042407 - San Francisco Alternative Press Expo
Senor Ira, with the Lady Janice by his side, getting ready to work the crowd and push some Hot Mexican Love on Saturday, day 1 of the expo.
A preview of the 2007 issue's cover, courtesy of Mr. Rodney Clouden.
10 minutes into day one and someone's already wearing the hat. Pretty awesome, I think.
Albert working hard to satisfy his adoring fans.
The man. The myth. The legend. Rob Goodin.
The guy who dressed up as the Angel at last year's San Diego con is back. This time, he brought a friend.
They were back about an hour later. Funny story, you would think that people who take the time to dress in costumes like this would have relatively easy going attitudes. They were all smiles when they walked up to our booth but the mood got chilly fast when Albert asked if they were married. Parading around in ridiculous costumes. . . . no problem! Ask if they're married. . . . party's over!
Our usual tactic for selling Hot Mexican Love Comics is to pretty much harass everyone lucky enough to walk by our table and not letting them leave until they buy an issue. It's surprisingly effective. I spotted this guy on the right and dragged him to the table, like usual, but it turned out that he was there as some kind of Graphic Novel class field trip or something. As an old man of 33, it struck me as kind of cool that some schools actually offer a class in Graphic Novel storytelling because they certainly didn't have anything like that when I was in school. When I was in school, if I wanted a fun elective class, my options were Ceramics or Welding. Yay. Anyway, some of his classmates showed up and were kind enough to buy another copy.
After flipping through an issue of Hot Mexican Love Comics, our new student friends were so possessed by the spirit of hot mexican love that they danced the Jarabe Tapatío right there! Also known as the Mexican hat dance, gringos.
This guy flew all the way from England to buy a copy of Hot Mexican Love. Now that's a fan.
I wasn't able to take nearly as many pictures as I wanted to on Day 1. It was pretty hectic with people checking out our booth all day long. But hey, that's a good thing, right? Hoping to have more of that same magic for Day 2, we asked our good friend Rafael Navarro of Sonambulo fame to bless our table.
Now, this is an interesting shot. That's Dylan on the left and Annie on the right. They're total strangers but they happened to find our booth at the same time. Ira was telling them both of the romantic powers contained in each and every issue of Hot Mexican Love Comics and how our comics have been known to bring couples together. At this point, Dylan introduced himself to Annie. For a split second, it seemed like there was going to be an honest to God love connection at our booth. If that had happened, we could've just packed up our stuff and go home because our work would've be done. But alas, it wasn't meant to be as I saw Annie with some other guy later on. Better luck next time, Dylan.
Not only does this guy have excellent taste in beer, he also has excellent taste in comics. He's holding a copy of the Hot Mexican Love Comics Sketchbook (new for 2007!) with a sketch of Vincente Fernandez on the back, courtesy of Mr. Albert Calleros.
Our new friend Jenn De La Vega of Mushpot Records.
Henry. 'Nuff said, true believers.
Hey, look, RayRay stopped by our table to enjoy some hot, hot, Mexican love. What or what is RayRay, you ask? RayRay is the creation of Hot Mexican Love Comics contributor Raymond Persi. Check out Mr. Persi's website for more info.
Another shot of Albert working his magic.
Always the crowd pleasure, here's Albert with some fans. The girl on the left ran some sort of custom t-shirt company and inadvertently sparked one of the more bizarre conversations of the weekend. Apparently she's a fan of seahorses, so naturally she wanted a sketch of a seahorse. Not a very Mexican image so to spice it up a little, Ira drew her a seahorse being ridden by a mustachioed chili pepper wearing a sombrero. Upon seeing this, Albert pointed out that the chili pepper had no eyes, and as everybody knows, you can't draw a chili pepper wearing a mustache and a sombrero with no eyes. Duh. The seahorse? No problem. The chili pepper with a mustache and a sombrero? No problem. No eyes on the pepper? Stop the presses! Come on Ira, you should know better!
You know, it can be really tough working a table at comic conventions. You have to keep in mind that most of the people visiting the show probably haven't heard of Hot Mexican Love and have no intention of spending their hard earned cash on something they've never seen before. Especially when there's about 100 other people pushing their unknown wares as well. So if you want to distinguish yourself from the sea of indie products, sometimes you have to come up with an angle to attract potential customers to your table. The angle for day 1? Donuts. Buy a comic, get a free donut. This turned out to be a big hit but not with potential customers, with other retailers. The retailers behind us hadn't had a chance to eat all day and asked us for donuts. One of these retailers is shown below. We didn't get her name, so we just started calling her Donut Girl.
This is Owen. He really didn't want to buy an issue. But the donuts helped seal the deal.
Jason Brubaker and his wife had the
Jason shared his table with this guy, Taik Lee, who was there selling a sketchbook he put together. Both of these guys were super cool, I hope our antics didn't disturb them too much.
Me with Maus creator Art Spiegelman. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was a little starstruck. I listened in on a panel discussion with him and Françoise Mouly discussing their time on The New Yorker magazine together. Ms. Mouly was the one who put R. Crumb on the cover of The New Yorker, she's also the one who commissioned Spiegelman's iconic black on black 9/11 tribute. I found it really fascinating. I've been reading comics my whole life and the truth is that sometimes I get caught up in what they are rather than what they could be. Meaning that I understand that the modern comic book is, for the most part, a disposable medium with no real weight or consequence (despite what your local Graphic Novel course might tell you). But the comic art form is jas unlimited now as it's ever been. You can tell any tale about anyone or anything at any time. I've always believed that everyone has a story to tell, and unfortunately most people never really get the opportunity to tell their tale. Maybe these people never really tried to find their story or it never quite came together in a way they can properly express. Who knows, the reality is that some people just never find their voice or their medium so their story goes untold. After the panel, I wanted to pick up a pencil and draw the ideas in my head, write out the story I've been writing since I was 9 years old. . . . just do something, you know? But then I remembered that I had absolutely no artistic ability and no discernable talent of any kind. So I quickly reverted back to my regular uninspired form. Anyway, the picture. . . .
All good things must come to an end. Even though it was an exhausting show, it was a lot of fun. And we didn't do too bad either. I was slightly hungover Sunday so it took me a while to get going, but all things considered, I think we did a pretty nice job. Here's Ira trying to sell just one more copy before we hit the road. . . .
San Diego Comic Con 2006