Luchador Detectives, Kukaracha Kings, & Chunky SuperGirls, Oh My! Latino Comics On the Scene in L.A.

Art based on Jose Cabrera’s online comic strip Crying Macho Man

This weekend (August 17-18) in Los Angeles, a host of geeky Latino talent, packing pens and sketchbooks, will descend upon the halls of the Museum of Latin American Art to bring to geeks of all hues a taste of comics art with a Latino flavor.

Featuring veteran talent like Sonambulo creator Rafael Navarro and El Muerto creator and Expo co-founder Javier Hernandez, as well as newcomer talent like youngin’ Daniel Parada, who debuted his Mayan alternate history Zozt just this year, the Latino Comics Expo will show off the wealth of diversity and imagination in Latino comics. You’ll see everything from crime-fighting calacas to Marine zombies.

You should totally go. But if you can’t, don’t let that stop you from checking out some of these artists’s seriously amazing art and stories.

Here’s a little preview (or cruel teaser if you can’t make it) of what you might see at the show:

El Verde

When factory worker Arturo Sanchez falls into a vat of elote at the factory where he works in Fictional City, he’s certain he’s gained superpowers. Donning a mask and taking on the name El Verde, Sanchez enlists in the fight for “truth, justice, and the Mexican-American way!”  With hilariously named villains like Kukaracha King and Frita Kahlo, writer Anthony Aguilar created the superhero to bring Latino culture to the conventional superhero comics genre.  Aguilar publishes the comic online.

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Chunky Girl Comics*

Husband and wife Marisa and Jose Garcia, along with illustrator Grant Miller have teamed up as Chunky Girl Comics, to bring a voluptuous new image to the superhero genre. Taking on body image, bullying, and beauty standards, their debut comic Heavy Response Unit tells the story of four plus-sized superheroines  – Sweet Pea, Candy, Sage, and Rosie — who have to fight for equality when it becomes illegal to be overweight in California. Engaged in operation “Fierce, Fab, & Fluffy,” this diverse, curvaceous hero team is tackles bullying and empowers the body-licious.

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USMZ

Roman Montes de Oca, who describes zombies as his “passion,” has been writing his zombie comic USMZ as a free web comic, releasing a new page every week. But now he’s made the horror glossy and brought it to print. A Marine himself, Montes de Oca draws on his own experience to bring a gory, bloody, foul-mouthed zombie apocalypse that follows the Marines who are called on to save our souls!

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Sonambulo

Salomon Lopez is climbing to fame as a masked fighter going by the name Sonambulo in Mexico, before he gets caught up with the Mafia who beats him up and leaves him for dead. But before this fatal entanglement, Lopez had developed a sleeping disorder that often left him sleeping for days at a time, so when these gangsters bury him, Lopez instead falls into a 30-year sleep. Sonambulo emerges with new found powers that make him a top rate private detective to contend with the dark forces of the night. Creator Rafael Navarro first self-published the comic back in 1996, but continues to bring dynamic heroes to audiences as an animator for video games and television.

*Correction: Turns out Chunky Girl Comics won’t be making it this year, but never fear they will be in San Francisco with the Expo in June next year!

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