Saturday, October 10, 2009

2nd San Gabriel Valley Comic Book Festival was a fun outing.....

After accidentally driving to the location of the old MPL (which I've been to before), I headed over to the new facility and parked above Myrtle and Foothill Rd. On my walk to the festival, carrying a box and a bag, I ran into my buddy, animator Jim "The Luge" Lujan, who was en route to get coffee. I have the lowest resistance when it comes to coffee runs, so I'm already detouring from setting up my table with a side trip to Starbucks.

Fifteen minutes later, I got to the great new library (pictured) and set up my table, sandwiched neatly between the tables of Raf "Sonambulo" Navarro (we now call him "Raffles" Navarro because it makes him sound like an Underdog villain) and Jav. At the show, I advanced-debuted CARTOON FLOPHOUSE # 2 in advance of its official debut at APE. For many of my friends in attendance, this was their first glimpse at the book, and some were shocked to see that I included my "autobio" debut, THE SECRET DOUBLE LIFE OF MICHAEL AUSHENKER, in which I finally come clean about my crazy clandestine career, which involves gangs of women, hit men, high-speed car chases, espionage, illegal arms, and other matters too controversial for general public consumption.

Jav, myself, Adonna of Agimat/ ("Shadow Candy" webcomics) and a couple other cartoonists did an indy cartooning panel. A small roomful got to hear us share our wisdom from surviving...I mean experiencing the joys of creating comic books in an industry that is more or less hostile to distributing independently produced books.

Festival highlights: aside from hanging out with my old buddies, witnessing Jav sign up his new book, "Man-Swamp," seeing Arvie and Adonna again at their beautifully executed Agimat booth, and meeting Adonna's cute little daughter, Cindy, I would have to say a surprise visit by my pal Ted Seko. Before I could sign up one of my new comics for him, he presented me with a new comic he had put together reprinting some of his work. That's what I love about cartoonists such as Ted: Ted Seko never quits! And with a guy that talented, thank goodness! Guys like Ted and Jav, constantly creating new books, and Big Jim Lujan, always ready on the draw, keep me inspired to keep creating as well (and, as a result, some would say that they should be stopped! Immediately! Ha-ha!).

A special thanks to the brand new and improved Monrovia Public Library for hosting the 2nd SGV Comics Fest, the brainchild of the Nuvein Foundation and my pal, cartoonist Javier Hernandez. It was held in correspondence with an art fair out front. Thanks as well to Renato from Nuvein and Denise the librarian, both of whom ran a smooth ship with aplomb.

On Friday, Javy, Big Jim and I will be on the road to San Francisco, bound for APE. Looking forward to a lot of fun in the Bay Area. And if you're attending APE, please stop by table 284 --the Cartoon Flophouse booth -- and check out the new comic book!

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