Sunday, November 08, 2015

THE 12 DAYS OF MUERTO: Day 7...Halfway to forever

Day 7: Here we are just past the halfway point of this series, THE 12 DAYS OF MUERTO. Hopefully these looks back to the past have been interesting and entertaining. Maybe even a little motivating, for any creative folks out. Or anyone who's ever wanted to 'do their own thing'.

Indulge me, if you will, a quick little stop at my own midway point. 2007, just a little more than halfway between 1998, when I launched my first comic book, and today. 17 years total. And counting...

In March of '07, the weekend of the 16th thru the 18th, I had a full plate in front of me. I registered as an exhibitor for the comic book convention WizardWorld Los Angeles. I'd have a table for all three days. But also, our official World Premiere for the EL MUERTO film was to take place at the San Diego Latino Film Festival. Held, not surprisingly, some 2 hours south in San Diego!

Also, I was invited to attend the Film Festival earlier in the week, to give a Q&A to a group of students, (alongside some other Latino comics creators) and to participate in the Opening Reception of a group art show organized for several artists, including us cartoonists. So I was actually down in San Diego on Tuesday and Wednesday and drove back up to LA on to attend WizardWorld on Friday.

Here I am at the con with my good friend, and table neighbor, Jason Martin. Jason's a publisher/comic book creator from Portland, OR and we had met a few years back as neighbors at the San Diego Comic Con.

I don't remember it being particularly busy on Friday, but at the end of the day I think I put all my books and merchandise under the table, as Saturday I wasn't going to be at the convention....

So Saturday afternoon it was off to San Diego! It was a great day, with family and friends, and past and present co-workers (this was during the days I was still working as a production artist for a screenprinting company). Producer Larry Rattner, star Tony Plana and myself did interviews with the media and conducted a Q&A after the screening. Here I am surrounded by attendees, friends and family (it's weird when you give autographs to family!):

After the screening, there was a an after party Downtown for the entire Festival. I went there for awhile, but since I had to make the 2 hour drive to get back, I didn't stay there that long. I'm not really a party guy, to be honest. And most of my family and friends headed back to LA after the screening. I hung out at the party with my girlfriend and my cousin, then made the trip back to LA...

And Sunday morning, I was back at WizardWorld LA! Here's me mugging it up at my friend Rafael Navarro's table with a mask he made for his comic book character Sonambulo, a wrestler-turned-private-eye who doesn't sleep (I felt a lot in common with that character that weekend, believe me!!).

It's a fact that no one knows the halfway point of their lives. We can't. We just don't know when we're going to die (in most cases). You can only plan ahead, hope/assume/take for granted that you'll get to 'those goals', and live each day as it comes.

I shared these particular pics here because it interested me to look in my photo library and see where I was was, more or less, at the halfway point between starting my comics career with El Muerto and today. Interesting enough, it was a moment on the comic book convention circuit and the filmmaker festival route. Two sides of the same creative coin, if you will.

I didn't create El Muerto, or any of my other characters, to get a movie made out of it. No harm in doing that if one wants to, of course. But my desire to create something, to share it with the world, to (I'll be honest), leave 'something' behind, that was my motivation. Anything that came from that, professional visibility, new friendships, financial rewards (even on the scale of an 'indy artist'), little bursts of 'fame'.... All that's been wonderful. I appreciate everything that's come my way. Even the headaches and heartbreaks, financial breaking points, the soul searching moments, the inevitable desire to quit the business... It all helps you learn and grow and adapt. Sure as hell teaches you how to survive!

And fuels the desire to create. Creating gives me the ability, or it's at least my preferred weapon of choice, to have an outlet for so much that's in my head. Sure, they're seen by the outside world as comic book stories, sometimes fantastic tales of haunted heroes and heroic monsters, sometimes outrageous tales of humor and silliness. But as long as I'm expressing what I want to, the way I want, then I can claim a lot of little victories here and there.

I don't know what lies beyond January 2016. Oh, I have some plans for my comics, and things I want to do for myself in my life. I know we have a Presidential election coming up.

But none of us really knows if we have a January or a February in our future. Or even our upcoming December. I'm not trying to be alarming here, folks. Just think about people you know who are around with us one day and the next day, they're gone. It's heartbreaking, and we all experience it. So we as individuals have to make sure we do what we desire to do, if we can. Pursue your life, liberty and happiness.

You've got to work real hard at it, and really make the effort and sacrifice to reach it. Blood, sweat and tears. Whoever coined that phrase knew exactly what they were talking about. You have to go out and find what it is you really want to do with your life.

Even when it's staring you right in the face.

Tomorrow and for the next few days I'll share with you how I got that movie deal, the experience in making the film, and what type of new adventures the whole ride took me on.

El Muerto and all related characters are ™ & © Javier Hernandez 1998-2015 

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