San Diego Comic Con Wrap Up

Ahh, July.

Each year, not only does it supply us with horrible stories of illegal fireworks and mutilated teenagers, it also brings with it the San Diego Comic Convention. Which is great because that means it's time to get off my ass and start hustling the last issue of Hot Mexican Love Comics.

We've had a new book each summer for the last 3 years so usually I head down to San Diego for the whole weekend in order to pimp the book to its fullest but this year, with the addition of Jazzy Jake to the Hot Mexican Love family, I knew that I wouldn't be able to go for the entire weekend. Picking my spot, I figured that I'd be able to be the most help on Saturday since that's usually the busiest day. I wanted to get there bright and early as soon as the doors open on Saturday so I left my place around 9:30pm on Friday night.

It's usually a two hour drive from the San Fernando Valley to San Diego so I wasn't too worried about the trip. I had a recently renewed Sirius radio contract, a fully stocked iPod, a bottle of Dr. Pepper and a large packet of Skittles (mmmm, sugar rush) so I was good to go. Traffic's light around that time so I was making good time until I hit Long Beach where the 405 turned in a single lane due to unforeseen "police activity" (thanks KNX 1070!) It only pushed me a hour back turning my two hour drive into a three hour drive which normally wouldn't be a huge deal but I popped the Skittles early into my trip so by the time I hit downtown San Diego, I was crashing fast. It's now 1:30am, I'm tired, cranky and in need of sleep. Or a beer.

I got the hotel info from Bean Robot the day before I left but I forgot the exact address. No worries, I'm a resourceful guy, I'll use my navigation system. Brilliant! .....or not. The hotel we were staying at was recently purchased by another local chain so at that particular time, there were two hotels with the same name. Not paying attention to this, I park my car five blocks from where I'm told the hotel was. I sling my bags over my shoulder, grab the awkwardly-sized box of comics I brought with me and start walking. I get to the properly named hotel and call Bean Robot who informs me that I went to the wrong location. The correct hotel, one with the same name mind you, was literally across the street from where I parked. I was just too tired to notice.

Once everything's straightened out I quickly realized that I'm now even more tired, even more cranky and even more in need of sleep. Bean Robot suggests we go to the hotel bar, which sounds like a fantastic idea to me. But by the hotel mess got figured out, it was now well past 2:00am. In other words, it's off to bed.

The next morning, we seemed to get off to an slow start. Four of us were working the six foot table which meant that we were a little cramped. This was Angry Bob's first full convention with us and I've got to say, he did a great job. He worked the West Hollywood Book Fair with us last September but the San Diego Comic Con is an entirely different animal. It's the biggest comic convention in the country and over the last few years, it's grown to encompass far more than just comics and it's packed with so many people. The aisles are just packed with people so the convention is a pain in the ass just to attend, to work it is even worse.

Truth be told, every single year I dread the convention. Because like I said, it's a pain in the ass. We're usually stuck there at our table, pushing the comic and we rarely get the opportunity to actually see the rest of the convention of meet up with friends who we know are at the convention as well. But this year, Angry Bob changed all that. Having a fourth person there really freed us up to work in rotations, something we never really had the chance to do. I think all of us got the opportunity to stretched our legs and walk around for a bit. Which was really cool.

The show itself was cool. Like I mentioned, it started out slow to us but after a while we realized that it only seemed that way. Before we knew it, we were on pace to sell more issues than we'd ever had before. But none of seemed difficult. We were all so.... relaxed. Man, the difference an extra body makes. And that is the power of Angry Bob.

We met some really interesting people too. I got interviewed by a Spanish language newspaper from San Diego that wanted to talk to me about racism in comics. I tried to rope Bean Robot into the conversation but I think he exited stage left as soon as he realized that it was semi-serious. I don't blame him, I was planning to do the exact same thing to him. I'm interested to see how the article came out but I'm not exactly holding my breath. Last year, we got interviewed by four different outlets, including NPR, and none of those ever surfaced. To my knowledge, at least.

As always, my favorite feature of the convention are the costumes. Every year, a large number of convention goers show up dressed as their favorite comics/film/animated character, sometimes with fantastic results, other times they go horribly awry. In either case, I figure one reason these people dress up is a little shameless self-promotion so if they're going to whore themselves out anyway, why not get them to promote our book at the same time? It's a win-win!

