Sunday, May 6, 2012

How a Mexican Geek Celebrates Cinco de Mayo on a Free Comic Book Day

     (Photo removed for copyright reasons.)

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

This hasn’t been the best Cinco de Mayo or Free Comic Book Day for me.  I was supposed to attend a mini comic con at Empire Comics Vault in Sacramento but had to cancel all because a stupid glitch in the ATM at the bank in Woodland of No Return held me back.  So I drove over to the comic book store in Davis, Bizarro World, which is a lot closer to where I live. But I wasn’t able to get there until late in the afternoon so when I asked the owner, a really nice guy, if he had any free comics left he said he didn’t. That was both a good thing and a bad thing. It was a good thing because it drew a lot of people to read comic books who don’t often read them.  It was a bad thing in that some people didn’t get free comic books and yours truly was one of them. Actually, I didn’t even care that much. If I cared that much about the free comics I wouldn’t have planned to take an hour’s bus commute to Empire Comics; I would have just gone to Bizarro World to begin with. 

Empire Comics was the store that held the mini con that celebrated the day. (Free Comic Book Day that is, not Cinco de Mayo. But don’t think even us Mexican geeks don’t have a place in the Mexican holiday. More about that in a bit.) The real reason I go to Free Comic Book Day events is for the culture of it-- to be in an atmosphere of comic book fandom with fellow comic book fans who tend to be fans of other imaginative things too (for example, science fiction movies and literature, fantasy role playing games, horror, etc.) Such geeky culture is our culture that transcends race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and even politics in many ways.  (Although that last one does often overlap among us geeks, especially leftist ones such as myself.) It is a place for us to share our interests and passions and to converse without feeling like the person we’re talking with does not speak’a our language. In mainstream, non-geek culture you don’t feel that same bonding.

Now, many people might think that Free Comic Book Day falling on Cinco de Mayo is a contradiction. It’s not. Sure, two different events are being celebrated. But if you look at the two in a wider perspective, you’ll see the similarities. Comic book culture in Mexico and other parts of Latin America tend to be very big.  Traditionally, Mexico has had its own comic book characters like it has had many of its own B rated sci fi and fantasy movie characters.  One of these characters, who has been popular in the Mexican cinema, is El Santo. El Santo is a super hero-like masked wrestler who fights criminals who often tend to be fantastical villains such as aliens, Aztec mummies, zombies, vampires and even Frankenstein’s monster. Mexico and other parts of Latin America have a growing culture in science fiction and fantasy and this includes both A rated and B rated films. For a list of recommended Mexican sci fi/fantasy movies for viewing on Cinco de Mayo, or any time of the year for the matter, check out my most recent article at

Watching Mexican sci fi and horror movies, no matter how high quality or low quality or cheesy they may be, is how this film geek celebrates his Cinco de Mayo. Not to mention eating--at his favourite Mexican restaurant, Chipotle’s--a super beef burrito with natural meat and vegetables instead of the processed crap you get in too many other places, including other Mexican restaurants. Don’t even get me started on Taco Bell.

Until next time . . .

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