This past Saturday night at GEEKS Comics I was part of the Cartoonista contingent participating in SALABRATION.
This may have been the event that's had the most Cartoonistas in attendance (9 total). The usual camaraderie and happy hijinx were on full display! Here's the proof:
Jose Cabrera, creator of the CRYING MACHO MAN webcomic, demonstrates the upcoming Olympic sport, power cartooning!
Lounging around and talking shop (or are they planning to break away and form a rival Cartoonista group??) are Mr. Geo Brawn (top left), Luis Escobar (top right), Grasiela Rodriguez (bottom left) and Jose.
From left to right: Michael Aushenker, Jose, me and Jim Lujan. Michael and Jose will be having a two-man art show/book signing at GEEKS in the Fall, to coincide with a revamped CARTOON FLOPHOUSE brand.
Michael and me throwing out some Dr. Fate-style mystic energy. Michael and I were discussing Dr. Fate's recent appearance on SMALLVILLE, and browsed some Dr. Fate comics at the shop.
Grasiela Rodriguez, the Queen of the Cartoonistas, and the equally royal Hortencia Aguirre, wife of Cartoonista Raul Aguirre. Hortencia is an artist in her own right, and she's been nice enough to feed our hungry maws numerous times with her exquisite cooking.
Luis Escobar doodles inside the front window display at GEEKS. Think of Amsterdam's Red Light District, but with cartoonists and sanitized!
And sure to be a valuable artifact one day, Jimmy sparked the idea for a group jam session. Besides a plethora of Cartoonistas, we had some special guests contribute to the drawing, such as Steve Sievers and my ol' pal Lalo Alcaraz (LA CUCARACHA).
A long-time fan of mine happened to be walking past Geeks with his girlfriend when he noticed all the commotion inside. His name's Jason and I first met him back in 1998 when he made a beeline to my table in the Small Press area of the San Diego Comic-Con. He pulled his backpack off his back, pulling out a comic book and told me "I was hoping you'd be here!" and asked me to sign my then-recent EL MUERTO comic book, the photo-copied first edition. That moment had always meant a lot to me as a creator, because as a fan myself I had attended plenty of conventions where I was always hoping that one of my favorite artists would be in attendance.
At the time we met back in 19989, Jason was a teenaged kid, and to think all these years later, he's all grown-up and I'm still making comics! He picked up all my latest books and the DVD, and I even gave him one of the live art pieces I did that night.
He's had his Muerto skull tattoo for about 10 years now! Back in 2006, I had invited Jason and his girlfriend to an early screening of the EL MUERTO movie, and I was glad to be able to do that for them. It's so great to have long-time fans like that!
As the SALABRATION was in fact a little celebratory event to commemorate GEEKS owner Sal's birthday, Raul generously created this wonderful painting as an unexpected but supremely appreciated gift:
To say that Sal was impressed and flabbergasted to accept it would be a corker of an understatement! Raul really put a lot into this, and it really summed up the evening for everyone.
By 12:30am, everyone had left. Sal couldn't have been happier. All of us Cartoonistas had a wonderful time, and so did the folks who stopped by to join in the fun. Over the last several years, either solo or with the Cartoonistas, I have done some truly memorable events with Sal. He hosted the Q&A for the EL MUERTO screening during the Whittier Film Festival, my nephew and I had a two-man art show, I've conducted my "DIY Comics:The Secrets of Self-Publishing" seminar there (and in fact will be doing another one this coming Saturday). It's so nice to be able to have a 'home' store that you can partner with for events like this, and make a good friend in the process.
Thanks Sal, and Happy Birthday!
The great line-up of talent that night: (Top row, left to right) John Narcomey, Geo Brawn, Javier Hernandez, Luis Escobar,(Middle row, left to right) Raul Aguirre, Grasiela Rodriguez, Rene (guest for the evening), Jose Cabrera, (Bottom row, left to right) Michael Aushenker and Jim Lujan.
All photos courtesy Jim Lujan Photography, LLC!