Friday, August 05, 2016

Latino Comics Expo coming to Long Beach: August 6-7

A big congratulations to the Latino Comics Expo going on this weekend as they celebrate their fifth anniversary in Long Beach at the Museum of Latin American Art. Germs, Rhode Montijo, Bernyce Talley and Jandro Gamboa are some of the talented artists who are part of this year's expo.

The expo has its roots back in 2011 when it was held on May 7-8 at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco.

In their first year, over a dozen Latin American cartoonists were in attendance, making it a historic gathering. The participants had a chance to watch interviews with the artists in addition to panels and other programming. This year there are several artists who are going to be coming in for the very first time such as Mayan Gil, Sadhaka Studio, Axel Ortiz and Randy Martinez. They're putting forward some deeply imaginative work, and I wonder where they'll be in the decades ahead.

The Latino Comics Expo Los Angeles will be held the weekend of August 6 and 7 at the Museum of Latin American Art. The event runs from 11am-5pm, both days. MOLAA is located at 628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802. Admission to the Museum grants you entry to the Expo, panels and workshops.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the Latino Comics Expo goes because I think there may be much we can learn about their process, their challenges, and what they see as the opportunities ahead. I'm curious to see what are some of the unexpected areas where their experience intersects with that of Lao Americans, and what issues are largely unique to them.

Might we one day see an era where our Lao American comic book artists and writers have hit a critical mass that an interesting conversation can be held? Might we have enough to convene a Lao American Comics Expo? There's parts of me that say we're very close, and other parts that make me think we still have a few years to go.

But I think it's inspiring to see they've been able to build up this tradition and to find support for this work. More observations to follow...

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