Monday, November 21, 2011

A poem for The Coma ( from COMA CON )

COMA CON was held this past weekend at GEEKS Comics in Whittier, and it was far from comatose...

This was the release/signing event for my comic book THE COMA. I also debuted THE ART OF THE COMA & THE COMA COLLECTOR BOX  
featuring both books, a button and a Coma sketch doll! (Order your copies of THE COMA and/or my other comics from my webshop or stop by GEEKS Comics)

Among the friends and fans who attended where my two sisters with one of my nephews and two nieces. There were even a few students from my Comic Book Workshops who showed up. The event went off great, and I was happily surprised to see some of the people who came. I slipped up and only took two photographs, but they're enough for this blog post, because I want to use the space to present a very special extra. 

My friend Christopher Luke Trevilla attended as well and enlightened us all with the first-ever reading of his poem...THE COMA! I've had one comic turned into a movie, and now my new one has inspired a poem. (Still waiting for the MAN-SWAMP breakfast cereal!). Chris is a very active & imaginative poet/performer in the Los Angeles area, so it was truly a pleasure to be able to receive this from him. He also gave me his hand-written first draft of the poem, complete with a series of sketches he drew alongside the words. I'm reprinting his poem and sketches here, and I hope you enjoy what he wrote. He really captured various elements of my story in his piece, and intermingled with his particular inner voice, created a whole new experience.

The Coma(Inspired by the eponymous comic by Javier Hernandez, and the track "Peace of Mind/The Candle Burns" contestedly attributed to the Beatles)

Open eyes into absent skies,
my vision dulled with void
Inside burns
a flame to meet me here-

I leave
the cold shell there
emotions peeled away,
no laughter no tears,
I manage not a smile.

The world
around me
takes shape at will,
molecules, shadows, and worlds between

there’s fear- a kind of ripping pain
Surely this
is not eternal – is it?

This world or whatever it may be
is only held inside
Repressed and now free
alive and changing
perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
Can it be...
World and Time
have ended at long last?
Or am I?
No, I must be in my head.
Feels too real to be over now
Don't keep me
from begin.

I need
to find
a cause, meaning, purpose
can’t just float freely..

Inner ear
spoken to
by ancient man and serpent
at war,
at odds,
or one in the same?

I say
I want to hear, see, and be
in the world 
I knew before

I scream
into the void

Ancient man
looks into me
telling me to retreat further inside
Ancient serpent
slithers into me
telling me to give up hope, I was 

meant to stay.

In the void
I listen
to sounds that say

All you want
ought be to fly all day
be led
into a free world newly borne
to build things
never built before
to do things
never before done
And just before
it’s over
it’s really
just begun.

Silent I run.
No pause, no coma, no doubt.
Silent I run.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I was interviewed for a local website called EASTSIDE SCENE, which covers events and culture in East Los Angeles and the surrounding neighborhoods. The upcoming COMA CON (this Saturday at GEEKS Comics in Whittier) is talked about in the interview. 

 Give it a read, as there are a good round of questions (and hopefully, answers!).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

THE COMA finally available to order online!

THE COMA has landed, folks!

Yesterday afternoon I received my shipments of THE COMA and THE ART OF THE COMA. These books will be available this coming Saturday, Nov. 19 at GEEKS Comics during COMA CON, my big release/signing party. But, I figure since many of you won't be able to fly out to California for the event, I'm putting them for sale in my webshop today. You can order your copies by going to the LOS COMEX Webshop now!.

  Just to make sure we don't break our 'street date' of Nov. 19, I'll ship the books around the middle of this week, depending on where you live. Hopefully you'll get them by Saturday, but I would imagine Monday at the latest. 

Oh, and for the folks who pre-ordered the now-out-of-print digest sized edition of THE COMA, (Thanks!) I will offer you a special deal. If you order the full-size magazine edition of THE COMA, (which features a brand-new 2 page prologue to the story, along with the new cover), I'll give you a rebate of $1.50. Just my way of trying to lessen the feeling of 'double-dipping'! I know it's not the way most greedy comic publishers do business, but what the heck, we do things a little different here around Los Comex! Just order the comic online, pay through the checkout, and I'll refund you the $1.50 through Paypal. And yes, I have the records of who bought the pre-orders, so everyone play nice!

If you do live in the Los Angeles area, I'd be great to have you come out to GEEKS for COMA CON. Nothing like meeting in person, ya know. Plus there will be food and lots of other stuff to buy like some original Coma comic book pages, other artwork of mine, a special GEEKS exclusive Coma print, etc.  

If you haven't seen the Coma micro-documentary "IT'S ALL IN MY HEAD", check it out here.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

EL MUERTO artwork on display at UCLA

I have some artwork in a collection currently on display at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Library.

The CHICAN@S COLLECT show features work collected by Mary and Armando Duron. The Duron Collection numbers about 500 pieces, collected over a period of almost 30 years. The exhibition began on September 22 and runs until December 9, 2011.

