Sunday, May 29, 2011

Luchador Building?

I took some photos today of a very interesting building. I live in Spokane, Washington, and today I went to Luigi's for an early dinner with my girlfriend. Across the street, we saw this building:

It used to be the old TechGroup building, but now it's a graphic design company Seven2, but it would be way cooler if it were a luchador shop. One can dream, right?

Interestingly, it looks a lot like Huracán Ramírez's mask. It looks like the mask is their logo or mascot perhaps at the place? Not sure the correlation between lucha libre and web design.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spokane ComiCon 2011

Sorry that the blog has been slow to update. The last few weeks I've been preparing for a comic convention, and here are the details. Ignore if you're looking for lucha material, I'll be back in business with the lucha updates in a day or two.

So Saturday May 21st, instead of being raptured away, I ended up wheeling and dealing my comics and art at the Spokane ComiCon at Spokane Community College. There were 1,300 attendees this year, a really great turn out! I sold a ton of prints, sketch cards, and original art. I was pretty happy overall! Next year I'll be running a bar from the poles, instead of cord. I didn't like how low the cord hung, it made it slightly hard to talk to tall attendees. I'm also planning on building a wall behind to hang paintings and a banner.

Here's my small collection of photos, I'll be posting more when I get a chance to steal some from others :) I didn't have much of a chance to photograph, as I was glued to my table.
This was a better pose, but we forgot flash!

This is me (left), and my buddy Amanda Robinson to the right.

My girlfriend, Veronica, to the left.
Lantern Corp!

I think I'm drawing Jasmin here

These are my buddies at The Comic Smith's Guild. I'm a member, but I sat across.

Lars Brown, of North World, sitting to the west...

Pink Lord Vader

My favorite costumes of the day, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold!

A very sweaty Beast, Mystique, and Dark Phoenix

Tuskin Raider

Apparently a team of DeLoreans were needed to stop the Rapture

My best friend, Aaron, decided to show up at the end!
 Butt Hurt Space Marine. He loaned the suit to the
owner of Merlyn's Comics and Games, then was super butt-hurt
over the owner getting attention.

Why do we wonder about Wonder Woman? Because we think she is a Wonder Man...

The Gotham Sirens


 Matt Nelson of the Comic Smiths' Guild


 Scarecrow, apparently throwing gang signs he learned in prison.

Spokane Ghostbusters Division

Is that Princes Leia underneath?

I did a doodle of Bruce Lee, munny style!

I also did a munny style Iron Fist

Jasmin, my favorite of the Disney princesses.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Comics, books, and Events

Sorry for the lack of updates these last few days, but I'm preparing for the Spokane Comicon. I'll be at the Spokane ComiCon 2011, which will start at 10am at Spokane Falls Community College. I've been getting everything ready. This will be my third year at this convention, and each year my booth gets more elaborate, and I get just a little more prepared. I hope to see some of you this Saturday!

So, speaking of comics, recently I found out about two things:
1) Your Brain on Latino Comics by Frederick Luis Aldama
2) Latino Comics Expo 2011 in San Francisco, CA May 7th-8th

Your Brain on Latino Comics has sort of became my new little bible. It's packed full of info regarding traditional comics and comic strips regarding the Latino community. It's so funny to be flipping through this book as well, and to have spoken to so many of these creators online. I'm in love with this book, and I think it's well worth checking out!

341 pages! ISBN: 978-0-292-71973-6

Then we have the Latino Comics Expo. This happened over Mothers' Day weekend. Sadly I don't live near SF, so I wasn't able to attend. But now that it is on my radar (This was actually the first year for the event), I will have to keep it in mind for the future. So many people attending that I'd love to meet, it really sounded like the place to be for me. Not sure if they are giving out booths like a typical con, but it's also something I'd like to get involved with too.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spicing up my dvd

A few weeks ago, I made an order through Santo and Friends. I hadn't realized that they only sell "burned" DVDs until I had received my copy. The DVD came in a standard DVD movie case, with a burned copy of the movie on a Memorex DVD-R. The dvd inlay (the cover) was printed on standard copy paper, with a poor resolution cover of the movie poster. Being mildly ocd about it not fitting with my other movies, and having a background in graphic design, I decided to spruce up the DVD case and disc:

The DVD inlay, cover, spine, and back.

The disc, now fancy and less noticeably a burn

I probably won't order through Santo And Friends again. If I'm going to pay for a movie, I would like it to be a genuine copy. Plus burned DVDs seem to get scratched and marred easier than manufactured DVDs. But at least my copy of Santo contra Las Mujeres Vampiro fits my other dvds.

Atacan Las Brujas

Today, I bring you Atacan Las Brujas (The Witches Attack), starring Santo and Lorena Velazquez, from 1964. I have the Rise Above/Rebel Crew copy of the dvd from their Santo Collection series. Before we get to the film, I just want to say that Rise Above really understood what these Santo films were about. Just look at the packaging, fun fonts, bright colors, and an original poster. Even the dvd menus are impressive with their comic book style. All of Rise Above's dvds also come with English subtitles, but watch out because Zima also released several Santo dvds that mimic the packaging.

