When people think of comic books, figures like Superman, Spiderman and Batman typically come to mind. However, 31-year-old Liz Mayorga has transformed the genre, incorporating wise words from grandparents, tattoos and romance.
This past weekend, the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco hosted the Latino Comics Expo. Mayorga, the co-director of a program called SF Zine Fest, was one of many talents featured at the expo, Mission Local reported.
Mayorga created her artwork as a form of expression to stay connected with her Mexican roots, a report from Mission Local said. However, before attending college at U.C. Berkley, comic books were not part of the career path she had planned.
Much to her luck, though, her Chicano Studies professor Jaime Hernandez suggested she read the punk-rock inspired comic series, “Locas.”
“I had always drawn, I always wrote, but I didn’t think about making a comic book until I found one that really spoke to me,” Mayorga said.
Growing up in southeastern Los Angeles, Mayorga was exposed to many cultural experiences that turned into the inspiration for her work. She draws from a wide range of topics, from Mexican-American culture and her Catholic faith to “The Twilight Zone.”
Although some of her art is autobiographical, most of her work is fictional.
“Sometimes fiction feels more honest than just the facts,” she said. “It’s like dreaming, you stumble upon feelings that you didn’t know were there.”
Another young talent, Daniel Parada, also presented his work at last weekend’s expo.
Parada spent two years at the School of Visual Arts in New York before creating his comic series “Zots.”
He draws his inspiration from pre-Columbian history. In order to create unbiased and historically accurate artwork, Parada creates stories that have less to do with human sacrifices and more with culture.
“I tried to get away from that and show other parts of the culture, the philosophy, the poetry,” Parada said. “To give it a context and not be biased.”
The expo was dedicated to Spain Rodriguez, an underground cartoonist who past away last year.