Comic-Con International 2018

Best Moment EVER So, Comic-Con International, also known as San Diego Comic-Con. Which is, as you may remember, my favorite convention of all times. And well, I say that every year, and every year it gets so much better.

What I adore about the convention is that it has experiences for everyone: For the professional, the fan, the collector, the struggling artist, the one who is starting to figure out what they want to do with their career, the autograph hunter.  In my case, the very first time I went there was In 2004, as press and was tasked by the magazine I worked for back then to cover the WHOLE convention. Deer in the headlights doesn’t start describing how I felt back then.

International Movie Making Panel with Frank Rodriguez, Victor Osuna, Mitch Hyman and Seb. M. Finck

Of course, things have changed.  Since that first convention, I learned how to get my professional badge, how to get a table in the Artist Alley (No, I haven’t personally had a table yet, but I have done the paperwork for at least four authors to get theirs), organize a panel, participate in the Souvenir Book  with my art, sat at portfolios reviews, was part of the Friends of Lulu Board for a while, gotten two actual jobs that I adore,  and talk at three panels now (the third one a surprise, as I was invited by the panelists literally two seconds before the panel started).  In many ways, the Comic-Con International helps me focus, re-plan my goals, and gives me the strength and the confidence to actually fight for said goals. That is not counting the amazing and wonderful people I meet every year, who are now great friends (Especial shot out to Anthony, Mark, Felipe, Alessandro and Jessica at the Asti’s and everyone at Chocolat Cremerie and the USA Hostels).

I’ve met my heroes, like Todd Nauck, Terry Moore, Chris Sanders, Baton Lash, Gail Simone, Adam Warren, Phil Jimenez, the always wonderful Lea Hernandez, Max Brooks and Art Adams, all of whom have given me advice on how to keep on going.

And of course, have seen amazing cosplayers, of all characters, and body shapes that have helped me see how body positive IS a good thing that is not at odds with wanting to be healthy or fit. Despite it’s issues, Comic-Con still is the place where you can get ALL the positivity of fandom, where you can forget for a little bit that every fandom has their bad seeds and controversies because we’re all friends, we’re all geeks, and we’re all standing on a line that we’re not quite sure it’s going to where we want to go but we’ve already spend so much time on it that we might as well see where it ends.

I can assure you that when I was 17 and made the Image on the left, I never dreamed that it would end up as part of a panel that I would give in San Diego Comic-Con about… 23 years later!

I can’t deny I’ve had some of the best experiences in San Diego every year, and to be honest, I want to share it with more and more people. I have already done so a bit in Mexico, opening Ada tours to help people get to San Diego (Visas, passports paperwork, and getting three computers to participate in the lottery when it happens at work hours for them) but today I am opening it to everyone in the world with a monthly FREE newsletter where you will get tips, important dates and everything I can think of to help you have the best Comic-Con every year… just as I have.

So, Sign up for Ada Tours right here!

And now, some Cosplay:

Spooky Empire Experience

The Cosmic Family 2017 Halloween picture. Grandpa is still confused about all the proceedings.

On October 27 to 29 I had the chance to be with Mandi Gordon (my writer on Writer’s Block and editor for Dragon Run as well as my dear friend) in our very first american convention as sellers, Spooky Empire at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando.

We went as Kaliko Dragon, our joint effort (As hers alone is Dragon Crest, and mine… well, you’re here in Calico Chimera) and had a blast. We had Dream Keeper Robin 1 and 2, Dragon Run and the very first Writer’s Block compilation for sale, as well as a ton of brand new prints (seriously, the only “old” one was the Sugar Skull Horsemen, that is still available in Mexico through my Calico Chimera store and will be available for everywhere else soon at the Kaliko Dragon store)

Isn’t he adorable? His hoard consists of books, movies, and coffee. Lots of coffee.