The Witches Attack DVD

DVD menu, super-stylish

This story revolves around Ofelia and Arturo, a young couple in love. But recently after Ofelia's parents' death, a face from her past has returned. Her aunt, whom she hadn't seen since childhood, has returned and is in charge of her inheritance, and Ofelia must remain within the old dark mansion with Mayra. Since Mayra has appeared, Ofelia has had the strangest nightmares of a silver masked man who saves her from her imprisonment of witches, and her aunt as the witch Queen.

Our Characters:
A creature of extraordinary strength and kidness, according to Ofelia.

Ofelia, the damsel in distress

Her fiancé, Arturo.
(Side note, fiancée is the engaged female, Rise Above's subtitles are occasionally with typos)

Prince of Darkness, Lord of Shadows, your go-to guy for mayhem.

This is the hottest witches coven I've ever encountered.

Everyone's favorite on the left, Mayra (Lorena Velazquez),
but I'm smitten with Medusa on the right. Yeah, her name's Medusa.

If you've read my list of Best Lucha Movies, you'll know that this happens to be one of my favorite films starring Santo. It has a classic 50s orchestral soundtrack, it feels like an old Universal horror movie, we have a coven of gorgeous witches, and an interesting story. Even the lucha match 3/4ths of the way through the film is super entertaining!

Interesting, the only Santo flick I've seen with a title card for a second act.

The basic setup of this film is much like a Jerry Bruckheimer picture, starts with action, then some low key scenes of dialogue, then action, more story, action, story, action, etc. The first sequence with Santo fighting the witches is just a dream-sequence, so it doesn't even count! Many scenes of Arturo, Santo, and Ofelia discussing the situation in an apartment, then Santo driving to the mansion to do some snooping/fighting. Then Santo comes home, talks with the couple again, then more attempts to breach the mansion. Another interesting note about the film is that they completely avoid any typical witch standards. Instead, they go for a Greek motif.

Santo doesn't use doors, he's much too hip for that.

This is my favorite Santo move, LA CRUZ!!

His silhouette creates a shadow cross that sends the hordes of evil running.

I also really liked this technique that Santo pulled out of nowhere. Apparently, like vampires, witches and their minions are driven away by just the silhouette of a cross. I wonder if they hate crosswalk signs then? Helipads? Hospitals? Swiss flag? Norwegian flag? lower case t?

1) Would you ask a masked man to give you a ride?
2) Would you trust a vixen who just happens to be hanging by a witch house?

Santo, how can I be subjected to these infernal seductions?

I love this, Santo is a prude in the early films!

Each time the couple go for a kiss, he promptly coughs to kill the mood

It's so surprising that Santo is such a prude. If you've seen any of the films from the 70s, he's almost always with a girlfriend. Hell, many of his girlfriends die off, and he shrugs it off like a pet goldfish turned belly up. Even in Santo contra la Hija de Frankenstein, his girlfriend talks about how when they are alone, he takes off his mask, and she goes gaga for his manly good looks. Then even Doctora Freda Frankenstein needs to remove the mask, and then is compelled to go for a kiss. But back in 1964, black and white Santo is everything his name entails, he's a saint of saints.

Is a mob of one anything like an army of one?

I used to play mercy in grade school too!

La Tapatía, aka the surfboard!

Llave de caballo, aka the horse-lock. A favorite of Santo's.

I really liked this match in Atacan Las Brujas. Some of the matches in these films aren't very energetic, and we end up with Santo resorting to a lot of tope attacks (headbutts), planchas (flat iron/belly flops), and an ocassional leap from the ropes. But here we see Santo doing headscissors, horse locks, tons of blows, a sweeping kick to trip his opponent, and more. His opponent does flips, jumps, and all sorts of spastic attacks, I get tired just watching this guy lash about. At one point he even resorts to tap dancing on Santo's skull.

Don't mess with a pissed Mexicana con un cuchillo!

Santo just happened to bring a cross for the final showdown!


Length: 95 minutes
Year: 1964

Favorite Quote: After Santo defeats the witches with his giant cross, he tends to Arturo's stab wound which has miraculously disappeared.
Arturo: "I don't understand, Santo"
Santo: "When a cross destroys a witch, her evildoings disappear with her."

The Ratings:
My rating system is out of five stars, and consists of six categories, then an overall score.

  • Story: I love this story, though it will be a staple format for other films in the series. I also like all the witch facts that Arturo and Santo know.
  • Horror: While not exactly a nail-biting horror fest, this definitely gives the aura of a Universal film.
  • Action: Let's just say if you were to drink a shot for every fist thrown, you'd be hospitalized for alcohol poisoning.
  • Camp: Oh yeah, stuffed animals, fake bats and spiders, it's all fun!
  • Nudity: Zero nudity, zero sexual situations, totally safe for junior lucha-fans. Santo won't even let a couple give each other an innocent kiss! The prude! In later films, Santo would turn from prude to the king of pimps, with women clawing to get a chance at his barrel-chested brawn.
  • Overall: I really love this film from the black and white era of lucha libre. I'd recommend it as a good starter for anyone interested in the genre.