Continuing my stroll down memory lane....
Bernyce Talley and Grasiela Rodriguez in secret talks about their comic projects:
Rafael Navarro, creator of Sonambulo, next to one of his fantastic cover paintings:
Rafael actually conducted a panel during the festival, and he always holds his audiences' attention with his presentations. Another one of our workshops, this one on animation, was conducted by Raul Aguirre:
One thing that struck me about the panels is that it's a great way to gauge interest in the process of storytelling. I know that some of the folks who attended had their own aspirations in comics or animation. It's nice to be able to provide these workshops, especially since they're free (as is the admittance to the festival itself).
A few months ago, I taught a DIY Comics Crash Course at GEEKS Comics. Several of the people who attended my seminar came by to check out the festival. In fact, one of the them was exhibiting at our show, for the first time. Neil Segura, along with his partner Ray Mendivil, was promoting their upcoming comic book FOREVER FRESHMAN. (Click on the link and see that Neil has learned well: He blogged about attending the festival! That's one of the things we talked about in the class, keep people informed of your activities related to making comics!)
Several of the cartoonists who exhibited at our first SGV Comics Festival returned again this year:
The always-amicable Jose Cabrera of CRYING MACHO MAN fame. I've known Jose for some years now, and it's always a delight having him, and his gonzo brand of comics, gracing any comic convention.
Here's a couple of artists I had met at previous conventions, but was glad to see them appearing for their first time at SGV:
Karl Altstaetter and Gerimi Burleigh. (I think there was an atomic bomb that went off just outside the door, but it didn't stop these two cartoonists from enjoying the show!).
Exhibiting at his first-ever comics show was Jamie Gambell:
Jamie is the writer of OMNITORIUM, and in fact has several other titles in the development stage. It was nice to meet him in person after knowing him for some time through our 140-character conversations via Twitter.
There were various other creators at the show, but unfortunately I didn't get a chance to actually talk and meet each one. Even a relatively smaller show like ours still means you're meeting new fans and conducting transactions (thankfully!), so I had to spend most of my time at my table. Luckily, while at my table there were brief moments to relax and chill out as well:
Kathryn Renta, besides being nice to chat with, is a letterer and graphic designer, and is in fact preparing to publish her own comic book as well.
Adding to the enjoyment of the show was the arrival of FRESH FRIES, LA's mobile gourmet french fries:
If you're in the LA area, make sure you track them down and visit their truck. Dang tasty fries with some really knock-out sauces!
The show, for so many reasons, is definitely a favorite of mine. The fact that it's like 20 minutes from home is a big plus! But the whole intimate nature of the festival really gives you a real strong, genuine sense of being part of a local comics community. I'm glad we got to our 3rd show, and I'm really looking forward to next year's entry. I know we'll make it an even bigger experience for everyone involved.
Thanks to the fans who came out to support all the artists. Thanks to all the various artists who came back to the show or attended for their first time. I certainly have to thank the Nuvein Foundation and our partners for putting the whole show together. I've worked with the organization for some years now, and the thing that always inspires me is how tirelessly everyone works on the various projects. This is a non-profit organization, with the aim of connecting the community to the arts, and providing scholarships to young students.
After the festival, a group of us headed over to a local favorite restaurant for dinner and good times:
Me, Jim Lujan and Grasiela Rodriguez. The three of us were on the Planning Committee for the festival, along with several other members of Nuvein (the more camera-shy members!). We're also members of the Cartoonistas, and have done plenty of other art related projects together. But it's great to first and foremost consider them good friends.
Here's to next year's San Gabriel Valley Comic Book Festival. Hope to see you there!