by: John Rodriguez
For nearly 4 decades Comic-Con has been the epicenter for Comic Book fans to meet and be in awe of their favorite Comic Book Writer, Artists, and other big names of the comic book publishing industry. The convention was founded in 1970 under the name “Golden State Comic Book Conventions, and since then Comic-Con has grown from its early estimated number from around 300 to an estimated 130,000 attendees. The event earns the city of San Diego over $162 million each year the convention is held.
Over the past few years the convention held in San Diego has attracted Hollywood who have come to see the yearly event as a breeding ground for the latest trends in future productions, and because of this the convention has brought forth some of the latest popular trends.
This Thursday the latest Comic-Con began, and now the latest trend this year’s convention is expected to bring forth involves the Latino community. Latino cartoon artists, editors, comic and graphic writers, actors, and directors are taking to the convention floor to present their contribution to the world of Comics.
At one of the panels, Artist David Marquez will be talking to fans about how to break into the business. Marquez is currently the artist behind the latest comic series Ultimate Spider-Man which features a biracial African-American and Puerto Rican Miles Morales as the new web-slinger. “It’s nice to be a part of a book like Ultimate Comics Spider-Man because it bucks the trend of traditionally all-white adult male lead roles, and at least starts to drag comics into being slightly more representative of both those who make and read them,” said Marquez on his view of the series he launched with co-artist Sara Pichelli and writer Brian Bendis.
Alongside Marquez taking part in the convention, other big and well-known Latino creators will be speaking on panels throughout the event. Carlos Guzman, a Hasbro editor, will be revealing upcoming plans for Transformers, Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and G.I. Joe. Artist Alitha Martinez and her creative team of The New Crusaders will discuss the comic’s upcoming prints and storylines. Sergio Aragones, a renowned cartoonist of Groo the Wanderer, will chat with fans about what’s in store for Groo.
For artist and writer Serg Hernández, who very own series entitled Arnie and Porfi was founded and printed in the LA magazine called Con Safos during the 70s, his experience in the comic book industry allows him some insight into where he sees it going, “We started in the 70s because we felt powerless and were frustrated we couldn’t get our voice into the mainstream. It’s more difficult when you’ve got a political viewpoint. Some of the guys today, who are lucky enough to get their work syndicated, succeed because they’re like green chiles with no heat—no edge. But I have hope for the future.”
“We’re making a forward movement,” said Hernández, mentioning the rise of a Latino presence of creators in the comic book industry, “We need another Stan Lee (who created Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Captain America, and other big name Marvel Titles) a brown one [Stan Lee].” Hernández’s Arnie and Porfi is currently being re-launched on the website Latinopia.com, a site dedicated to discussions pertaining to art, literature, music, food, and history of the Latino Community.
This year’s Comic-Con just started so you can expect to find out what’s going to be coming out both on printed pages and the big screen over the next few weeks.