Now, Spooky Empire is a convention specialized in horror. So I wasn’t quite sure of how things would work and a bit nervous. Still, Mandi didn’t need to pull me out from under the table at any time and I even go to the Celebrity autograph hall on Sunday without being poked too hard by her so that was a win against my usual anxiety. But people did like our stuff, and they were all very nice when talking to us. I saw a Ton of great cosplay, some of which I had never seen before -ok, so there was an overflow of Pennywises. That was to be expected. But they were great Pennywises. Funny thing about the Pennywises… at some point, they started to lose their balloons. So the roof of the Hyatt was filled with floating red balloons. Between that and the Freddy Krueger mannequin that I swore was moving on it’s own as every time I lifted my head was in a different position, the atmosphere was amazing (Later I found out that Mand asked the people with the mannequin to move it, just to freak me a bit. I loved that because it proved that I was right: it WAS moving)

We were joined by the amazing Amelia Poole, Harlequinarts (https://www.facebook.com/harlequinartscosplay ) as our official Janna, Horsewoman of War.  And she was perfect! I am almost 90% sure she didn’t kill anyone or started some conflict at the times she didn’t have coffee, but trust me, Mandi and I could have a full spinoff Janna strip with all the hijinks going around. You can check her page for more pictures, but at the end of the post you can see some (she still won’t tell me how she got those red balloons).

I could only see Richard Dreyfuss from afar (he had a TON of people all the time), and didn’t have the chance to see John Cusack, Molly Ringwald or Anthony Michael Hall. Fairuza Balk looks JUST as she did in The Craft, I swear (I also saw her from a distance). On the other hand, Eileen Dietz is a great lady, really funny, and Ken Foree already had me as a fan for life, now even more so. John Kassir was really fun, and, to my eternal glee, Jamison Newlander bought Writer’s Block! That made my day. I also had the chance to say hi to Jaeden Lieberher, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor and Sophia Lillis. All of them  were amazingly professional -still staying long past the time they were supposed to sign autographs in order to accommodate everyone-, and really nice.

All in all, I loved the experience and can’t wait to go back to Orlando again. Florida man stories aside, everyone was really nice and welcoming! So if you’re a fan of horror, definitively hit the May edition of Spooky. Can’t promise Kaliko Dragon and Calico Chimera will be there -as we’re totally doing Conque in Mexico- but I can assure you you will have fun.

(BTW, all the pictures taken with an obviously better camera and an obviously better photographer were taken by Mandi Gordon)

The Happy Universe Family, plus LapizMerida had a small archery incident...

Castiel and Dean from SupernaturalFamily Free WillWotan came to visitWith his friends, Lord Hades and Lady Persephone

The Pennywise Parade…

And now… some fun with Janna

 

Batgirl through the Ages

I love Batgirl. She and Wonder Woman were the very first superheroes I ever saw in my life, and both taught me that girls can be heroes too and don’t need to be damsels in disgrace.

First it was Barbara Fierro (Mexican Dubs back then changed all the names, so the Gordons became the Fierros), and her ballet dancing style. Her secret hideout behind her vanity, the fact that she could fight with a long wig… I loved her so much that I was devastated when I started reading comics and found out that I was a bit too late to read Batgirl’s adventures as she had been crippled by the Joker (Later on, I found the glorious pre-crisis stories where she fought, among other things, snake women and teamed up with Supergirl).

But as I read more and more comics, and time passed on, she became Oracle, and kicked ass. She was better than any superhero in my book, because she used her own smarts and not powers granted by biology or luck.

A new Batgirl arrived. And I have to say, I liked Cassandra Cain (not portrayed here) but she wasn’t completely my Batgirl. As much as I love Oracle, I missed Barbara.

Then came Nu52. And while I am not very happy about the way Barbara was magically cured (We do also need heroes in wheelchairs), I can’t deny I was thrilled at seeing her take the cape again, and written by the amazing Gail Simone.

