Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Memories of COMIC POP art show opening: PT 1 Redux

Folks, in what is the stupidest mistake I've ever made on this blog, I deleted my Pt. 1 report of my trip to San Francisco for the opening of my art show. Yes, I'm exceedingly pissed off about it. But, here's my attempt to recreate the post. So very sorry about that.... PT. 2 continues afterwards.

The opening for my solo art show, "COMIC POP: Art by Javier Hernandez" was on Saturday, April 3. Of course, as luck would have it, there was plenty happening that weekend that turned this not only in a cross-platform promotional event, but an amazingly exciting vacation as well.

Not only was my art show opening that weekend, but Wondercon was also happening at the same time. Plus the fact that it was Easter only added to all the hoopla.

This show came about rather fortuitously. My friend Ricardo Padilla, who I first met when I was exhibiting at APE (Alternative Press Expo) about 6 years ago, came to my table at APE back in the Fall of '09. He told he needed to curate a show as part of his final for his Master's degree, so I boldly told him to pick me as his subject! He was going to ask me anyway, but this should demonstrate to all artists that one should never hesitate to nudge fate whenever needed.

Ricardo picked the location, the Encantada Gallery of Fine Arts, and thus started the months of prep for the show. By a great coincidence, my friend and fellow cartoonist Michael Aushenker was also planning to visit San Francisco that same weekend, so we decided to carpool and save on gas and double up on the fun factor. Michael and I have been traveling together to conventions for about 10 years, and each time has been a memorable experience. You can read about Mikey's work, and his blog post about this trip, over at his blog, CARTOON FLOPHOUSE.

Michael Aushenker, me and a load of bull about an hour outside of San Francisco.

Upon arriving in San Francisco, I checked into my hotel, while Michael went across the Golden Gate Bridge to stay at his friend's home for the duration. The hotel, provided courtesy of my wonderful curator Ricardo Padilla, was a quaint little place, complete with a shared kitchen serving continental breakfast. 

My cozy little room...

The following day, Thursday, brought a full day of work. Ricardo picked me up that morning and drove me over to the Encantada Gallery to meet the owner, Mia Gonzalez, and drop off all my artwork. While Mia hung the show, Ricardo took me for some sightseeing and artist/curator talk. He also took me to several of the comic shops, bookstores and cafes where he had left our show postcards. One of the place that he talked to about promoting our show was the Cartoon Art Museum, the West Coast's premiere institution for the preservation and exhibitions of the comic and cartoon arts.

 Me, proud as a poppa, with my COMIC POP artwork hanging in the lobby of the Cartoon Art Museum.

One of the great things about Ricardo networking with the CAM was bringing my work to their attention. They liked what they saw and invited me to join them at their booth at Wondercon on Friday if I was available. I hadn't actually been to Wondercon in about 10 years, so I was more than happy to return, and especially at the beckoning of the Museum!

Friday came quickly, and after being dropped off at the Moscone Center, I made my way to the Cartoon Art Museum booth. For a two hour period, I drew sketches on behalf of the Museum for people who donated money, and also sold my comics, including my brand new sketchbook, THE COMIC POP SKETCHBOOK.

A long-time fan of mine, Alejandro, posing with a drawing I made of Rom, SpaceKnight! 

Me, in my natural state, selling comics! (And, I might add, DVDs and sketchbooks!)

While at the booth, I got to meet the acting director of the Cartoon Art Museum, Summerlea Kashar, a most gracious host.

Among the people I ran into at the Con was Jason Martin, my great friend from Portland.

Jason is the creator and publisher of SUPER REAL and PULP GIRLS, and he's a pretty well-traveled conventioneer. We met years ago while we were both exhibiting at San Diego Comic Con and he and his wife are kind enough to host me when I travel up to the lovely town of Portland. As a way of showing thanks, I sent them a painting last Christmas I made of their cute little chihuahua Choco. Jason actually suggested I put the painting in my art show so he brought it down with him and gave it to me at the show.

Now ain't that Choco a cute little pup? The painting ain't too shabby either!

Another highlight for me was meeting Blair Kitchen of THE POSSUM. Blair's the writer and artist of the book, and we have known each other for a few years now. I even interviewed once on a podcast I used to host, but this was the first time we met. Blair's brother Mike also makes his own comics, SPY GUY.  After the show, I had dinner with the Bros. Kitchen at a nearby Whole Foods. I didn't know they had a deli in there, and boy, they make some great sandwiches there!

 Blair (L), me and Mike. FYI: The Kitchen Bros. have a teeny, tiny cameo in the spoof SUPERHERO MOVIE

As much fun as I had at Wondercon, the real dance was yet to come on Saturday! Showtime at the Encantada Gallery. All the details in PT. 2!


Jason Martin said...


Cows an bull an road trippin yee haw!

Yes, those Kitchen bros. were super cool, got to meet them too!

And yeah, Alejandro is a great supporter of the arts, he always hits me up for stuff too! (Though this time he didn't... must've spent all his dough on your Rom! ;)

Hope the show went well... can't wait to hear!

Blair Kitchen said...

Hey Javier!! (and Jason!)

I hope the art show went really well for you last week. It was great seeing THE Javier (artist, writer, creator, executive producer, and all around good guy) in person.

I too will be looking forward to hearing how the show went:)