Monday, April 21, 2008


My birthday is April 23, so I thought I'd indulge myself with a special 70s Flashback episode on my radio show this tuesday!

This is a sequel of sorts to an earlier episode...MY SEVENTIES SHOW!! I met my guest, Rob Kelly, online a year or so ago, as I was visiting his various comics blogs. Looking forward to geeking out with him. Maybe you younger 80s/90s-influenced fans will learn sumthin'!!!

My interview on CATCH DA CRAZE

I was interviewed a few weeks back for CATCH DA CRAZE, a comic book radio show out of New Jersey. The host, Samuel Vera, was actually a guest on my own radio show a short while back, so it was really fun to be on his show!

Sam's an amazing person, I really love his show. He's an electrifying Puerto Rican from New York whose got equal amounts of street smarts and Madison Avenue marketing savvy. He writes/draws and publishes his own comics, and his energetic personality is put to great use as a host. This guy could easily host a national tv show!

This is probably my favorite interview I've done for several reasons. Sam really knows the right questions to ask of a self-publisher cartoonist with a film adaptation to his credit. And Sam and I are very passionate about our independent spirits. Also, after having done about 6 months of interviews as a host myself, I think I have a new appreciation for being interviewed, in that I wanted to be as good an interviewee as I think I am an interviewer! I don't know if that makes sense to anyone, but I really felt I had my 'game face' on when doing the interview. Let me know what you think.

No bombshell surprises, but I do talk about the time I almost quit self-publishing after only my second time exhibiting! Also, learn about my less-than-stellar educational career! And it was cool to be able to do my first interview about DEMOLITION DOVE (as opposed to me talking about it on my own radio show!!)

Check out my interview on CATCH DA CRAZE here!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Whirlwind flurry of activity lately...with Portland's STUMPTOWN Comics Fest up next week!

The last couple of months have featured a nice, steady series of events that have allowed me to present multiple facets to what I do. I've blogged about most of these events, so you can scroll down the archives and see what I've posted.

In March alone we screened EL MUERTO at the first-ever WHITTIER FILM FESTIVAL and actually won the BEST FEATURE FILM award! Our Q&A, held at nearby GEEKS comic shop, was
very well received. The weekend of March 14-17 I exhibited at the WIZARD WORLD LA comic book convention, where I drew some pretty good attention at my table with my DEMOLITION DOVE preview image. On Friday, March 28, I had a Q&A with an invite-only group of people at the Digital Business & Design College (the location from where my radio show is podcast from). The folks there had lots of great questions about me and my work, and the fact that they had over an hour to pick my brain really made it a great event. The following Sunday, March 30, I debuted my DEMOLITION DOVE Preview Sketchbook at Meltdown Comics SUPERMARKET event. A lively, small gathering of indie comics creators held in the gallery space of Meltdown, I had a great time meeting some new creators and sharing my new book with some fans.

April didn't let up. On Sunday, April 6, we held our first ever SAN GABRIEL VALLEY COMIC BOOK FESTIVAL, located just a block down from the building I podcast my radio show from. And later that week I found myself in Burbank, speaking at a library to a group of kids that form their Manga/Anime club. That was another cool gig. And it was fun mixing it up. I showed them some clips from the MUERTO DVD and talked about the filmmaking experience, but I was also able to get in a quick storytelling lesson and talk comics and art.

Here's the group of kids that attended (and look how nice they were to hold up all those great products!)

The kid to the left of the drawing board, his name is Tristan and I drew him in the comic page I used as an example. He was a good sport and even drew this really well done El Muerto sketch. This kid is about 15 years old and I was very impressed with his skill.

It's always fun talking at libraries because you know you're there because the librarians value what you can share with the attendees. And actually, you could make supplemental money by doing several of these type of appearances!

Coming up for me next week, April 26 & 27 is the STUMPTOWN Comics Festival in Portland, OR. I'll be sharing a table with my friend Jason Martin. I'm very much looking forward to attending the highly concentrated comic book city of Portland, and reaching out to new fans and fellow creators. While up there, I plan to reach out to some new artists to have on my radio show as well.

This is the busiest stretch of gigs I've ever had. Two solid months of film festivals and screenings combined with various comic conventions and store appearances, with the occasional speaking gig thrown in for good measure! And this is all intermixed with my weekly comic book podcast.

And blogging!

But I love what I'm doing, so no complaints from me.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Jim Lujan podcast up at my radio show site!

My recent interview with web-toonist JIM LUJAN is now available to listen to at the PLANET COMIC BOOK RADIO website!.

