Chicanos are becoming a more established – and hopefully permanent – fixture at San Diego Comic-Con. With the year’s biggest ode to geek culture taking place last week, Chicanos continued carving out a space for themselves in this community through three important events.
The first day of SDCC featured the convention’s first-ever Chicano Comics and Public Art in San Diego panel, according to cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz, who gleefully tweeted from the event.
Along with Alcaraz, SDCC brought in some heavy hitters with other panelists David Favela – founder of Chicano Con – and illustrator Joaquin Junco. Moderator and Chicano Park curator Mario Torrero rounded out the panel. In a community with so much pride in its Chicano identity – this year they celebrated the 46th anniversary of the iconic and mural heavy Chicano Park – this panel amplified the voices of artists who don’t necessarily have the platform their talent deserves.
The Times of San Diego‘s Luis Monteagudo Jr. reports that the panelists discussed the continued growth of Latino art in the community. Alcaraz explained that while success for Latino artists is “few and far between,” he’s optimistic because of the forward momentum they keep experiencing. Just this past year, Alcaraz, who runs Pocho.com and has a nationally syndicated comic strip in “La Cucaracha,” got one of his largest boosts through Fox’s Bordertown TV show – though it was canceled after one season. He’ll also work on Pixar’s Dia de Muertos flick, Coco. Alcaraz vows to continue fighting for Chicano artists. On Twitter, he announced that he’s working to make the Chicano chat a yearly SDCC panel.
In the meantime, they all have Barrio Logan, a neighborhood that nurtures Latino artists and provides hope. And it’s exactly in this heavily Latino neighborhood where many were led after Comic-Con. The second-annual Chicano Con took place on Saturday in Barrio Logan. Favela helped craft the perfect day to highlight Latino superheroes and comics at Border X Brewing, which he owns. Chicano Batman, horchata beer, and expressions of Latino creativity entertained families. And children received free comic books, an important gesture to Favela because comics helped him learn English when he moved to the U.S. from Mexico.
By 8 p.m. La Prensa San Diego’s headquarters became the scene of the Comic Con Huevos Art Party, with an impressive display combining lights, art, technology, and music. Here’s how San Diego celebrated Chicano art last weekend: