Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Day to everyone!

For my supportive family and friends, my inspirational peers, and the wonderful fans over the years...Thanks!

Monday, November 24, 2008

PLANET COMIC BOOK RADIO 1 Year Anniversary Party Podcast

My first episode of PLANET COMIC BOOK RADIO was podcast live back on November 20, 2007. And now 1 year later, we're gearing up for a whole new year of interviews and great guests. But first we'll take a little time to talk about the good old days!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cartoonistas kicked it at GEEKS Live Art event last night!

The Cartoonistas' Live Art event, RECESSION EXPRESSIONS, was a big hit last night at GEEKS comic shop in Whittier!

GEEKS is a great store, and they've hosted us before for the Cartoonistas Gallery Show, as well as hosting my Q&A for the EL MUERTO film screening held at the Whittier Independent Film Festival earlier in the year.

The Cartoonistas inducted a new member to the group: Roxanna:
Here's Roxy drawing two of her friends in their underwear holding large loafs of bread! (WTF?!) Welcome aboard, Roxy!

Cartoonistas Co-founder and all around Super Patriot Jim Lujan crafting another page of yummy goodness:

GEEKS went all-out with the wild and far-out promotion! Here's our plan to inspire comic shops across the nation, 'A Cartoonista in Every Front Window Display'!:

Before any human rights activists get alarmed, we did indeed rotate the artists. So every 'Toonista got their turn to be put on display!

When comics geeks read that President-to-Be Barrack Obama is a collector (probably past-tense) of Spider-Man and Conan, well..I hadda address that!:
This got a lot of amused responses. Good thing Whittier is a 'Blue' city!!!

Speaking of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, here's a guy who debuted in issue #129: Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher!!:

In addition to our window easel, and our board leaning on the wall, we even had a sit-down Cartoonista Corner. We had that place covered!:

Me and Grasiela basking in our Cartoonista Awesomeness!:

In our continued effort to promote Green Cartooning, Ted and Steve save a tree by sharing a sheet of paper! Who says this isn't the Eco-friendly Age of Cartooning?!:

"I rock!" applies to Jimmy, that's for sure.

After we finished a piece, we'd hang it on a wall and folks would pick the pieces they wanted and pay at the register:

Sal from GEEKS asked me to draw him El Muerto as the GEEKS logo (if you see my hand-lettered Geeks logo, you'll see why I computer letter my comics!):

This was a great event, for everyone. GEEKS had pretty good business that evening, the patrons enjoyed seeing the artwork and bought up a lot of the pieces, and us Cartoonistas had a fantastic time drawing and yakking it up. Thanks to my friends the Cartoonistas, everyone who stopped by and showed support, and of course to Sal and GEEKS for hosting us yet again!

Check out The Cartoonistas blog for more pics!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

APE 2008 report...PT 2!!

Day 2 of APE turned out a little better in terms of actual sales. The heavy rains from Saturday seemed to have let up a bit, so there were more people attending the show (that's my estimate, anyways). To be honest though, I don't know if they were spending that much more money than Saturday's crowd. Kinda light on sales for many of us this year.....

Course, it could have been raining bloody eyeballs, and I still would have had a great day! After another breakfast feast at Ahn's, I swung by the local 7-11 and bought several copies of the local paper. It was Sunday, and that meant the color funnies were out, and that meant that El Muerto's appearance in the BALDO newspaper strip climaxed that day.

To see El Muerto in the color Sunday newspaper strip was such a great feeling. To see him sharing the page with GARFIELD was downright surreal! I actually got to write the Sunday appearance,as well as drawing the Muerto figures. And artist Carlos Castellanos did a great job coloring the entry, as he always does. Read about the El Muerto/Baldo crossover here.

I had a copy of the Sunday strip with me at the show, and during the day a lady walked by, saw my El Muerto banner, and told me "Hey, I saw that character in the Baldo strip this morning!". I was proud as a papa to explain to her the whole crossover. I was really stoked to hear someone actually saw the strip that day.

Among the visitors that day was my lovely cousin, Monica. Hadn't seen here in, like, sheesh...15 years or so! And I didn't even know she was living in San Francisco for the last 9!

My traveling partners, and good friends, Michael Aushenker and Ted Seko catch a break in the action. I've probably partnered with Mike more times at conventions than with any other friends of mine. Not hard to figure out why: Mike's hysterical at times and always fun to travel with. A real mensch, as the ancient Aztecs used to say! And Ted is someone I met at a zine fest back in 2001 or so. He hasn't done too many shows, but the guy's made lots of of mini-comics and zines and even graphic novels over the years. He and are I launching a new joint imprint XOMIX COMIX, in 2009!

The witty and talented Chris Wisnia was down the hallway from me. Chris does some hilarious comics, my favorite being his DORIS DANGER monster books. I interviewed Chris some weeks back on my radio show, PLANET COMIC BOOK RADIO. He's a hard-working talent and real personable guy!

This guy, I'm going to have on my radio show! Rob Osborne, the electric artist and writer of "1000 Steps To World Domination!" and 'The Nearly Infamous Zango". I met Rob very briefly last year at WizardWorld Texas, but this time we had a chance to talk comic book boot camp. Once he referred to indie publishing as 'the Wild West', I knew this man was dead serious about making it in comics! Look for Rob to show up in December on the show.

A friend I run into periodically at these shows is Jaime Crespo. I must must have first met Jaime years ago, and I don't think I've seen him for a couple of years. But we ran into each other and caught up on old times.
Jaime's what I can consider an old school/alt/indie cartoonist. His comics work dates back to the late 80s/early 90s. When he's not chatting it up with his 'old school' pals Jaime and Mario Hernandez, Dan Clowes or Keith Knight, he's talking to neo-old school/johhny-come-lately guys like me!! (?). Jaime also hosts a radio show in the Bay Area, so we're gonna plan some kinda crossover between his show and mine. I like the tiny sombrero!

APE, as you can see, is a mix of many things: You're their to sell your work and meet old and new fans, and you also get to catch up with old friends and make new ones. In my case, I also get to find new guests for my radio show! But APE has always been for me, a very fun show to do. I'll wrap this report up with PT 3 over the weekend, so come back to hear about the Indian Pizza we had for dinner, the Day of the Dead celebrations in San Francisco, and the First Meeting of the Sons of the Cat!!!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

APE 2008 report...PT. 1!!

Geez, it's been about a week since the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco, and I think I better get to blogging about it! As it is, here's PART 1!!

Okay, so, this was my 10th APE I've exhibited at consecutively. Pretty cool! 10 years since I first debuted EL MUERTO at APE, back in it's early days when it was held in San Jose, CA.

This year, like every other year, I drove up. This time with two friends, Michael Aushenker and Ted Seko. We drove into San Francisco late Friday evening, Halloween, and picked up our badges at the mixer held by Last Gasp Publishing. After 'mixing', we drove back across the Bay Bridge into Oakland and hunted down a motel. It was drizzling on and off throughout the evening, but no major drama.

Early Friday morning, Michael and I decided to take Ted to breakfast at Ahn's Burgers, a fantastic little mom & pop diner we fell in love with on previous trips. Burgers, shakes and the All-American breakfast, that's what makes a good ol' fashioned restaurant. Course, we got there about 45 minutes early, and we were hearbroken as Mike headed back to the car to give us the bad news. But then, the front door opens and the cook (probably co-owner) waves us in! We figured it's either a sign of the economy, or just good old fashioned hospitality (I would wage the later!).

So there we are, the three of us counting our good fortunes. We already figured the trip was a success (hint to exhibitors: always look outside of any sales you may make at your table for signs of good fortune!). As luck would have it, I was served first, literally receiving the first plate of food hot off the grill!

Michael (l) and I savoring our fresh, hot meals for the press!

After eating like Kings, we head on over to the Concourse in San Francisco, which is only about 20 minutes or so over the Bay Bridge. APE is usually held in Feb or April, so this year's Fall date gave us a little wetter weather, but other than that, all seemed the same as before (keep reading!).

This year's spread at my table was pretty rockin': new El Muerto comic book, new issue of my long dormant newsletter, THE BORDER, the EL MUERTO DVD and some XOMIX COMIX promo material!

There was sporadic rain that Saturday, at times it was coming down pretty hard. Combined with the Halloween weekend, and the move from it's usual date, it's fair to say that the audience was lighter that day. And with the economy the shape it's in, spending was down. But, I have to say, I still had a wonderful experience there. Of course there is always the old fans stopping by the table, and you always make new fans at any show. But I also get the chance to meet up with those once-a-year acquaintances you see at every show, as well as friends you haven't seen in years.

Here's JB and Anita. I first met them at the Santa Barbara Zine Fest back in 2000 or 2001! JB I run into at least once a year, but Anita I haven't seen since the Zine Fest! What's that old, tired cliche....? Seems like only yesterday....

Here's a nice couple I met on the internet. (Sounds a lot worse than it really is!). Scott and Audra, who were celebrating their 1 Year Wedding Anniversary, flew in from Hawaii for the show! Imagine leaving Hawaii for rainy California! They're really nice folks, and put out some attractive work. Check out their site NEMU NEMU for the goodness!

It's not officially an APE unless Rafael Navarro of SONAMBULO fame is there with his charm and wit and eye-popping art!

Another APE regular is dear, sweet Roxie! I met her at APE years ago and she's a great pal to see every year.

Roxie and I always try to have fun at these shows, and this little trip to the JACK CHICK table qualified, fer sure!

One of the gems I bought was this particularly "imaginative" anti-Catholic Chick Tract..THE DEATH COOKIE!! Stuff like this can either be very offensive, or provide me with some chuckles. The Death Cookie!!?? That is awesome...despite the nasty bit of propaganda it's pushing.