Here are a few of my favorite pics this year....

Angry Bob with a personal convention favorite, the authentically Mexican star of Futurama, Bender B. Rodriguez.

The White Queen didn't need her psychic powers to see what was on Bean Robot's mind. His thoughts were written all over his pants.

Playboy.com's Melany Denyse. Click here to see a shot on Playboy.com of the hard-working HMLC crew with Ms. Denyse. Warning: Don't click that link while at work, kids!

Face it, tiger, you just hit the jackpot! (The first person who writes in to say that Mary Jane Watson actually said that, not the Black Cat, is a NERD.)

Our latest celebrity endorsement! Diedrich Bader, formerly of The Drew Carey Show, and the voice of Batman in the upcoming Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series shows off his HMLC fanhood.

This guy asked if we wanted his wings on or off for the photo. Oh, definitely on.

The Teen Titans' Hawk & Dove were very excited to find our booth. Very excited. Especially Dove there on the left.

And while we're on the subject of thinly veiled phallic symbols.... here's Plastic Man.

Chewbacca? More like COOLbacca.

Order your copy of HMLC early enough and you can even get it in a galaxy far, far away.

Cobra Commander and the first woman I ever truly loved (dude, seriously, The Baroness was hot) are shocked by the depravity of the latest issue.

Hellloooooooo Kitty

These little ladies were at the con promoting the cosplay café, Royal/T in Culver City. According to their flyer, Royal/T is Los Angeles' first meido kissa restaurant which basically means that the service staff there dress as, and I quote, "elegant maids." I'm told that the café primarily caters to otaku, aka obsessive anime fans. Sounds positively pedo-rific to me.

Oh, hey. What's up, Michelangelo?

I think this Rorschach costume looks better than one I saw in the Watchmen trailer.

Wonder Woman and Awesome-X. Booosh!

All in all, it was a great show. I haven't heard the final numbers from Señor Ira yet but the early word is that this was our most successful year yet. The aforementioned shot glasses (a convention exclusive!) were a tremendous success. Truth be told, I wasn't 100% on board as far as the shot glasses were concerned. I wasn't completely convinced that they were a product worthy of the HMLC brand name and I was pretty vocal about it within the HMLC nucleus. Luckily for me that Bean Robot and Señor Ira recognize that I usually have no idea what I'm talking about.

While I'm at it, I want to give a very special thanks to Señor Ira. He's usually the taskmaster that has to put everything together, from cracking the whip on the creators, to getting the hotel rooms, to dealing with the tax collecting section of the City's Office of Finance. Playing the bad guy is a thankless job but without Ira, Hot Mexican Love Comics never would've emerged from it's 10 year hiatus. It may seem like some of us need a break from each other by the time an issue is published but we've all had a tremendous amount of fun because of the book and it's due to Ira. So gracias, Señor.

So what's next for Hot Mexican Love Comics? Nothing. For now. Contrary to previous reports, I think we're going to skip this year's West Hollywood Book Fair in September and concentrate on our appearance at the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco in November. I do believe we'll have something new for the APE show, possibly a brand new sketchbook.

Stay tuned for updates, true believers!


God's In His Heaven....

....And all's right with the world.

It was announced yesterday that the Lakers have signed Sasha Vujacic to a three year deal worth $15 million. The word is that he was courted by a number of European teams but opted to stay in Los Angeles. What a surprise!

And lo, the mancrushes rejoiced.


Comic Con Update

Here is the updated info for our appearance at this year's San Diego Comic Con....

We'll be in the Small Press area, Table N8. The convention starts on Thursday and runs through Sunday. I believe that Señor Ira and Angry Bob will be manning the table, or as Señor Ira says "manhandling the table," starting Thursday with Bean Robot showing up Friday, and the Lady Janice and I arriving Saturday. In order words, if you want to fully experience the combined pasión of the HMLC staff, Saturday is your day.

Also appearing at our table, Rafael Navarro of Sonambulo fame. And for all you Sonambulo fans out there, Rafael's only original Sonambulo work for 2008 appears in the latest issue of Hot Mexican Love Comics. So after picking up the latest HMLC, stop by and say hello to Rafael.

See you at the Con, true believers!


