By Monica Campbell
“When I was a kid my brother gave me his collection of comics, and I started just drawing,” he says. “And then at one point, after college, I go you know I’ve got to make my own comic. You know, I want to see stuff that maybe you don’t see a lot.”
Like characters called Weapon Tex-Mex, El Muerto or Sonámbulo, a Mexican wrestler turned private eye. One of Hernandez’s latest comics teams up a young Aztec boy and a dinosaur.
“It’s basically about a boy who during the Spanish conquest of Mexico realizes there’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex embedded in a block of amber in a cave,” Hernandez says. So, the T-Rex gets released and the boy rides him to battle the conquistadors.
“Caxcan is a tribe of indigenous people that were in my mom and dad’s hometown of El Teúl, Zacatecas,” Mayorga says. “I always asked my parents about our indigenous background and they could never give me any answers. And it made me really angry to know that my parents had no concept of that.”
One of her favorite cartoonists, Mario Hernandez, is also here and he stops by Mayorga’s table. Hernandez and his brothers pioneered the comic “Love and Rockets.” The cult favorite broke ground in the early 80s with its smart Latino characters, steeped in California’s punk rock scene.
“The stories would just tell stories about everyday people who happened to be gay, or happened to be Hispanic or they happened black,” says Hernandez. “At the time there was no other Hispanic names that were putting out original things like that.”
Below: "A print titled Preying Aztec Mantis by cartoonist and illustrator José Cabrera, who grew up in a Dominican family in New York City." (Courtesy of José Cabrera)