Arts

Latino Comics Expo makes its
first appearance in San Jose

Jessica Eastburn ELEMENTAL: 'Water,' one of five images in Jose Cabrera's series depicting the elements. Cabrera will be showing his work at the Latino Comics Expo this weekend.

Long before Frank Miller mapped out his first edition of Sin City or R. Crumb put his pen to a pad, Mayan scribes were hard at work compiling some of the first stories ever told using pictures scrawled on paper codices—books, as we call them today.

Most people will never get to hold one of those historic artifacts, but you can certainly get your fill of modern Latino graphic art this weekend when the Latino Comics Expo (LCX) makes its first ever stop in San Jose.

This Saturday and Sunday, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library at San Jose State University will host the fifth LCX since 2011. The event will highlight Latino comic book and graphic artists both in the U.S. and abroad. Special guests will include brothers Gilbert, Jaime and Mario Hernandez, who together created the Love and Rockets series—one of the first major works to emerge from the alternative comics movement during the '80s.

While the Hernandez brothers certainly have name recognition in the alternative comics world, Mario Hernandez says the work of his brothers, Gilbert and Jaime, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to talented Latino graphic artists. "I show up every year for the exposition," he says. "I get to meet a lot of cool Hispanic artists, and lots of really nice people still hacking away at this stuff."

Latino Comics Expo

Expo co-founder Javier Hernandez (no relation to the Hernandez brothers) says he doesn't understand why no one had organized an event centered around Latino comics before he and LCX Executive Director Ricardo Padilla launched their expo. "I'm surprised no one had done it before," Hernandez says. "We try to highlight Latino artists' amazing contributions to comics and related fields like pop art and animations—as well as creating mainstream superhero comics, Aztec myths or slices of life."

Hernandez and Padilla first began working on the festival in Los Angeles. "L.A. is ground zero for Latino culture," Hernandez says. It took some time to get organized, but now that they are on their fifth event in a little over three years, he says he and Padilla are looking toward growing the festival and sharing the prolific output of the Latino comics and graphic artist community with everyone.

"You don't have to be Latino to be here," Javier Hernandez stresses. "It's a great place to come for the weekend, and we'd love to see you."

Latino Comics Expo

Oct 11, 10am-6pm; Oct 12, 1pm-6pm, Free

Martin Luther King, Jr. Library


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