I'm a Terrible Father

I'm already corrupting the mind of my impressionable baby boy.

As I've mentioned before, the latest issue of Hot Mexican Love Comics is NOW available for purchase in all fine comic book stores across the country. The entire HMLC crew (myself, Señor Ira, Bean Robot, Angry Bob and the Lady Janice) will all be on hand for next weekend's San Diego Comic Con to say hello to our adoring fans. We will have copious amounts of new issues available for a nominal fee. We'll also have back issues available, prints of the latest cover (suitable for framing) and new for 2008, HMLC shot glasses.

I'll have information about exactly where we'll be soon. Stay tuned!


Clipper Fans.... Boned Again

It's tough being a Clippers fan.

First, you have to contend with the fact that your team will forever be in the shadow of the Lakers, and second, your most well know fans are Billy Crystal, Frankie Muniz and the aforementioned Clipper Darrell, and third, your team is owned by the most apathetic man in pro sports. Combine your lame ass owner with the fact have that the team is run by what is probably the worst front office in the NBA and you've got a pretty crappy franchise.

A franchise that has squandered 20 (twenty!) lottery picks over the last 23 years, and 7 of those picks were top 3 picks! After a forgettable, injury-plagued 2007-2008 season, things were looking better for the Clippers when they somehow managed to lure away Los Angeles native and legitimate NBA superstar Baron Davis away from the Golden State Warriors. With a potential starting lineup of Davis, Elton Brand and Chris Kaman, things were looking up for the 2008-2009 season. But the Clippers being the Clippers, they fucked that all up with the quickness.

Quick derail, check out this trailer for a new (fake) movie starring Baron Davis and Steve Nash.

Mistake #1: Letting Corey Maggette walk for absolutely nothing. I happen to be a big Maggette fan because I think he's a rarity in the world of the NBA.... he's a reliable commodity. Corey may never be your star player, but he'll consistently get you five rebounds, three assists and 15 points a night, with 8 of those points coming from the free throw line. For whatever reason, thick-headed Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy chose to play Corey off the bench which clearly rubbed him the wrong way. In an ideal world, a player will remember that he's a professional and that if he's coach chooses him to be a reserve player, then it must be for the betterment of the team. But this isn't an ideal world and all Dunleavy succeeded in doing was alienate Maggette. So as soon as Corey had an option to get out of his contract with the Clippers, he bounces. Ironically, Maggette ends up signing with the Warriors, presumably to replace the departing Baron Davis.

Mistake #2: Losing Elton Brand, who also had an opt out clause in his contract, to the Philadelphia 76ers. Again, for absolutely nothing. This one I don't understand at all. Baron Davis and Elton Brand are photographed in Los Angeles together. On June 30, Brand opts out of his contract and announces that he's re-signing with the Clippers for a smaller contract. The next day, July 1, Davis opts out of his contract and announced that he has a verbal agreement to sign with the Clippers. Conveniently, Brand's smaller contract allows the Clippers to afford Davis. Sounds like a little bit of collusion, right? Well, I thought so until seven days later when ESPN announces Elton's signing with the 76ers. Elton staying in L.A. seemed like a done deal so what happened? According to Corey Maggette (no longer associated with either of the teams involved here), the Clippers basically offered Elton a take it or leave it deal. Which was exactly the wrong thing to do because Brand was under no obligation to stay. Way to go, Elgin Baylor.

Now, believe it or not, I have to give the Clippers some credit here. After bumbling away Brand and Maggette, they've managed to make a few decent personnel moves. Brand leaving cleared a tremendous amount of salary cap space so the Clippers were able to completely absorb the contract of former Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Camby from the penny pinching Denver Nuggets for essentially nothing. Plus they've signed all-around knucklehead Ricky Davis for cheap. Sure, Ricky is the guy who tried to cheat his way into a triple double when he was playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but at the very least he'll give the Clippers another scoring option.

Hey, who knows? Maybe this is good for the Clippers. Maybe a lineup of Baron Davis, Cuttino Mobley, Al Thornton, Ricky Davis, Marcus Camby and Chris Kaman might be ok. It doesn't look too good on paper but you never know. It's so crazy that it just might work!


I wonder who the Clippers are going to select with their 21st lottery pick next year for the 2009-2010 season.