I'll be signing alongside many other authors and artists this Friday evening in Uptown Whittier.
Over the years, I've done various events with LunoSol Mexican Vintage bookstore, so it's nice to get back with them for this evening of local creative talent. Besides being available to sign any of our books you wish to purchase, every artist and author will be doing a short presentation of their work. There will be live music as well as refreshments and snacks available. Come on out and support your local business and art! LunaSol Mexican Vintage is located at: 6711 Bright Ave. Whittier CA 90601
This month's Poster Comic introduces Esperantos, the man in the mirror...
Click here for a larger readable version. (Once you open the image, click on it once to enlarge it) Usually these Poster Comics get posted earlier in the month, but I've had to juggle a lot of projects recently so this comic got bounced around a bit. But I'm glad to finally post it. Enjoy!
The event is being held in the city of La Puente, located in the San Gabriel Valley. In addition to art vendors, there will also be a poetry event in the evening as well as music at one of the locations.
I'll be set up next to the Nuvein Foundation booth in the parking lot of the Twin Palms Recovery Center at 218 Glendora Ave. Just look for the parking lot at Glendora Ave. and Workman St., there will be several booths set up.
In addition to my comic books, I'll also have some of these 'Sharpie paintings':
11" x 17" canvas boards drawn with Sharpie markers! I'll have the two above plus several others. Part of the aim of the Old La Puente Art Walk is to revitalize the area and make it a vibrant center for local community art and culture. I was at the previous Art Walk back in May and for being the first one they held, we had some constant traffic. This one is set to have lots more artists and event sites, so there should be even more people attending. Hope to see you there!
For the last couple of years I've been teaching art classes at Pico Park in Pico Rivera, CA. On Wednesdays I have my Comic Book Workshop and Thursdays it's my Cartooning for Kids class. The comic class runs 5 weeks, and the cartooning class is 4 weeks. Usually I'll have about 2 sessions of each workshop every season, so that's about 16 classes a year at that facility. The current comic book workshop ended on Wednesday. Here are some samples of the comics created:
The one above (Moustache Man & Goatee Guy) is by Matt, who's been taking the class for about 2 years now! His parents are really supportive, and Matt's imagination is pretty active. It's really great to see a young artist with such creative ability.
There's always a mix of returning students and new ones, and on average about 30% will be girls, and sometimes almost half. The skill levels vary of course, but the important thing is that all the kids have a desire to tell a story. Put the paper and pencil in front of the child and they'll think for a second then start drawing the first panel and soon they work out their whole story. I'm still amazed at the innate human desire to tell stories, especially to tell it through words and pictures. And because their stories aren't very dialogue heavy, it's the art of storytelling by picture that shines through. A long and well-loved tradition...
What I do in my class is take the kids through a group storytelling session, where I draw a one-page comic on a wipe board with them providing me the idea for each panel. The main thing I stress to them is that each panel has to progress from the previous panel, no matter how wacky the scenario, because our goal is to tell a story.
One thing I do is that at the end of the fourth week, I collect each student's artwork (3 pages of comics and one cover), then over the weekend I'll make photocopies and on the last class, give each student 3 copies of their printed comic book (an 11x17 paper, printed on both sides & folded in half). While it's a little extra work, I feel it really gives the kids a sense of having created a comic book, not just producing the art for one.
Once in a while, for the 5th and final class, I'll ask a cartoonist friend of mine to visit the class and talk with the kids about their work or do a project. Once, my friend Ted visited and led the kids into creating a giant comic called ZOMBPOCALYPSE, where two kids at time would draw and color a page of the comic. That was really fun.
In the current class, Jacob, a first time student, created this comic:
He even had time to knock out this 32 panel comic on a sheet of 8.5" x 11" paper:
It was nice to hear him narrate the story while I looked over the page. The blue energy ball generated by the human character was inspired by DRAGON BALL Z, a cartoon that plenty of my students over the years have claimed as a favorite. Jacob actually gave me that comic, as well as this drawing:
A sunny day, a happy superhero and a giant tank... C'mon, what's not to love about that?!
My next round of classes at Pico Park start up at the end of August. Check out my Comics Workshop page for more info on my classes. And if you're a librarian, I also do library visits where I conduct comic book workshops as well. Please check out that page as well for my contact info.
My next comic book project to be published will feature these new characters of mine...
DEAD DINOSAURIO & EZTLI, The First Calaca. (Calacas are the various interpretations of skeletons created for the Day of the Dead). The story takes place during the Conquest of Mexico and features a young Aztec boy named Eztli ('Blood' in the language of the ancient Mexicans). During the brutal invasion, the boy calls upon the gods for help and finds it in the form of a strange and unknown creature.... a Tyrannosaurus Rex!
The story is going to debut in a limited run mini-comic. Several copies of the book are going to be traded with a group of artists I've met online as part of a mini-comics 'swap'. The remainder of the copies will be sold at an upcoming event I'll be exhibiting at on September 15, down in the San Diego area. Hispanic Literacy Day at the South Chula Vista Branch Library.
Here's the cover of the mini-comic...
And the back cover:
A few pages from the book, without the lettering:
This limited run mini-comic, THE PRE-HISTORIC EDITION, is the precursor to what will be the magazine-sized edition, complete with extra features, such as production sketches and the entire thumbnails to the story. For this magazine-sized edition, all the artwork will be colored in gray tones, similar to my WEAPON TEX-MEX Vs EL MUERTO comic book:
The magazine-sized comic will also feature a wraparound cover, the first one I've ever done for one of my books:
I'll have this image available as an 11x17 poster once I release the mini-comic in a few weeks. I'm currently organizing my Fall schedule, but I will definitely be at the Long Beach Comic Con on November 3 & 4, as well as several Dia de Los Muertos events throughout Los Angeles (dates and times to be announced). If you've read my Poster Comics featuring Spider-Calaca & BatiCalaca, I can tell you that Dead Dinosaurio fits right in with those two. I have several more Super Calacas to debut, then eventually they'll all get teamed-up together in a new comic book, THE CALACAS OF JUSTICE!