As your friendly neighborhood Chicano cartoonist, I have the awesome responsibility to attend San Diego Comic-Con every year to represent not only my work, but also to rep for Latinos in general. (Whether they want me to or not.)
Comic-Con has always had a Latino presence, as anyone who has ever seen the ever-present great MAD Magazine cartoonist and burly Spaniard, Sergio Aragones sign here, or taken a trip throughout the convention floor, knows it will yield numerous Latino cartoonists and animators showcasing their arte.
And every year I have witnessed a steady increase of the number of Latino fans that attend and even participate in the “cosplay” (costume play) that is the hallmark of this mega comics convention. Latinos love popular and mainstream culture, but some fans even use their Latino cultural background as an inspiration- or an excuse- to participate in this insanely popular annual event.
This year I spotted a muy super collection of Latino luchadores, Dia de Los Muertos calaveras, bizarre spandex-sporting Super Mariachis, tiny brown Spidermen and Chapulines Colorados. In my humble opinion though, the best costumed Latina I saw was the young woman who admitted to working at a comic book stand. She was dressed as the maid “Consuela” on Family Guy, holding a plastic tub with a baby Stewie. Consuela also holds up a can of furniture polish, no doubt uttering her catchphrase: “Mister Peter, we are out of Lemon Pledge.”
I have photographic proof that Latino nerds do exist, and they are not shy about strutting their stuff and their own twists on Latino pride at San Diego Comic-Con. We are everywhere, and we also like to get our geek on. See you next year, you never know, I might be the guy in the Frida Kahlo spandex suit.
(All photos courtesy of Lalo Alcaraz)