Sunday, October 12, 2008

Live Art gig at Pasadena Central Library- pix!

Friday night's Live Art performance at the Pasadena Central Library was a fun experience for all involved! The Cartoonistas art group was invited to attend the Library's festivities for the city-wide Pasadena Art Night, an evening when many of the city's art and cultural institutions offer late night performances, exhibits and events for the community.

The participating Cartoonistas for the evening were Grasiela Rodriguez, Will Caulfield, Ted Seko, co-founders Jim Lujan and Javier (me) Hernandez!. Nick Smith, our contact at the Library, set us up in one of the actual rooms in the Library containing book collections! This Library is probably 100 years old, so we were a little nervous at first setting up our wooden easel/planks and using colored chalk! But we used some tarps and Nick just let us do our magic, trusting us to take care of everything. Which we did of course.

Will (left), Ted (middle) and me waiting for the muse....

Jim Lujan planning his latest posterboard epic!

Jim actually drew a face on every last one of them little heads in the audience!

Grasiela, besides really enjoying what she does, connects very well with the live audiences at these events.

Ted drawing a Spider-Man page...just inches away from books on science, nature and history! Trippy....

Back in 1989, Will hired me to work with him in Production Art. Some years later, he left when he and his wife had a baby. I took over as Art Director, then hired him to work under me when he got back into the work force! Nice to be working alongside him as a Cartoonista, almost 20 years later.

Lately I've gotten a fixation (Nixation?) on drawing Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States. Not because I think Watergate was a great move, but me and the Nix share the same High School, Whittier High. He spent his youth in Whittier, attended Whittier College, and even had his first law office there. So, a salute to Whittier's First Son!

Speaking of 70s icons, a favorite comic book of mine is DEVIL DINOSAUR by Jack Kirby. Basically it's about a (Moon-)Boy and his (Devil) Dinosaur, and their adventures back in 1,000,000 B.C.! So naturally, I hadda draw a pic of pre-history's Dynamic Duo:

I'm sure I pretty much drew this for my own amusement, as DEVIL DINOSAUR hasn't had a comic book series for 30 years, has no cartoon series or movie deal in the works (in other words: no public recognition). However, as I was finishing the drawing, a little girl walked into the room with her mother and started asking about the drawing. Turns out she has a friend who 'loves drawing dinosaurs', and the boy's father is a paleontologist. This little girl was a real cute, talkative spirit, kinda like a Dakota Fanning/Drew Barrymore type. She was asking why the dinosaur was red ("He was burned by some bad cave-people") and also asked how old was 'the little boy' was ("His name is Moon-Boy and I think he's about 9 or 10"). Later in the evening, the little girl and her mother came back into our room and she asked about my drawing. I told her that I had finished working on it and asked her if she would like it. She was extremely happy to have it, so now she's the proud owner of a DEVIL DINOSAUR drawing!

That was probably the highlight of the evening for me, to be honest. Sure, I had a great time creating some artwork and interacting with people, I sold some comics and DVDs, and the Cartoonistas were able to secure another gig with the Library for another event. But introducing that little girl to an old 1970s Jack Kirby creation, well, what can you say? As MARVEL and DC stumble around like a pair of drunken elephants trying to spoon feed kids dumbed-down versions of there now-adult-only superheroes, here's me, not affiliated in any way financial with the Kirby Estate or Marvel, promoting an all-ages comic created by the art form's greatest innovator, 'King' Kirby.

It would be cool to think that the little girl and her mother went home and maybe looked online for some cheap DEVIL DINOSAUR comics...

Late in the evening, Ted wanted to try a little game. He would pencil an image, and I would finish it off with color (I'd do the same for him). I accepted the challenge and ended up coloring and inking a DEATHLOK THE DEMOLISHER drawing. It was really weird inking those trademark floating faces Ted has been drawing for years and years....

Of course, on the plus side, I had Ted finish up and color a DEMOLTION DOVE I started!

For more pix, check out the official CARTOONISTAS website!

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