Thursday, May 10, 2018

¡MAYO DEL MUERTO!


I have a number of appearances in the Los Angeles area this May. A total of 10, which is probably a record for me after 20 years in this business!



I have a new lecture titled CULTURE AND COMICS that I'll be presenting at various libraries. It's a historical look at Latinos in the U.S. comics industry, covering the 1940s through today. I also share my upbringing in a bilingual Mexican-American home and how that influenced my own comics career. This year actually marks the 20th Anniversary of my comic EL MUERTO, so some of the material I cover will reflect on that personal milestone as well.
In addition to the CULTURE AND COMICS lectures, I also have several appearances at comic book events throughout the month. 

Here's the schedule:5/5: "ATTACK OF THE COMIC BOOKS!" - Sorensen Library, Whittier, CA. 9am-2pm. A free annual comic convention.

5/6: "GEEK ON" - University California at Riverside, Riverside, CA. 9am-6pm. A free comics/anime convention.


5/12: "East LA C.A.P.E." - El Gallo Plaza, East Los Angeles, CA. 11am-6pm. A free comics & pop culture convention. 

5/19: "CULTURE & COMICS" - Claremont Library, Claremont, CA. 11am - 12 noon. A free lecture.
  
5/19: "CULTURE & COMICS" - Baldwin Park Library, Baldwin Park, CA. 2pm - 3pm. A free lecture.
  
5/19: "CULTURE & COMICS" - Los Nietos Library, Whittier, CA. 5pm - 6pm. A free lecture. 

5/23: "CULTURE & COMICS" - Hollydale Library, South Gate, CA. 6pm - 7pm. A free lecture. 

5/24: "LET'S MAKE COMICS!" - Norwalk Library, Norwalk, CA. 4pm - 5pm. A free comic book workshop for teens age 13-18.
 
5/26: "Q&A with JAVIER HERNANDEZ" - Tia Chucha's Centro Cultura & Bookstore, Sylmar, CA. 1pm - 4pm. On stage career interview followed by book signing. Free admission.


5/27: "L.A. ZINE FEST" - Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, CA. 11am - 6pm. Annual convention for zines and independent publishers. 

I hope to see some of you at one of these events. They're all over the greater Los Angeles area, so please see which one fits your schedule and join me this Mayo del Muerto!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

New comic SAINTS AND SINNERS available for pre-order!

*Pre-order campaign for this comic is over, but copies are now available in my webshop as of 9/24/17*

Kind of a spontaneous scheduling thing here, but I have a new comic book in the works that you can pre-order via my webshop....

SAINTS AND SINNERS is being produced to debut at the upcoming ALPHA OMEGA CON. It's a Christian comics & pop culture convention taking place on September 23 in Artesia, CA.I attended last year and was invited to return, so for this year I got the idea to do a collection of some of my characters who's supernatual themes would have a particular appeal to this audience.
The four previous stories that are being reprinted are the supernatural vigilante Maniac Priest, the possessed exorcist Demoniak, the demon-fighting duo of Jacob & Joaquin: The Wandering Jew and Catholic Boy and the hippie Jesus freak superhero Godson (who previously appeared in a Poster Comic, so this marks the character's first time in a printed book). 



And acting as host to these stories is a brand-new character of mine Ann Hellika, Hell's Belle! The newly created pages will introduce the other stories and give you a glimpse into her world.

 I'm running the pre-order campaign until Labor Day. This comic will actually be printed in a new size for me, a hefty 9" x 12" format! 20 pages, full color, and in addition to those comics there will be a gallery of production & promotional artwork, similar to some of the pieces seen here.

In addition to pre-ordering the comic (which will come with a free mystery print!), I'm also offering the original cover art as well as the back cover artwork. So if you want to get your hands on some original hand-crafted comic book art, now's the time to jump in.  


So if you're interested, I'd appreciate your support! Thanks.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

EL MUERTO screening Aug. 13 at THE FRIDA CINEMA in Santa Ana, CA

As a fundraiser for the Latino Comics Expo (of which I'm co-founder), we will be screening EL MUERTO on Sunday, August 13 at The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana, CA.


Based on my comic book, EL MUERTO tells the tale of Diego de La Muerte, a young man killed and resurrected by the Aztec god of death on the Day of the Dead, tasked against his will with performing an evil act.

The film stars Wilmer Valderrama, Angie Cepeda, Joel David Moore, Tony Plana, Maria Conchita Alonso and Michael Parks.
 

The screening takes place Sunday, August 13 at The Frida Cinema, Orange County's premiere arthouse cinema showcasing independent, foreign & classic films. Following the film will be a Q&A with screenwriter/director Brian Cox and me.

All attendees of the screening will receive a free commemorative color print I produced for the event, plus there will be raffles for rare El Muerto comics, prints and even original artwork.




The fundraiser will help raise money for the Latino Comics Expo, the nation's premiere convention dedicated to showcasing Latino comic creators, writers and artists, as well as others working in related popular arts. This year's Expo will once again be held on November 11 & 12 at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, CA.


Pre-order your tickets at our Eventbrite page and make plans to join us!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Free comic book workshop for teens at the Signal Hill Public Library on June 22!

