FEATURED GUESTS

Olmeca is a Bilingual Hip-Hop artist, producer, activist and scholar who has been featured on Complex Magazine, Billboard, NPR, Huffington Post, Noisey, and Democracy Now.  His work has been featured on various documentaries on PBS, BBC World, as well as, featured films. He has written music for tv shows including “Sons of Anarchy,” and new series, “The Mayans” on FX and toured Latin American, U.S. and Europe. Currently, Olmeca is celebrating the release of his new album, “DEFINE". The album can be found on multiple playlists on Spotify and itunes where some of the singles are reaching 100k plays.  He is faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the Interdisciplinary Gender and Ethnic Studies Department teaching Latin American History, Latinx in the U.S. and Hip-Hop courses. For the next year, Olmeca is a Kennedy Center Artist Fellow and is finishing a poetry book to accompany the album.

Sara Bazan loves Indie comics and attending small, local conventions that highlight lesser known creators from marginalized communities. She also has a place in her heart for superhero comics featuring Batman and the X-Men. Before Comadres y Comics, Sara co-hosted three comic related podcasts but never quite got them off the ground.  She is blessed to be a part of the Comadres y Comics Podcast that fits so perfectly with her personal experience with comics and that is comprised of what she declares to be her "dream team" of co-hosts. JENNIFER LOPEZ is a Comparative Literature major from South Central Los Angeles with a life-long love for comic books and manga. She has worked in comic book retail for four years and prides herself in being the “salty” side of the Comadres y Comics podcast. Jennifer is a Queer Latina whose love for comics originated from a High School teacher who provided them for students. Her journey has led her to strive to provide access to comics for others in similar ways. Comadres y Comics began as an idea when, as a comic retailer, KIRSTEN PARRAZ approached Sara Bazan and Jen with the vague idea of starting a podcast that brought Latinx creators and content to readers.  Additionally, all three felt strongly that it was important to include the presence of women in the industry as well. Over a pitcher of beer, they streamlined the idea into Comadres y Comics a podcast dedicated to highlighting the female and Latinx presence in the comic book industry as creators, characters and fans.

Henry Barajas is a Latinx author originally from Tucson, AZ. He is best known for his graphic memoir about his great-grandfather Ramon Jaurigue titled La Voz De M.A.Y.O. Tata Rambo. He has contributed to anthologies that benefit mass shooting Route 91 victims and The Southern Poverty Law Center such as Where We Live and The Good Fight. Currently, Barajas is the Director of Operations at Top Cow Productions and lives in Los Angeles.

J. Gonzo is a Chicano artist, born and raised in Cypress, CA., who resides in Phoenix, AZ. Artwise, his formative years were shaped by the rigid tradition and Byzantine iconography of the Catholic school he attended juxtaposed with the DIY aesthetic of the late 70s, Orange County Punk counterculture peppered with the bright, bold, Latino hues of his grandparents generation. He attended the Orange County High School of the Arts’ Visual Arts Program and went to a terrible trade school for a degree in Graphic Design. He also apprenticed and tattooed professionally for a number of years before entering the world of advertising and design. Gonzo has spent the past 25-plus years using his creative skills at ad agencies, toy and comic companies, design studios, freelancing, and creating his own comic book title La Mano del Destino, as well as handling art duties on La Voz de MAYO: Tata Rambo for Top Cow/Image Comics. Find Gonzo’s work at jgonzodesigns.com

Hector Rodriguez III – One of the most fascinating people in Dallas (The Dallas Observer) creator of the internationally renowned Latino comic book series El Peso Hero and CoFounder of Texas Latino Comic Con. El Peso Hero has been one of the most talked about Latino superhero in decades. El Peso Hero has garnered attention and praise from the Latino community and been featured on Univision, CNN, Telemundo, Fusion, CW, NBC, NPR and countless of other media sites worldwide.

St. Sucia is an international Latina art and literature periodical. Influenced by San Antonio culture, comic books, sci fi, and feminismo, works include: poetry, comics, photos, and altars.  Isabel Ann Castro: Eats tacos on the reg and like a true millennial, is a college grad and back home living with her parents. She earned a degree in design and is putting it to good use on or sweet sweet layouts. Influenced by cinema, post-punk, comics, hand painted taqueria signs, and the Mexican-American life. Best Compliment Received: Someone said her artwork reminded them of "Love and Rockets" and she's been acting like a chiflada ever since. Natasha I. Hernandez is a registered nurse writer and poet laureate nominee from San Antonio, Texas. She is the editor of St. Sucia. She released the chapbook, Moderna and is currently working on a novella in vignettes about San Anto love stories. In her free time, she enjoys sharing music as Dj HEAVYFLOW. 

David Ansellum has been drawn to create on paper for as long as he can remember.  He started with pencil on paper, then ink on paper and always with a special interest in human form.  He continued with his drawings for a great deal of time until venturing off to explore watercolor.  He has been creating with watercolor for over twenty years.  He continues to paint the human form in the traditional style of transparent watercolor with the white of the paper depicting pure white.  David has further studied, attended many workshops, demonstrations, critiques and collaborations in the guidance of numerous highly experienced and notable watercolor artists.  He has displayed his work and has received awards in local, national and international shows. 

Oscar Garza and Rolando Esquivel, collectively known as The 5 Meats, are a comedy team from Brownsville TX who's mission is to fill two roles shamefully under-served in comics: Comedy and Chicano/Latinx Main Characters! Their comics "Mashbone & Grifty" and "Lemon Pepper Huggz" are stories of hope and perseverance, with People of Color front and center. They also have a line of Latinx-inspired pop culture posters and apparel, as well as a role in the Austin-based comedy wrestling troupe, Party World Rasslin! 

Codex Comics: The Creators and Heroes of Mesoamerican Books.  Kevin Garcia is a certified educator and professional writer whose work has appeared in the Associated Press and Marvel Comics. He gives a variety of workshops, moderates panels, and teaches journalism and graphic design at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy in Austin. Emmanuel Valtierra was born in San Antonio, and raised in Monterrey, México.  He studied Graphic Design in the University of Nuevo Leon (UANL) and Photography in San Antonio College. He adopted the Aztec codex style for some of his works, releasing first a series of pop culture images, playing cards, and the book "Codex Valtierra."

RGV Zine Festival. The RGVZF is the Valley’s first zine festival that encourages zinesters of all ages to reclaim their border narratives through zinemaking. It is a safe space for creativity, expression, and local art. Hosting RGVZF at the McAllen Library will not only unite the community but also allow for the first zine collection at our local library! Our valley-wide Zine Festival will be held at the McAllen Library on May 16th.  Meet some of the of the zinemakers that are in the valley.