Latino Comics Expo highlights past and present Hispanic creators

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While  artists  from Spain and South America have become superstars at the big two,  this weekend’s  Latino Comics Expo in LA shines a spotlight on the many Latino creators making waves elsewhere.

 The two-day Latino Comics Expo will be held at the Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave in Long Beach, CA. The mission for the event is to honor past and present Latino creators in the world of comics and those who have influenced them. Span Rodriguez was honored at last year’s expo in San Francisco. It was one of his last appearences before before passing away in November.

The Expo was created by Ricardo Padilla and independent comic book creator Javier Hernandez.  Hernandez is famous for his comic book series El Muerto that was adapted as a film in 2007 starring Wilmer Valdmarra and Joel David Moore. “We just had our third annual Latino Comics Expo in San Francisco in May. Richardo informed that MOLAA has an opening for August and they would be willing to have the Expo, so we jumped on the opportunity,” Hernandez said in a phone interview. He also admitted that this will be a very intimate gathering and expects attendance to be around 400  because they had less than two months to promote the event.

On Tuesday, Padilla and Hernandez were downtown Los Angeles getting the event officially recognized by LA County Supervisor Don Knabe. You can see the photos here (and there was a masked wrestler present).

This year there is over forty tables and a laundry list of comic creators, filmmakers and Luchadores. Here are some of big names attending the event:

Raul Aguirre Jr. MAN vs ART
Lalo Alcaraz La Cucaracha
Art! The Magazine  Alex Trijjo
Michael Aushenker Cartoon Flophouse
Jose Cabrera Crying Macho Man
Luis Calderon Space Johny
Jaime Crespo Jaime Crespo.Com
Ricardo Delgado Age of Reptiles
Manny Elias Manny Elias
El Verde Anthony Aguilar, Alejandra Cisneros, Luke Lizalde
Enkyskulls Steve Guerra & Jessica Miranda
Eric M. Esquivel EMEcomics
Forever Freshmen Neil Segura & Ray Medivil
Gabriela Gamboa Miss Lonely Hearts
Crystal Gonzalez In The Dark
Jason Gonzalez La Mano del Destino
Erik Gonzalez & Erich Haeger Rosita y Conchita
Javier Hernandez El Muerto
Mario Hernandez Love & Rockets
Donna Letterese Drawdvl.Com
Libros Latinos Alfonso Vijil
Jim Lujan Jim Lujan Cartoons
Ozi Magaña Ozi Magaña
Pepe Melan Pepe Melan Art
Ofloda Monstro OflodaDraw
Roman Montes de Oca USMZ
Chogrin Muñoz CHOGRIN
Ninoska Arte Hannibal Garcia & Jacqueline Ortiz
John Narcomey Draw Hard Studios
Rafael Navarro Sonambulo
German Orozco GermanOrozco.Com
Daniel Parada Zotz
Jose Pulido Mis Nopales
Carlos Rivas Tales of Masked Men
Jules Rivera Misfortune High
Grasiela Rodriguez Spadra
Octavio Rodriguez The Cano Spot
Simon Sotelo LA Zinefest
Carlos Saldaña Burrito
Tzolkin Media Alex Olivas, Luis Perlata, Josh Edelmann
Ultimo Dragon.Com Gary Lee Jackson, Dan Madigan
Winestone Entertainment Christian Ramirez

Growing up in Tucson, I lived in a poor neighborhood that was in the heart of a community known as “The Vistas” because of its heavy gang activity. No one else I knew read comics or even heard of a Comic Book Buyer’s Guide. I owned a box — yes, a brown box; I never heard of a “long box” until high school — of various Marvel, DC comics and Image comic books. Those stories were my escape and shaped my moral backbone better than Sunday school session after church. I’ll never forget living vicariously through Wizard magazines that highlighted comics I couldn’t afford or weren’t for sale on the comics rack at the Circle K down the street from my house. Even though I hardly saw anyone that resembled a short, chubby, Mexican-American — or remotely like anyone in Southern Tucson — I still felt like I could relate to this medium more than anyone around me.

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This event is also a reminder of the lack of diversity in today’s comics market. When was the last time we heard from the gay Latino Mexican kid in Teen Titans? How many writers, artist, editors with Latin descent are working at the big two? Has there ever been any hispanic character in the Avengers? The same argument can be said for every minority, but the discussion is getting better.

The event hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission $9, $6 for students and seniors, free for children 12 and younger. It’s free to attend on Sunday. Programming is included with admission and there will be discussion revolving self publishing creator own comics and discussion on the history of latino superhero characters.

Click here for more information.

Henry Barajas is the co-creator, writer and letterer for El Loco and Captain Unikorn. He has also written and lettered short stories for two successful Kickstarter SpazDog Press projects: Unite and Take Over: Stories inspired by The Smiths and Break The Walls: Comic Stories inspired by The Pixies.  He is the Newsroom Research Assistant for The Arizona Daily Star and was nominated for the Shel Dorf Blogger of the Year award for his work at The Beat.  You can follow him on Twitter @HenryBarajas.

Comments

  1. Pedro Bouça says:

    Still all americans. Not even a mention of the rich comics culture done in actual Latin America. I pointed that last year and I’m doing it again until things change.

    Do note that some of the top Marvel and DC creators are of latin american descendence. Guys like George Pérez, Fabian Nicieza (argentinian by birth!), Phil Jimenez, José Ladronn, Mike Deodato (brazilian), Eduardo Risso (argentinian), the late Al Williamson and such are very influent – and I’m not mentioning the Spanish creators!

    Some of the very best comics authors in the world are latin americans. I would mention, besides the above, Enrique Breccia, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Rafael Grampá, Juan Gimenez ans so on, who are mostly active at other comics industries. And those are just the ones in activity! The list of past masters would be too big to put here.

    Comics as a whole owe A LOT to latin american creators worldwide. The Museum of Latin American art is selling their contribution for comics worldwide very short. As it is sadly to be expected from americans (the ones from the US of A), their view is too short-sighted and self-centered.

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