Pt. 1 of this blog report was done yesterday, please scroll down one post below if you haven't read that one yet...
The Opening Night Reception for the two-man exhibit, MAKING BELIEVE, brought in lots of family, friends and people interested in artwork. GEEKS had their usual spread of refreshments available to all, and all evening folks would wander around looking at the art and mingling and sitting in the comfortable chairs and couches spread throughout the store.
My brother and sister were there, along with mom! My mother was certainly happy to see her little Javi and Christianito working together in an exhibit.
My older brother Albert was of course influential in me getting into comics and art. If it wasn't for his collection of comics he gave me in the early 70s, and his own cartooning skills I emulated, it's very likely I would never have gotten into comics or art. Which means I wouldn't be exhibiting artwork, which means I probably wouldn't even be blogging.... Who knows, right? Thing is, I am eternally grateful to Albert and make a point of mentioning him in interviews I do.
My younger sister Imelda, here with here two boys, Christian, my fellow artist, and David (on my right), who doubles as my Godson. Christian's girlfriend, Nicole, also came out to show support. I hope one day David comes up to me with some problem he needs help with and calls me "Godfather..."!
My jaw dropped when I saw my lovely niece Carolina (yeah, the little blind circus girl
in EL MUERTO:DEAD & CONFUSED Pt. 1 is named after her!) sitting there reading a Dark Horse collection of THE MASK! Never seen her read a comic book before, including mine!
Several times that evening, groups of students from Cantwell High School would track me down and ask me to sign the promotional flier/postcard. Turns out that their Chicano Studies teacher let them get extra credit for attending the show. Not only was I glad that these young students were checking out our artwork, but I'm glad that the instructor encouraged them to attend the show. Here's Christian playing the role of rock star artist! At one point he turned to me and said "I'm going to have to get used to signing autographs!"
(These darn, photogenic artist types!)
My fellow Cartoonistas showed up of course!
(left to right, back row)Raul Aguirre, Jim Lujan, Will Caulfield and (left to right) Bernyce Talley and Grasiela Rodriguez. What an awesome group these people are. They really are my Super Friends!
Speaking of Super Friends, it wouldn't be a true night to remember without this guy, Rafael Navarro, creator of SONAMBULO, Emmy Award-winning storyboard artist, my movie/comic nerd partner, etc.:
I actually sat with Raf at his debut show, the Alternative Press Expo in San Jose back in 1997, one year before I went back to the same show and debuted EL MUERTO. We've been in the trenches of self-publishing for years, driving all over the state and collaborating on many shows and projects. He's got that same die-hard passion for DIY comics as I do, and there's very few people who can top him for being in complete synchronicity with me about our love for Jack Kirby, Silver Age Marvel, superhero movies, film quotes and other inane hobbies! I told Rafael that one day, by the gods themselves, one day we are going to produce a Treasury-sized SONAMBULO/EL MUERTO epic that features Heinrich Himmler, zombie Conquistadores, a Nazi Muerto and more thrills and chills you can shake a luchador mask at!!
Local artist Gerry Bonilla, who actually had the previous exhibit at GEEKS.
And just to show I'm not only about promotion and networking, sometimes ya gotta take time to dance a tango with a pretty lady during a show!
Speaking of pretty ladies and the Man-Swamp.... I swear, this wonderful gal, Sandy, brought her son to the show, and after we started chatting about my work and her tattoos, she told me straight out that she wants a Man-Swamp tattoo on her arm!! Right below this mass of roses she had inked. I figured Swampy would fit right in with her red and green rose artwork, so I'll be contacting her for the details. That is trippy for many reasons, primarily because she doesn't even know what the comic book is about!
Needless to say, I'll keep this blog updated with developing details! (See writers, the cool part about comics are first and foremost the visuals!!!)
What a night, that's the best way to put it. What a fantastic, wonderful night! Thanks to everyone for visiting, my friends and family and fans of our artwork. Thanks to GEEKS for hosting me yet again at their fine establishment. And thanks to my newphew, Christian Silva, for inspiring me with his own amazing artistic skills. Love ya....
Some nice video courtesy of filmmaker, animator and bicycling Olympian, Jimmy Lujan: