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Latino Comics Expo To Debut at MOLAA

The San Francisco-based expo is expanding to Southern California with its debut at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach.

The Latino Comics Expo’s panels, workshops and screenings are what co-founder Javier Hernandez describes as a mini Comic Con for Latinos. Appearances from Latino artists, graphic novelists and filmmakers are set for Saturday and Sunday at the Museum of Latin American Art. The aim is to spotlight current artists and remember the work of comic artists from the past, he said.

The expo has been in San Francisco, CA for the last three years, but is debuting in Southern California with a larger space in the MOLAA’s ballroom.

“Being here in the Los Angeles area is a natural fit with such a large Latino population and the film industry so close,” Hernandez said. “Having more space to work with opened more doors for what we could do (with the event).”

Hernandez, an independent comic artist from Whittier, CA met co-founder and Bay Area arts patron Ricardo Padilla during the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco. The two turned the idea into a reality after Padilla presented the concept to the Cartoon Art Museum and Hernandez rounded up fellow comic artists. Their efforts were recognized by LA County Supervisor Don Knabe for the inaugural event in LA Tuesday.

“It’s wonderful to get the recognition for the expo and for comics as an art form,” Hernandez said. “But more important is that it’s an empowering tool for kids. It helps them express themselves.

Hernandez also teaches comic book classes for kids and will be leading a workshop geared for them during the expo. The interest from the public and the art community is what he said drives them to plan for bigger and better expos, which will eventually tour the country.

Saturday tickets are $9 for adults, $6 for student and free for children under 12. Admission is free Sunday. For more information, visit the website.

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