On the West Coast, comics creators are recharged and attending in-person events again. In the span of a week, cartoonists were guests and participated in panels at the
42nd Annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the campus of the University of Southern California, and the Latino Comics Expo at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. The esprit de corps between Fantagraphics Books artists such as Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, Katie Skelly, Steven Weissman, Jordan Crane, R. Kikuo Johnson (the winner of this year’s Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the graphic novel/comics category) and their fans was electric at these events! I traveled down to these events and photographed them as best I could. I hope these images give you a sense that comics events are making their way back again this year!
(Click or swipe left on the galleries to see more pictures.)
The 42nd Annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes ceremony at Bovard Auditorium at the University of Southern California, Friday, April 22, 2022.
The five nominees of the Graphic Novel/Comics category.
Fantagraphics Books nominee Lee Lai for Stone Fruit.
Fantagraphics Books R. Kikuo Johnson won the Graphic Novel/Comics category for his graphic novella, No One Else.
As the evening’s first winner, R. Kikuo Johnson accepted his Book Prize with an impromptu speech, which U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff cited at the end of the evening when he won in his category.
After his panel and signing on Saturday, April 23, 2022 for Graphic Novel: Drawing the Story with R. Kikuo Johnson, Lee Lai and others, Jordan Crane posed in front of the Epstein Family Engineering Plaza department building, what he studied at USC.
Los Angeles resident cartoonists meet up dinner at Cole’s, Saturday evening, April 23, 2022, in honor of the visiting R. Kikuo Johnson, after his panel with Jordan Crane and Lee Lai. From left to right: Katie Skelly, Jaime Hernandez, Sabrina Futch, R. Kikuo Johnson, Jordan Crane, Eric Nyquist and Steven Weissman.
The affable, forever young and endearing Steven Weissman, who organized the fun meet up. Many thanks, Steven!
Also in attendance, Katie Skelly and Jaime Hernandez, who discussed Dave Stevens and Jim Steranko!
In front of Cole’s, R. Kikuo Johnson with his Los Angeles Times Book Prize for No One Else.
Everyone in attendance sketched in and signed Steven Weissman’s copy of Lee Lai’s Stone Fruit!
Los Angeles Times columnist Carolina A. Miranda moderated the panel “Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez in Conversation”. Here, she introduces Jaime and Gilbert. The panel was held on Sunday, April 24, 2022 at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center at the University of Southern California.
Jaime and Gilbert recounted funny moments in the history of creating Love and Rockets.
A fan shares her experience reading Love and Rockets with the Hernandez brothers during the q&a.
The conclusion of the panel.
MOLAA: the Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, California – the venue for the Latino Comics Expo 2022, Saturday, April 30, 2022.
At their exhibit table, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez signed for the fans before their panel later that afternoon.
A moment of levity between Gilbert and Jaime after meeting and signing for the first round of fans on Saturday morning.
Ricardo Padilla moderated the panel “40 Years of Love & Rockets” with Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez.
Gilbert explains funny details about the height and size of his characters.
Jaime talks about a projected sample of his work.
Gilbert talks about a projected sample of his work.
Jaime Hernandez responds to a fan’s inquiry during the q&a.