Held at GEEKS Comics, the first-ever GEEKS Con took place on Saturday, June 14. Among the many great things I liked about doing the show was that it was about 10 minutes away from home. That comes particularly handy when I'm driving home at about 11pm, exhausted by a full day show!
Here's me setting up. To my left is Ted Seko, cartoonist (BILLY COLE & the SUPERMONSTERS franchise) and podcaster:
EL MUERTO comics, movie and sketch dolls taking up one whole corner. It's Signature Character Korner, Kids!
Jim Lujan not only debuted his brand-spanking new GHETTOMATION GARDEN DVD at the show, but he had time to record several interviews throughout the day, alongside the ever-loving creator of CRYING MACHO MAN, Jose Cabrera (in the baseball cap):
Raul Aguirre Jr. setting another young artist on a strict path of discipline and serious Art Fu:
(photo courtesy Hortencia Aguirre, used with permission)
Raul's an animator, cartoonist and the host of the MAN VS. ART podcast. Once you hear it, you can't unhear it!! If you've ever talked to Mr. Aguirre, you've no doubt been swept over by his gale force windstorm of artistic knowledge, passion and inspiration. The very reason I've christened him '¡El Bombastico!'
This crackerjack of a comic book artist, Rafael Navarro, has a long history with me:
Rafael is both a Xeric Award-winning comic book artist, and an Emmy Award-winning storyboard artist. But mostly he's the guy I can sit and talk with hours about such topics as Frank Robbin's INVADERS comics, Jack Kirby's CAPTAIN AMERICA and Dick Sprang's BATMAN work. When he's not working on his Sonambulo comic book or freelance gigs, he knocks out stunning pieces like this one:
Yep, this wickedly, wonderful drawing is a pin-up of my WEAPON TEX-MEX. This guy Navarro is a real keeper, believe me!
Here's a pic of (l to r)Rafael, Michael Aushenker, me and Alex Vallejo:
Michael, no stranger to readers of this blog, is, along with Rafael, one of the guys who proceeded my first self-publishing efforts back in 1998. Mikey's the creator of EL GATO, CRIME MANGLER, as well as his current series of comics, CARTOON FLOPHOUSE. He also writes regularly for BACK ISSUE Magazine, and even writes a column for the DITKOMANIA zine (which I occasionaly provide an illustration for). Me, Raf and Mikey were 2/5ths of the 'legendary' LA indie comics group, BIG UMBRELLA! One day, the book will be written on that era (probably by me!) and by Asgard, the tale will be told. Our good friend Alex drove up from San Diego to join us for this show.
Among the other cartoonists joining us at GEEKS CON was Sherm Cohen, the very talented director/storyboard artist from such shows as SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS and KICK BUTTOWSKI:
Even outside his table, Sherm gets mobbed by young fans!
Between all the hoopla of selling comics and meeting fans and drawing in sketchbooks, we even found time to inaugurate another artist into the Cartoonista fold! Co-founder Jim Lujan and I had discussed this some months ago, but we figured this was as good a time as any to spring this on the unsuspecting artist:
Arvie Villanueva of Agimat Entertainment, newly crowned Cartoonista. He and his lovely wife Adonna have had great success with the brand-new video game that Arvie created based on their webcomic, Shadow Candy: SUGAR RUSH. The game is available through iTunes, and I congratulate Agimat on their successful launch. No mean feat, considering how many applications are submitted to Apple every week!
Among the personal highlights I like to remember: Seeing one of the students from the 4th Grade class I spoke at a few weeks ago show up with his mom and use his own allowance money to buy a comic book from me, the fans who took home my Muerto Sketch Dolls, the friends who came by to say 'Hi', other artists like Will Caulfield (ADVENTURES OF BAT BAT) and Lalo Alcaraz (LA CUCARACHA) stopping by to show some support.
Also, this young man, Andrew, asking for an El Muerto drawing with half his face peeled away! And he insisted on the eyeball dangling from it's socket!! Remember the good old days when kids would ask for a drawing of a cowboy or a dinosaur?!
I have to thank all the artists who showed up and helped us pack the room with fans. Thanks to Jim Lujan for gettting the ball rolling on GEEKS CON, and of course to my pal Sal Felix, owner of the shop, for opening his store up to GEEKS CON and all the other shows we've had in his store over the last two years.
Making our comics and cartoons and art is our passion, and we'd do it anyways (or go plum loco). But to be able to have a time and a place to show it, share it and sell it...Well, that's what us artist types want! Thanks everyone who played a part in GEEKS CON!