Latino Comics Expo offers a weeklong, wide-ranging exploration of art, culture and Super Lucha Cats

Since 2011, the Latino Comics Expo has offered a wide array of panels featuring a wide array of thoughts and styles for comic artists and animators, as well as the fans that love their work. As the Expo continues this year in partnership with the Museum of Latin America Art, some things haven’t changed.

The 2020 lineup is another exceptional mix of genres and markets, ranging from kids to politics, books to zines, with a whole lot more mixed in. What has changed this year is that the expo has had to—all together now—pivot to become a strictly online event.

“[Co-founder] Ricardo [Padilla] and I held off for some time only because we were desperately hoping things would improve regarding the shutdown. But, as time went on, it just seemed like the whole year would remain closed regarding large scale public events,” said co-founder Javier Hernandez. “It turns out our friends at MoLAA were already pivoting to online events so they reached out to us and we all agreed that we could convert this year’s Expo to a virtual format. It’s this very reason we added the ‘Worldwide’ tag to the event.”

So, when a Lucha Libra Comics roundtable, featuring Javier Solorzano (Luchisimo, Super Lucha Cats), Rafael Navarro (Sonambulo), J.Gonzo (La Mano del Destino), Jandro Gamboa (Monty Lopez is The Luchador) and Carlo Flores (The Mighty Luchador) takes place at noon on Tuesday, it will take place via Zoom. As will the following presentation, an evening panel called Queer Voices and New Frontiers, discussing an increase in works by and for queer people, especially members of the Latinx community, featuring Josh Trujillo (Lost Beast, Found Friend) joined by Terry Blas (Hotel Date), and Jacoby Salcedo (Frontera), which starts at 7 p.m.

Lalo Alcarez, creator of La Cucaracha, will be in conversation about political cartooning during the Latino Comics Expo.

The following day, Wednesday, features a discussion of Comics in the Classroom, with four college instructors weighing in on the opportunities presented by comics for critical thinking, storytelling and global context. A few hours later, there will be a discussion about political cartooning featuring one of Mexico’s top political cartoonist, Gonzalo Rocha, in conversation with local treasure Lalo Alcaraz of La Cucaracha.

It goes on like this for days, well, a whole week, actually, finishing up Saturday evening with Expo co-founder Javier Hernandez in discussion with legendary cartoonist Jaime Hernandez about the groundbreaking Love & Rockets comic book series.

“I take great pride in our panels, and I’ve been organizing our panels from when we started, back in 2011,” Javier Hernandez said. “Some, like the ‘Latina Power!’ have been around since the beginning. Our goal every year is to provide a wide spectrum of presentations, as our audiences have diverse interests themselves. I think of the creators we’d like to invite to an event and formulate a panel based on their expertise.”

For a full view of all those panels and expertise, and to watch and listen, click here.

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Steve Lowery began his journalism career at the Los Angeles Times, where he planned to spend his entire career. God, as usual, laughed at his plans and he has since written for the short-lived sports publication The National, the L.A. Daily News, the Press-Telegram, New Times LA, the District and the OC Weekly. He is the Arts & Culture Editor for the Post, overseeing the Hi-lo.
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