Last night's opening night for the month-long CARTOONISTAS art show was a rollickin' good time! The show is hosted by GEEKS comic shop, located in the historic Uptown Whittier section of my fair city.
GEEKS hosted the Q&A for the Uptown Whittier Film Festival screening of EL MUERTO earlier this year. Saturday evening's festivities brought it's own type of fun. All but one of the exhibiting CARTOONISTA's attended (Jose Cabrera was out of town). As usual with these type of events, my picture-taking moments were sporadic at best. But here are some shots:
GRASIELA RODRIGUEZ with her Punisher painting!
WILL CAULFIELD with a digital print of his one and only BAT-BAT!
Me an' JIM LUJAN, fun-lovin' and multi-tasking animator/cartoonist.
Jim had several pieces in the show, all from his classic 'Security Man' toon. Jim's other claim to fame is that he came to me with the dream of uniting area artists into a league that would rival, well, the Mafia, in terms of impact on American culture! I was honored to co-found the Cartoonistas with him. ( Check out the Cartoonistas blog Jimmy maintains for more pix and a cool little video he made...)
Me and Steve Romo, another Whittier artist. Steve actually colored Jim's 'Security Man' pieces, using a real nice application of watercolor. You can see a couple of the pieces above us.
I created three new paintings for the show. One being the first-ever Demolition Dove painting. Appropriate to create it for an Independence Day weekend opening. And in an egg-shaped (well, okay...oval) canvas!
And in honor of their new movies, or perhaps in homage to their classic tv shows I grew up on, Speed Racer and The Incredible Hulk!
A few years ago I had the good fortune to have been contacted by an old friend of mine from my High School days. Raul teaches at a local elementary school in the area, and I've been visiting his class every June for the last three years. Last week he and his wife hosted a little get together at their home. Among the attendees was myself and a mutual friend of ours I had not seen since 1984! My best friend from Jr. High School and into High School, Elias Hernandez! Well, both Raul and Elias came to the opening. The Whittier High School Class of 1984!
Elias, (on the right) and I seemed to have seamlessly picked up where we left off 24 years ago! He still has a box of comic books he collected when I got him into comics. THE HUMAN FLY, Jack Kirby's ETERNALS, SHE-HULk, etc. Wow, the memories are crystal clear and they come flooding back. Very nice to be able to have the three of us long-time Whittier residents finally hook up at the same time again! See guys, all them comics and drawing led me to something cool!
This was a very special night for me personally, no doubt. Sure, I'm always glad to have a chance to exhibit my artwork. And to share the space with so many great artists, especially in our first Cartoonistas group show, that was really gratifying. And having friends dating back to 1980, well, it makes one glad to be alive.
By 10:30pm, everyone had finally cleared out! Here are the final five, starting from the left: Tony Saxon (a friend I met back in college, which would be about....sheesh, 1989/90!), Jennifer and Sal (Sal is another friend from High School that I ran into about 2 years ago. He and I, and a few other artists, formed an art/discussion group called Cesos!), and on the far right, Bernyce Talley (an artist herself, and a best friend to me for several years now....)
Thanks to all the artists and friends for coming out that night. And thanks to GEEKS for hosting the show. The exhibit will be up until August 3rd, so please visit the store if you can!