BROWNSVILLE — Creators of the California-based Latino Comics Expo will head to the Lone Star State next month when they expand their two-day festival celebrating Latino artists, filmmakers and culture to Brownsville.
The Latino Comics Expo, from Feb. 3-4 at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, will be the first time organizers have taken the event outside the Golden Coast.
It will feature panels with nationally acclaimed cartoonists, a short film festival, workshops, an artists’ alley, museum exhibits and a cosplay contest.
“We’re trying to make it a little bit more ambitious than what they do in California,” Expo Co-Director Larry Rattner said. “It will have more of a focus on social issues, diversity and feminism.”
Proceeds from tickets will benefit the museum.
“We’re really happy to have it here,” Museum Administrative Director Deyanira Ramirez said. “This is our first time holding this kind of event, but we hope it’s not the last time.”
The Latino Comics Expo was founded in 2011 by Javier Hernandez, co-author of the long-running graphic novel Love & Rockets, and his friend, Ricardo Padilla.
Rattner, who turned Hernandez’s comic into a movie, approached them about expanding the weekend-long expo to Brownsville.
“In the movie industry, it’s just known that Latino content is going to do much better in Brownsville, because the community really embraces it and supports it,” Rattner said. “There are a lot of artists not only in terms of (visual) art but music and culture.”
Hernandez will appear at the expo along with Hector Cantu, a cartoonist and writer known as co-creator of the comic strip “Baldo.” “La Cucaracha” cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz, a writer on the Fox animated series “Bordertown,” also will be a guest, Rattner said.
The expo is accepting submissions for a film contest scheduled for Feb. 2, he said, and the Brownsville Library workshop on creating comic books also is planned. Rattner is involving the Mexican Consulate and the Contemporary Art Museum of Tamaulipas. More events and panels will be added as the expo nears.
“We really want this to be embraced by the community,” he said, adding that organizers hope comic and art enthusiasts of all ages will attend. “To give everybody a voice, I think, is really important and helpful.”
Advance tickets will cost $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and are free for children in the eighth grade or younger with adult. Information is online at www.lcxbrownsville.com.