Latino Comics Expo’s 5th Anniversary Show at MOLAA to Counter Mainstream Comic Culture • Long Beach Post

latinocomicsexpoThe Latino Comics Expo, first held five years ago at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, will take place at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) for its fifth anniversary show on Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7, from 11:00AM to 5:00PM both days.

“The great thing is that most of the artists that have already been established, the majority of them established themselves by self-publishing,” said Gabriela Martinez, curator of education at MOLAA, regarding the creatives scheduled to attend the expo.

To be held in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibition, Artists Assemble, a collection of sketches, panels, comic books, digital images and illustrations from artists whose work is excluded from mainstream comic book culture, the Latino Comics Expo seeks to highlight the creativity of creators whose work reflects Latino culture.

“The argument is always like, ‘Well, it’s not going to be appealing to a universal audience,’” Martinez continued. “And so [the artists] face that same issue with Latino comics, where people [think they’re] focusing on these traditions like Day of the Dead or these cultural traditions that are very specific to Mexicans, that it’s not going to appeal to a universal audience. So these artists took it into their own hands.”

Meet your favorite artists and discover new ones during the Artist Marketplace at the Balboa Events Center, to take place from 11:00AM to 5:00PM throughout the entire two-day expo, where you can take home original comic books, prints, posters and other creative works.

JavierHernandez ElMuerto LowResSaturday will include lectures and panels with artists starting at noon and lasting until 4:30PM, including panelist Keith Rainville, publisher of lucha libre zine From Parts Unknown and screenwriter of Los Campeones de la Lucha Libra.

Other artists attending the expo include Richard Dominguez, who created El Gato Negro, one of the early 1990s self-published Latino comic book characters, Jose Cabrera, an illustrator, cartoonist and the graphic designer for the expo and Andrew Huerta, the artist on Dynamite Entertainment’s upcoming title Homies, among so many more notable creators.

“Counter to what a lot of mainstream publishers might think these are stories that everyone can identify with,” said Martinez.

Sunday’s festival promises to be a day jam-packed with activities, competitions, panels and lectures, starting at 11:00AM with registration for the Latino Cosplay Contest, where participants 10 and up can dress up like a Latino comic book character or superhero, or a character they’ve invented themselves or a mainstream character with a Latino twist. Prizes will be awarded to the best costumes.

Lasting until 4:00PM will be art workshops, demonstrations, face painting, music by DJ Gomez Comes Alive in the sculpture garden, as well as food and craft vendors to keep you energized throughout the day. Docent tours will take place at 2:00PM and the Latino Cosplay Contest will take place from 3:00PM to 4:00PM.

The Latino Comics Expo is free with paid museum admission on Saturday and free on Sunday. For more information visit the website here or Facebook page here.

Flyer courtesy of Latino Comics Expo.

Image (right) of El Muerto by Javier Hernandez, courtesy of MOLAA, on view in Artists Assemble.

MOLAA is located at 628 Alamitos Avenue.

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