By Michael Dominguez
Many different styles and cultures from Latino artists were brought together to create the Latino Comics Expo.
Javier Hernandez, the co-founder of the expo, was also a vendor at the expo. He wanted the show to be focused on Latino comic creators. Hernandez has been creating comic books for years and knows a lot of Latino artists, which led to his first show in San Francisco in 2011.
“It has expanded from 12 to 15 tables from when it had first started, now there are 55 tables and some of (the artists) are sharing tables,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said the differences between the big comic cons in San Diego and the others we see in mainstream media. “You find comics from Latinos and the culture and Mexican folklores,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez also said that one day he would like to be involved in streaming content for his own comics. When speaking with a few people, they said that a Latino comic book is more relatable to readers than what is seen in regular comics from the stores.
One of those stories was one from Louie Galvez, who is in the process of trying to get his comic about masked wrestlers published. Galvez said that he got the ideas during his childhood from watching wrestling and also from when he wrestled in the backyard. “They (family members) would wrestle on an old couch and use a chair as a prop like in Mexican wrestling,” Galvez said.
One of the artists at the expo was former East Los Angeles College student Jose Guillen. Guillen’s book, “Sketch-O-Nomics,” displays different accounts of his work. “There are some folks walking around campus, for sure, that would make great characters,” Guillen said. When asked if he will ever create a comic book about ELAC, Guillen said “I definitely will use some of the experiences I’ve had here. There is a lot of material to mine from ELAC, but nothing in the near future.”
Guillen also spoke on the differences between a Latino comic book and a comic book from Marvel or DC. “I think there can be differences. Latino or Latina creators do have a say in today’s market, but are often not at the forefront,” Guillen said. “You have to look deeper, support those creators that are producing culturally-based products or you can choose not to.”
The Latino comic book expo brings a lot of culture from all the Latino heritages. For the comic book reader, they are able to relate and be able to make memories from however they grew up and be able to read it in a comic book form.