But it wasn’t until Batgirl of Burnside when I got to have FUN with Barbara’s adventures again. I know it’s controversial to say this, but I adored the original run. It was everything I’d have loved in a comic when I was a teen and more.

Which is why, when San Diego Comic Con announced that they were having an anniversary special for Batgirl in their Souvenir Book, I had to participate. And I couldn’t just pick one version of Batgirl, as they all are important to me. So this piece was born.

See you at Spooky Empire

As I write this, I am a little nervous. See, although I have been to a whole lot of conventions in my country, and I love going as an attendee to San Diego Comic-con, I’ve never had a table at an American convention. Well, until now.

I’m very happy to tell you guys that if you happen to be in Florida from October 27 to October 29, please come to Spooky Empire, the greatest Horror-themed convention in the USA.

(no, seriously, they have the BEST guests)

http://www.spookyempire.com/

And once you’re there, please come to visit me at the Kaliko Dragon table in the Artist Alley (I will be doing an announcement about Kaliko Dragon pretty soon too). We (that’s Mandi Gordon and I) will have Writer’s Block merchandize, Dream Keeper Robin #1 and #2, Traveling Seers books 1 and 2, and a lot more! Including a set of 4 absolutely new and never seen horror-themed prints. This is a detail of the first, and I’ll show details of the others in myfacebook page and instagram, but to see the full thing (And buy it if you like it), you’ve got to be at Spooky.

See you there!

Comic-Con International: San Diego

This is, by far, my favorite convention. Sure, it’s the only one I’ve gone to in the USA and I have never been there as a seller, but there’s some special kind of magic to Line-con (as some people call it… with good reason. This year I witnessed a Line-inception: A line to get into a line to get into a raffle to get a ticket to get into a line… to get into a line) that so far I haven’t seen anywhere else.

Sure, it has it’s bad sides (you can find those complains somewhere else in the net) but for me, the good sides overcome all. Sure, I still have to manage to get to any offsite besides the one that is on front of the Tin-fish (This year it was Midnight Texas, with an amazing haunted house set up that made me want to see the show despite not having been a big fan of True Blood), and the line to the Netflix experience makes sure I will never get that swag (I have a rule: No line longer than 15 minutes will see my feet unless the other end has Muppets), but at the same time people in San Diego are AMAZING (Shout out to the staff at Asti’s and Chocolate, as well as the USA Hostel’s great people both staff and guests) and what I could go to in the con was… well, magical.

Every year since, I think, 2011, I’ve sent a pic to the Souvenir Book. Except for 2013 where my Turtles homage didn’t get in, I’ve always been lucky to be chosen. This year was Batgirl… one day I’ll tell you about the creation of this image:

Last year I was a translator at the Conque: Walls or Bridges conference. That was great as holy shit, we had a surprise appearance by none other than Stan “The man” Lee, but I was still not really part of that panel. I was just there to parrot back words in a language everyone understood. THIS year I was the organizer and part of the conference team in the Small Press beyond the Border panel, together with Fers from Fixia Studio (Soulkeepers), Gina Chacon, Adriana de la Torre and Alejandra Zuñiga (from Studio XIII), and moderated by Martin Arceo (Santos Comics), and it was INCREDIBLE. People were very interested to hear about the challenges and problems to publish comics in Mexico, under the shadow of the huge american industry, as well as the whole way in which our industry has evolved. We started with about half the room full, finished to a full house. I still CAN’T believe it, but can’t wait to organize more round tables like this. Maybe one with an american small press publisher to compare experiences!

(I am also wearing a dress. It’s the first dress I’ve worn in about… 20 years or so)

Cosplay was great too. I love hunting Doctors (I started with Doctor Who, then expanded. If you are wearing a character with a doctorate Cosplay, I want a picture of you!), but this year I also loved getting shots of Moanas, Mauis and Ruffios (I will update the pictures as soon as I get my Ipad to cooperate!)

All in all, I can’t wait to go back… maybe this time as an exhibitor and not just as attendee!