One of the first guys I got to talk to at Comicon was Henry Barajas from Tucson, who writes and letters for Evil Robo Productions, home of Ash-Tray Comics. (Barajas wrote the story for "Dwight Danger: Zombie Hunter" in their upcoming comic shown below.) He surprised me by being friendly and funny when I was half-expecting to get attitude--because, surely, everyone could see that I was a fraud, and didn't know anything about comics…
He showed me the comic preview of "El Loco," his story (inked by Arnie Bermudez) of a migrant worker who gets turned into a hero by the interaction between lightning and pesticides. He uses his power to fight against drug dealers, and tries to stop the boss, a monster known as Chupacabra. Unfortunately, he's picked up by ICE, and interrogated by an eyepatch-wearing old white guy in a suit named Arpaio (surely not Phoenix's Sheriff Joe of the same name). It's tongue-in-cheek super-hero action heavy with Mexican and chicano cultural references. (George Lopez vs. Carlos Mencia--which does Chupacabra favor?)
|copyright Evil Robo|
As he signed a copy, the author joked that he was setting the cause back years. Of course I disagreed. But I found it easy to agree with something he wrote on his blog: "Phoenix Comicon was a burst of inspiration and the much needed creative jolt. I think for everyone around me. Everyone I know that came from the event was just reminded how awesome it is to create."
I felt exactly the same way, and was glad to find it expressed so clearly by a local (well, same state) indie artist that I'm rooting for. It's creators like Henry Barajas and the artists at Evil Robo, and other indie and small-press comic makers, that remind us that original, entertaining and inspiring art is brought into the world by regular people living down the street from us.
Appreciate what other people are doing, and create something on your own.
I like that plan.