Well, it was that time of year again. On Sunday, Sept. 19, a gaggle of gag cartoonists, animators, authors and comic book artists reunited to hawk their wares at the 3rd Annual San Gabriel Valley Comic Book Festival, sponsored by Nuvein Foundation, at the Cuban Club in El Monte.
Here are my tablemates and two of my best friends, fellow CARTOON FLOPHOUSE cartoonist Jose Cabrera of CRYING MACHO MAN fame and Rich Carradine, author of the book THE PARK AFTER DARK, rife with Disneyland ghost stories and illustrations. The three of us rode down to do the show from the Miracle Mile district.
At my table, I sold the usual: a plethora of Greenblatt the Great! gag cartoons and El Gato, Crime Mangler comics. However, the newest book I had on sale, the all-ages SILLY GOOSE, was my biggest seller this time around.
The guy with his back to the camera was cool: Frank Hansen, a talented animated cartoonist. What you can't see is that he's sporting an old school Woody Woodpecker hat! Suh-WEET!
Another best friend, the great Javier Hernandez, continues to expand his rep as the "King of Merch." He came armed with homemade dolls of Steve Ditko characters such as Spider-Man and the Creeper! Javier is a founding organizer of SGV Comics Fest and it's to his credit and efforts that this convention grows with every year. This year's fest brought about 60 to 100 people. Not bad for a grass roots show! (I'm sure this figure will double within two years!) In this photo, Jav asserts himself visually as the Edgar Allan Poe of the Cartoonistas! Creepy! Halloween and Dia de los Muertos must be just around the corner.....
When Jav isn't selling El Muerto, Aztec Zombie comics, he's naturally dabbling in what he learned in Professional Portraiture Poses 101 with fellow classmate Jim Lujan.
Rafael "Raffles" Navarro ("Sonambulo" comics) and I were extra happy to be plugging our own books and pushing our latest joint effort, GUMBY'S GANG STARRING POKEY (WildCard Ink), a full-color extravaganza starring Art Clokey's classic characters which will be out in comic book shops in November. (Look to this site for signing announcements soon!)
This was a special convention for Rich Carradine, as it was his first ever. His book, "The Park After Dark," is a byproduct of the efforts of his organization, the well-attended monthly social club GHOULA (Ghost Hunters of Urban L.A.), which he co-founded with cartoonist Lisa Strouss. Myself, Raf Navarro and Jav Hernandez will be among the cartoonists featuring work in Rich's upcoming GHOULA COMICS #1, due to debut at APE Convention in San Francisco @Halloween. (His book did really well at this show, by the way.)
Jim Lujan and Jose Cabrera are the barely smiling- and smiling macho men here. I picked up Jim's new DVD, BENCH WARRANT and his previous release, GHETTOMATION GARDEN, which I'm looking forward to digging into. I've seen many of these shorts before but there's nothing like seeing them on the plasma screen instead of on YouTube! Jim is evidently the Cartoonistas' version of the Mona Lisa.
Jose and Rich are usually pretty bored when I'm not at my booth. They might have also bickered over lost revenue due to customer poaching at the moment this shot was taken.
On the right is skeptical Sherm Cohen. Sherm is ignoring the Lady Gaga hype and continuing his career as an animator extraordinaire, now with the new FISH HOOKS on Disney Channel (debuting Friday), despite Lujan's insistence that disco is not dead and going pop over phat beats is the way to go. (Very distracting, Jim! Leave us alone with that b.s., OK?) Look for Sherm himself (not a drawing) in those FISH HOOKS shows.
Sherm used to work on SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS (heard of it?) with Ted Seko, who still storyboards the hit toon. Ted, who podcasts on comic-book industry issues regularly, can tackle any convention, and here he's hulking out after learning that someone confused him with his comic book character Billy Cole. Does this look like a flying naked baby to you, punk?
Ted is trying hard to tap into his inner Bill Bixby when yet another guy accuses Ted of practicing self-portraiture with his Billy Cole character.
"Deep breaths, deep breaths, deep breaths!"
Here, photographer Jim Lujan makes the same mistake, and this is the last thing Lujan saw before everything went black and he woke up asking for Mummy. On an aside, Ted handpainted this awesome rendition of Monster Monolith from his ATTACK OF THE SUPERMONSTERS comic just for the 3rd annual SGV Comic Fest. (It's personally my favorite of Ted's creations.)