Here's my favorite Jim Lujan cartoon:

This guy is really talented, he was a great guest to have on my show, and I'm glad to call him a friend. We're working on some projects to bring more art to our lil' ol' San Gabriel Valley with our area artists! Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

YouTube interviews from the San Gabriel Valley Comic Book Festival

Jim Lujan, web-toonist and All-Around cool dude, came to the San Gabriel Valley Comic Book Festival and recorded a bunch of interviews with us artist types.

Here's me talking about a subject near and dear to me...ME!:

And a quickie interview bout DEMOLITION DOVE:

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

San Gabriel Valley Comic Book Festival WRAP UP!

This past weekend’s first-ever SAN GABRIEL VALLEY COMIC BOOK FESTIVAL is now history. And what a historic event that was!

San Gabriel Valley is one of the principal valleys in Southern California, (according to the Wikipedia link!) , consisting of such cities as El Monte, Whittier, Covina, Pasadena and several other cities. The Nuvein Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing literary and artistic interaction with the community, put on the event. Nuvein provides support to my radio show, and one day I, Enrique Diaz (Nuvein founder) and Renato Aguirre (Board member) tossed around the idea of putting on a comic book festival. So, next thing I new, I was rounding up artists and writers and exhibitors for the event!

Really, what a great opportunity it was to present comics as a legitimate form of art. With that in mind we had scheduled two workshops, free to the public. One was storytelling/cartooning with Rafael Navarro and the other one was Writing For Comics with Mike Wellman. I also hosted a one-hour block of live PLANET COMIC BOOK RADIO interviews with several of the exhibiting artists!

The event was held at the Cuban Club of San Gabriel Valley and ran on Sunday from 11am – 5pm. As it was our first time organizing this event, and because of the size of the venue, we were limited to about a dozen exhibitors, but the energy level in the room at times could have rivaled some of the bigger shows. I took so few pictures, sadly, but I can point you to several other blogs that covered the event:
and Crying Macho Man

The staff and Board Members of Nuvein did a really good job of running the event, and I want to personally thank Ericka and Jason for their interview segments, Richard, Michael, and Miguel for their valuable assistance, and a shout-out to Ryan Storms for the great job the event. At times the pace of the show allowed the artists to really be able to get to know one another at length. And I have to say, seeing the artists interacting with the other artists really gave me a sense of the camaraderie you feel for your fellow creator. No sense of competition, just a strong feeling of mutual respect and admiration.
My friend Alan Rutledge, who was set up with three tables of back issue comics, told me
“You got the Nuvein Foundation to pay for a big party for you and your cartoonist friends!”. Well, it sure seemed like it!

But of course, the real reason behind the event was to provide the community a venue to meet comic book creators and learn more about one of the great American art forms: comic books. So while I was there to sell my comics , and promote my new Demoltion Dove creation, I was really glad to be able to help bring this event about.

Rafael Navarro in the distant backround, conducting his popular storytelling/cartooning workshop.

Near the end of the show, I called my two good friends, and fellow comic creators Michael and Will, up to the stage. Michael Aushenker had a birthday a few days prior, and Will Caulfield’s birthday was later in the week. So I decided to ask some of our mutual friends to toss in a couple of bucks so we could get them a birthday cake. Mike and Will were actually very puzzled when I called them up to the stage and sprung the cake on them! We had the whole room singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to them, and everyone had a great time. Will reminded the audience that my own birthday was coming up (April 23, if you’re curious!), and I’m glad he did! Here’s the three of us with the cake.

Mike on the far left, Will in the middle and little ol’ me on the right.

Our hope is to grow the show and in fact have another one in the future. As one of the organizers, I’ll be working with the Nuvein Foundation on the best way to proceed with that. As an exhibitor myself, I’m all for continuing this festival, especially because it is a local community event.

One thing some of us noticed was that there were several people there who wanted to share their portfolios with some of us, and ask for advice on self-publishing. That’s another reason I love this festival. Not only can people come as fans of comics, but even those with their own aspirations can meet folks who’ve published their own books and are willing to share advice. I wasn’t actually expecting this scenario, to be honest. But I’m so glad that we can be a resource for artists wishing to create their own books.

Most of the artists have said they hope we hold another festival next year. And to be honest, talking to some of the Nuvein Board, they feel the same way. So, with that in mind, our goal is to provide a bigger, more popular festival, with more comic creators and events. Stay tuned to this blob, and my radio show, for updates!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

San Gabriel Valley Comic Book Festival this Sunday, April 6

This weekend it the first ever SAN GABRIEL VALLEY COMIC BOOK FESTIVAL!

It's being organized by the Nuvein Foundation, a local non-profit arts and literature advocacy. They provide support to my radio show, PLANET COMIC BOOK RADIO. I will in fact be conducting a one-hour live PCBR interview segment at the festival, talking to the various artists attending the show.

The Festival is on Sunday, April 6 and runs from 11am thru 5pm. Admisssion is free to the public.