If you're in the Long Beach, CA area sign up your teenage artist at the library for my free comics workshop. Supplies will be provided, just bring a desire to express yourself through a comic book story!

Call or visit the library to register.
Phone:
562-989-7323

Address: 

1780 E. Hill Street
Signal Hill, CA 90755



Saturday, February 25, 2017

JAVILAND CHATTER: My new podcast!

So I'm hosting a new podcast. After 6 years since I last hosted my own show (called JAVILAND: The podcast of DIY comics) I finally decided to jump back in with a new show.



For years I had thought of doing a new show but I had convinced myself it would only happen if I went all out and bought a fancy microphone and learned how to edit the recording, and add music, etc. But as the years went by and I met new artists and writers and other creative folks, the yearning to sit down and record conversations with all these people kept calling to me.

And so I decided to go back to the simple platform of Talkshoe.com and just record a conversation and upload immediately afterwards, the whole raw recording with no editing or production value added! And so for the new episode of the all-new JAVILAND CHATTER I speak with Brad Dwyer, a cartoonist from Arizona whose work crosses between auto-biographic work and fantasy/monster stories! 



The new show won't focus exclusively on comics, although the majority of guest will be writers and cartoonists from the comics world. Comics are, after all, my chief passion. But I'll also have the show open to folks from various fields in the art world: animation, film, literary circles and wherever else I run across an interesting person who I feel I can have a stimulating conversation with. Welcome to JAVILAND CHATTER! (There's a link on that page to subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, as well).

Saturday, February 11, 2017

DEFUNCT DIEGO comic!

Here's a new spin on El Muerto....


DEFUNCT DIEGO is my homage to the Bazooka Joe comics printed on wax paper and which included a piece of bubblegum. I always loved the fact that they were the world's smallest comics, and always featured simple little gags meant solely as fun.

Last year I published the first episode (which I have now updated somewhat so the lettering and coloring matches the style I did the new one in). I'll do these periodically as I work on my longer comics. Hope you enjoy!

 

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

EL MUERTO RESURRECTION: New comic gives renewed life to a series.

This is the new comic book I'll be premiering at the upcoming Latino Comics Expo this August 6 & 7 in Long Beach, CA. : El Muerto Resurrection. This is in fact the exclusive cover that will be available at the show.

In the shortest terms possible, it's a relaunching of the series. For the last two years or so I've been working on new story pages, the actual Part II to this comic:



DEAD AND CONFUSED, Pt 1 is a continuation of the El Muerto origin story, this installment finding Diego de La Muerte on a journey into Mexico to try to discover some sort of answers on why he was transformed into a pawn by the Aztec God of Death, Miclantehcuhtli. While there, he gets involved in a circus, one featuring a now-out-of-vogue 'freak show'. Here's a sample page from Part 1:

That book was published in 2008! So yes, it's been a long time coming in releasing the conclusion. (As a lesson to any aspiring comics creator, I would strongly advise against having such a glacial place in between issues....). So as I mentioned I've been working on the conclusion of the story. Pt 2 runs about 60 pages, I just need to finish some details on some pages and then scan and letter them all. Here's a camera shot of one of the new pages:


So my plan was to collect the earliest two El Muerto comics (seen below) and both Parts 1 and 2 of DEAD AND CONFUSED into a paperback collection and finally present to the world the complete initial story to El Muerto.


But the more I thought about it (and believe, I gave it serious deliberation) the more I realized that if I was going to publish a whole new book, a graphic novel of El Muerto, then it was best I produce a worthy product. The art in both EL MUERTO THE AZTEC ZOMBIE (2002) and EL MUERTO MISHMASH (2004) was done very early in my comics career. In fact, the origin story in EL MUERTO THE AZTEC ZOMBIE was reprinted from the very first El Muerto comic, the b&w photocopied book from 1998 shown below:



Judging the old stories against the new material I've been working on, the fact was that the earlier stuff doesn't hold up and would in fact provide a lesser reading experience than the newer work. The whole point of the book collection is for people to enjoy one long story about the character, so the decision was made that I would redraw the origin storyline, how he actually becomes El Muerto. I didn't really change any of the details, but I did expand the story to include a lot more about Diego's childhood and early friendships and romance. A much stronger debut for the character, and like I've mentioned, much more in keeping with my level of storytelling I'm at now. Here's a lettered page from the upcoming story:


 

I know that ultimately I'm making the right decision for the material. I always criticize whenever someone goes back and tries to fix old work (filmmakers like George Lucas come to mind). But here I am presenting a new work, a complete graphic novel, so I feel the best thing to do is provide the reader with the best experience possible. Comic book storytelling isn't hindered by money or technology, like a film might be. One improves as a writer and an artist, and it's that reasoning that allows me to want to make my story as cohesive as possible. There will be a section in the middle of this book that was done in 2008 (Part 1 of DEAD AND CONFUSED), but with some minor touch-ups I feel they'll blend in with the new material. I guess the reader will have their own opinion, ultimately, but on my end, as the creator, I'm putting out something I believe in. So stay tuned here for more updates, as I'll be announcing a pre-order campaign shortly.

It's not a reboot or a re-imagining (not my favorite words, by a long shot!), but it's bringing new life to an existing idea.

A resurrection!