character Maria. Not a bad sight to fixate on, believe me.

After the screening, I had about a half hour break until the Comics-to-Film panel I was scheduled for. I relaxed a bit then soon found myself sharing a table with a couple of other comics writers and a the cast/crew of a fan film called THE CROW: PURGATORY 2. These folks apparantly have recieved some good reaction with their film, a sequel to their previous entry. Crow creator James O'Barr is said to have given his support to their film, which is cool. I'd love to see an EL MUERTO fan film, to be honest! Afterwards, I asked the Crow team if I could take a photo with them. I told them that I too often hear knee-jerk reactions that the Muerto comic, and film, are Crow 'wannabees'. That would be because Muerto's got a white skull face and wear's black, and has come back from the dead. But like I told the Crow film folks, all the guys who come back from the dead go for the b&w look: Beetlejuice, Jack Skelington, The Crow, etc.! They laughed, and agreed, and so the creator of El Muerto and the filmakers behind the Crow fan film took this picture in Dead Guy solidarity.

As I was only there at the con for a day, I didn't bring any product to set up. I walked the various exhibits and isles of the convention and did manage to come across R2D2 signing at a table!

I also ran into this gentlemen, who was toting around Rascal, the self-proclaimed Ugliest Dog in the World. Hmm....

I had told a friend of mine, Miguel,that I would be in San Jose that day. We met up at the convention later in the day and left for dinner, as I had about an hour and a half til my flight. Miguel took me to a great little Mexican restaurant not far from the hotel. We indulged in tacos, enchiladas, and strawberry margaritas (well, I did...). He brought a copy of the Muerto DVD he had purchased, and he told me how much he enjoyed the film. I signed his copy, and in fact that's been the first DVD I've signed! That felt like a full circle. Signing a copy of the DVD almost 10 years later after signing the first Muerto comics in San Jose all that time ago......

I made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. In fact, the place was fairly empty, least by LAX standards. Kinda spooky, but at the same time a welcome relief from the whirlwind day I had experienced. In a way it's been whirlwind decade of EL Muerto. For the next 45 minutes or so I was able to enjoy the downtime. Then I was on a nightflight back to LA.

And another 10 years of EL Muerto. And more Life in general.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

EL MUERTO screening in San Jose at SILICON, Oct. 6

In what has to be a great bit of karma, EL MUERTO will be screening in San Jose, the very city I first debuted the EL Muerto comic book back in February 1998!
SILICON will be held from friday, October 5-7 and is being held at The San Jose DoubleTree Hotel, 2050 Gateway Place,
San Jose, California 95110. A multi-media event showcasing comic books/horror/sci-fi and lots of other cool things, SiliCon will be screening EL MUERTO on saturday, October 6 at 11:30am. I'll be hosting a Q&A following the film, and will also be on a Comics-to-Film panel that day. You can check the convention schedule for more info here. I understand that as of this writing, the panel is going to be moved to later that afternoon, as it currently runs the same time as the film screening!

I'll only be there on saturday, but I'm very much looking forward to showing the film. And like I said, I really dig how this is a sort of homecoming for me and El Muerto as that is where we both started our century-crossing, decade-long magical mystery tour in the unpredicatble, exciting and rewarding career in indie comics and film!

I'll report back here on how the convention went.