Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Memories of two Dia de Los Muertos events Pt 2

On Sunday, October 28, I attended the MUERTOMANIA 2 event held by Solidarity Ink, a print shop & gallery in the Lincoln Heights area of Los Angeles.

The event was held in their parking lot, with an art exhibit, dedicated to deceased wrestlers, taking place inside their gallery space. What made this event extra special was that they had live Lucha Libre, with a group of masked wrestlers performing several matches to an enthusiastic crowd. First time I ever had a booth with live wrestling occurring a few feet away!

 I contributed a piece to the art show, dedicated to one of my favorites, the late, great Macho Man Randy Savage!

This painting of El Rayo de Jalisco, was created by an artist who works at a car wash, and who's trying to organize a union for his fellow workers. It's a beautiful piece created by a true man of the people:

 And of course no Lucha Libre art show would be complete without EL SANTO, the most famous masked Mexican wrestler of all:

Throughout the day I had many great encounters with people . For some reason (but perhaps not surprising considering the demographics), my print and Poster Comic of THE WANDERING JEW & CATHOLIC BOY caught people's attention. One lady mentioned her son was making his First Communion, so that was the appeal for her. (I later realized I could launch a whole line of CATHOLIC BOY products for First Communion celebrants!) And another woman stopped by and bought the BATICALACA Poster Comic. She told me that her and her brother used to watch the BATMAN ANIMATED SERIES when growing up, and the Poster Comic reminded her of those good times with her brother. Later it crossed my mind that I didn't ask her if her brother was alive, but regardless, it's a nice feeling that something I created sparked a positive memory in someone. 

 Like the NUVEIN DIA DE LOS MUERTOS (which I wrote about in Pt 1), this event was free to the public and promoted as an all-ages event. There were plenty of families visiting that day, with parents encouraging their children to celebrate this uniquely Mexican festival. I'm always glad to participate in events like these as I believe an appreciation of one's culture only adds to a person's character and outlook on life.

A rare break in the day for Ernesto Vasquez, whose group, SOLIDARITY INK, organized the entire event. 

I met Ernesto some years ago at a comic book convention, and it's great to see him running this organization in addition to his own work as an artist. We talked about the struggles and rewards of running community arts organizations and also about the work involved in putting on events such as these Dia de Los Muertos festivals.

These friendly gals hosted a table where people could decorate their own sugar skulls:

Me with a group of gents dresses as the trio of legendary luchadores: Mil Mascaras, Blue Demon & El Santo!

 (Photo by Karla Saucedo)

This event, with it's dual focus on Dia de Los Muertos and Lucha Libre, is one of the more unique ones I've had the pleasure of participating in. The staff, the other vendors, and especially the visitors, were all great people to meet. One of the kids (Abraham) who picked up a copy of DEAD DINOSAURIO would stop by once in a while to talk, he even came by to tell me he was leaving. What a class act! Later he came back to the booth, to my surprise. "I thought you were leaving", I told him. He said that he wanted to get another copy of DINOSAURIO, as he wanted to give one to his best friend! Abraham even stopped by once to show me part of his Halloween costume, NERD BOY!

He said that maybe one day I could put that character in one of my comics, and I told him that he should make the comic himself. He liked that idea, and I encouraged him to work on it when he could.

Like I've mentioned, I had a great time at these two events. This coming weekend, November 3 & 4, I'll be at the Long Beach Comic Con. You can find me in the Small Press area at table #1400. And I'll also be conducting a free "Let's Make Comics" workshop on Saturday from 12-12:45 in the Kid's Area. 

Thanks for reading. And if you'd like to buy your own copy of DEAD DINOSAURIO, please visit my Los Comex Web Shop.

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