Tuesday, September 21, 2010

3rd Annual San Gabriel Valley Comic Book Festival PT 1

Sunday's event has come and gone, after months of preparing and planning. In the end, things worked out even better than I was hoping for.  I salute my fellow Nuvein Foundation Board of Directors, and especially Comic Festival Chairperson Grasiela Rodriguez, for all the hard work put into bringing this together.

Our banner outside the Cuban Club, where DJ Rex was outside spinning his music, especially tons of 80s New Wave (well, he did ask me on Facebook what type of music is played at comic conventions!)

Our artists and writers, and I'm figuring there were about 30, had a great time, with several creators actually exhibiting at their first convention. And the fans seemed to have really appreciated the event. Most of the ones I talked to hadn't heard of the event before (this was our 3rd) so we're getting new people hip to the Festival.

When I joined the Nuvein Foundation several years ago, one of the things I wanted to get off the ground was comic book festival right here in the San Gabriel Valley. Our first one was held also held at the Cuban Club, then last year we joined up with the Monrovia Public Library for the next one. This year we came back to our original location and we're happy to realize that we definitely need to move to a larger venue if we want to accommodate the rest of the artists we had to turn down due to space limitations.

Raul Aguirre (Man VS Art podcast, animator, cartoonist) and I exchange presents. As a belated birthday gift, I made Raul a custom sketch doll of his character Citizen Sanchez. I scored an awesome El Muerto mask created by his lovely wife Hortencia, which Raul also worked on. Sure is nice to celebrating Christmas in September!

L to R: Shawn Granger, writer and publisher of the 2-part graphic novel series FAMILY BONES, a critically acclaimed crime story and Michael Hamersky. Michael runs the Comic Book Collectors Blog, and he and his wife Tina came to cover the event. Michael's love of the medium and art of comics comes across in his extensive reporting. You can read his report on our show over at his blog

Art Lopez, face-painting for the attendees. Art also held a live-art demonstration, and brought to the show his new beautifully crafted skeleton figures:

Exhibiting in the table next to mine was Cartoonista co-founder and great friend Jim Lujan:
Jim's second collection of his Ghettomation films, BENCH WARRANT, made it's debut at the show. Jim and I actually met at the first SGV Comics Festival a few years back. (Dang, maybe I should have bought him some flowers?)

Mr. Sherm Cohen:
Sherm's a storyboard artist/writer/director, and also proprietor of CARTOON SNAP, a delightfully entertaining and educational website covering tons of classic comics and cartoons. Sherm's new book, CARTOONING:CHARACTER DESIGN, was a big hit with attendees.

Here's a gang of creative individuals flexing their muscles:
On the left, Richard Carradine. Rich was actually exhibiting at his first convention, promoting his book, THE PARK AFTER DARK, a historical account of the many ghosts and spirits that dwell at Disneyland! Rich is the co-founder of GHOULA (Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles), a group of curious adventurers who travel the many haunted places in the big city. Next to Rich is Michael Aushenker, writer, artist, bon vivant. Michael, one of my earliest acquaintences in DIY comics, is the creator of numerous comics, all of which can be found at his joint publishing venture CARTOON FLOPHOUSE. I've probably done more shows with Michael than with any other of my friends, and each time there is nothing but fun to be had. The last guy on the left would be Ted Seko, another long-time friend and self-publisher. Ted's expressively explosive comics and art is always a must-see. THE IDIOT ENGINE, Ted's artist podcast, features one-on-one interview with artists talking about, well... art stuff! Check it out.

I'll have Part 2 of my reminiscing about the show tomorrow!

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