The Latino Comics Expo, coming to the Modesto Junior College West Campus on March 15-16, isn’t just another comic-con (not that there’s anything wrong with those), MJC instructor Theresa Rojas said.
The importance of the San Francisco-based expo, which was founded in 2011 and is making its first visit to Modesto, is that it highlights Latino creators and Latino-friendly content, said Rojas, who is the event’s site director and teaches literature, creative writing, comparative media and more.
These creators see the value of connecting with readers who aren’t used to seeing themselves in comics. And the expo, which will feature scores of exhibitors, workshops, panels and more, is a huge opportunity for members of the Latino community to see themselves reflected in print and digital works, Rojas said.
“I think Latinx (a gender-neutral term sometimes used instead of Latino or Latina) creators are one the best-kept secrets in country,” she said, “and part of my mission is to get these works more accessible not just to my students but to everyone.”
The Latino Comics Expo will be held adjacent to the exhibit hall inside the Mary Stuart Rodgers, Student Learning Center at Modesto Junior College, West Campus. Admission to the Expo and all panels is free and open to the public.
FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2019
12:00pm: “Spotlight on Jaime Hernandez” A talk with the legendary, award- winning cartoonist Jaime Hernandez (The Dragon Slayer: Folk Tales from Latin America, Love and Rockets). Moderated by Ricardo Padilla
1:00pm: “Latina Power!” This annual panel highlights a variety of Latina creators. This year’s speakers are Isabel Quintero (Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide), Nicky Rodriguez (Lunares), Natasha Hernandez (St. Sucia), and Breena Nuñez Peralta (Half and Half). Moderated by Kristen Parraz (COMADRES Y COMICS Podcast)
2:00pm: “Si Se Puede: Making a Career in the Arts” Featuring Henry Barajas (La Voz de M.A.Y.O. Tata Rambo), Candy Briones (The Good, the Bad and the Bunny), Crystal Gonzalez (In the Dark), Rolando Esquivel (Mashbone and Grifty) and Francisco Arce (Ñáñaras: The Border). Moderated by Theresa Rojas
3:00pm: “Tales from La Vida” Eisner Award winning writer and scholar, Prof. Frederick Luis Aldama presents a discussion with a select group of artists who contributed to his recent anthology, Tales from La Vida. Featuring Grasiela Rodriguez (Spadra), Alberto Ledesma (Diary of a Reluctant Dreamer), Jaime Crespo (Tortilla), Eric J. Garcia (Drawing on Anger), and Amber Padilla (Ophelia). Moderated by Dr. Frederick Luis Aldama
4:00pm: “Comics in the Classroom” A discussion of the world of possibilities that comics offer in the classroom. A panel aimed at faculty, students, parents and others. Featuring Frederick Luis Aldama (Tales from La Vida, Long Stories Cut Short), Luke Martinez (The Ascendant), and Cathy Camper (Lowriders in Space, Bugs Before Time), and Hector Rodriguez III (El Peso Hero). Moderated by Dr. Theresa Rojas
5:00pm: “The Lucha Libre Panel” Lucha Libre is one of Mexico’s greatest exports, and this panel features creators whose comics feature crime-fighting, monster hunting, drop-kicking luchadores! With Jason Gonzalez (La Mano del Destino), Ray Ramos (El Valiente), Fernando de la Peña (Lucha Libre), John Narcomey (Cholo Libre) and Jandro Gamboa & Bernyce Talley (Monty Gomez, the Luchador). Moderated by Javier Solórzano (Luchismo)
SATURDAY, MARCH 16, 2019
12:00pm: “Spotlight on David Gonzalez” Native Californian and creator of the phenomenal HOMIES figurine craze shares highlights of his career and how he balances art and business. Moderated by Javier Hernandez1:00pm: “Zine Making Workshop” Cathy Camper (Lowriders in Space) and Isabel Ann Castro (St. Sucia) will present a fun, hands-on introduction to zine-making. All ages and skill levels welcome.2:00pm: “Spotlight on Gilbert Hernandez” The co-creator of the award-winning, seminal “Love and Rockets” series discusses his art in this career-spanning interview. Moderated by Dr. Frederick Luis Aldama
3:00pm: “Para Los Niños- Kids Comics!” A lively discussion on creating comics and books for the youth market. With Rhode Montijo (The Gumazing Gum Girl, The Halloween Kid), Cathy Camper (Lowriders in Space) and Jose Cabrera (Bunny and Ardilla). Moderated by Dr. Frederick Luis Aldama
4:00pm: “Spotlight on Rafael Navarro” The Daytime Emmy Award winning storyboard artist and creator of the cult comic book, Sonambulo and co-creator of Guns A’ Blazin’ joins us for a conversation and live drawing demo! Moderated by Dr. Theresa Rojas