The exhibit catalog states that the collection "is comprised of books and catalogs that have a bearing on Chicano art, whether the subject is Mexican, Mexican folk, Spanish, Latin American, or North American art." I recently received copies of the catalog, in which both of my pieces in the exhibit are reproduced. One of the items is a copy of my comic book EL MUERTO. Judging by the date under my signature, they bought this at the Self Help Graphics festival on the Day of the Dead in 2002:
The screenprint above was produced back in 2006, when I had a week-long residency in East LA's historic gallery/art studio, SELF HELP GRAPHICS. Creating the screenprint, and contributing to SHG's art collection, is definitely one of the accomplishments I'm most proud of as an artist. And #51 of the series made it to the Duron Collection. 

While looking through the catalog, my sister actually noticed the El Muerto image in the top right corner of this magazine, which is also part of the exhibit:

LA GENTE (The people) is the UCLA Latino students magazine about pop culture, news and events. Upon re-reading the article, I remembered when they originally contacted me. For some reason, I don't believe I ever received a copy of the magazine, but you can read it online here

So basically, in the 12 page catalog for the exhibit, El MUERTO is represented on some 3 pages! But I'm glad that art collectors like the Durons and many others make these exhibits possible, allowing so many artists a platform to keep their work visible and made available to new audiences over the years.

I'd like to thank the Duron Family and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Library for their continued work, and for letting me be a small part of this exhibit. I often tell folks that there is more to life than comics, and mind you, I love creating comics and enjoying the entire span of the culture of comics. But being able to reach audiences outside the comics medium has always been one of my goals, and also to celebrate and add, in my own way, to the Mexican-American experience.

Friday, November 04, 2011


GEEKS Comics in Whittier, CA will be hosting COMA CON, my release & signing party for my new comic book, THE COMA and the companion art book, THE ART OF THE COMA

For those who missed getting a copy of the sold-out Limited Edition version of THE COMA (originally printed up in a special digest-sized edition), the new release of THE COMA features an all-new 2 page prologue, and is published in an eye-popping 8" x 10.5" magazine format!

Featuring an all-new cover illustration penciled by me, inked by Michael Neno and colored by Mort Todd, this 40 pg, b&w comic book takes you on mind-bending head trip into the mind of Damian Arkadian....The Coma!

THE ART OF THE COMA is a full-color 32 page portfolio featuring tons of sketches, production art and other rarities detailing the origin of my new comic book character. There's also a Guest Artist Pin-Up Gallery featuring unique takes on The Coma by an eclectic group of artists: Mary Bellamy, Crystal Gonzalez, Celina Hernandez, Blair Kitchen, Rafael Navarro and Mort Todd!

Come out to GEEKS on November 19th and get your own copies. I'll have lots of other stuff there as well, including the original pages from The Coma, a special print created exclusively for GEEKS and lots of other products from Los Comex, my publishing imprint! Get your Holiday shopping done early and get yourself, or a friend , some cool comic swag!

GEEKS is located at:
6747 Greenleaf Ave, Ste A, Whittier, CA 90601

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Steve Ditko, comic artist legend, turns 84 today

A very Happy Birthday to Steve Ditko, the great comic book creator who's creations/co-creations include Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, The Creeper, Hawk & Dove and Mr. A., among many others.

Here's some artwork I did that was featured recently on the back cover of DITKOMANIA #85, the fanzine dedicated to the work of Steve Ditko. That issue featured stories on Ditko's work for black & white magazines, and one of the stories he did for EERIE Magazine that I wanted to pay homage to was one called 'The Fly':

Ditko's career began in 1953, and almost 60 years later, the man is still producing new work! Published under the Robin Snyder/Steve Ditko banner, his latest book was just released:

This is his 14th new comic book released in the last 3 years, so Steve Ditko still has some stories to tell. This one features another chapter in the saga of Miss Eerie, and also introduces The Distorter, a character who never once appears in the actual story (unless you count a trail of energy an appearance!) but you still see the results of his/her/it's crime fighting abilities.

In addition to his singularly imaginative artwork and storytelling, what's specifically appealed to me, as a self-published comics creator, about Ditko's work is his reliance for the last 20 years or so on creating his work for himself, without the editorial oversight or worse, marketing input, of any third parties. He's creating pure art at this point, and he leaves it up to others to decide the merits of that choice. His desire is to create personal work and release it to the marketplace, no other considerations come into play. I'm not saying I have the exact same mindset, but his example is one that inspires me tremendously often keeps me going in this crazy comics business.

Ordering info for Ditko's new books is available at the DitkoComics Blog. To order DITKOMANIA, visit the Ditko-Fever site. Bleeding Cool.Com, a comics news site, has a nice gallery of original Ditko comic book pages you might be interested in checking out.