The City of San Antonio has been a wonderful partner to the Alamo City Comic Con (ACCC), said state Sen. Carlos Uresti (D19) on Friday.
“I’m a big Stan Lee fan,” Uresti said. “He’s going to be here Saturday. He’s 92 years old. He’s awesome.”
Uresti is a Marine, an attorney, and a Ninja Turtle fan. “I think everybody has a Ninja Turtle inside,” he said.
The senator said ACCC started because of Alfredo “Apple” De La Fuente in 2013.
“Apple is from San Antonio,” Uresti said. “He went to Fox Tech. He rented the whole convention center.”
Another San Antonian had a booth at the Comic Con. Shannon Denton, a comic book artist, was born in northeast San Antonio and still has family here.
“My dad was a pilot in the Navy so we moved around a lot,” Denton said. “Although my family left San Antonio when I was young, we took Texas with us. We ended up in California which was fortunate for me.”
Denton said he became interested in cartoons from the Electric Company TV show. “I taught myself to read at age four because I could not get enough,” he said. “This interest led to doing it for a job.”
He said his ability to draw led to doing X-men illustrations in the 1990s. “This led to a job working on the ‘Jimmy Neutron’ movie. I’ve worked with Nickelodeon, DreamWorks, Paramount, PBS, and other studios.”
His work with Marvel has many facets. “Deadpool was my first Marvel comic,” he said. “I’m now working on the Ultimate Spiderman for the Disney Channel.”
“I’ve been doing comic cons since 1989,” Denton said. “I use any excuse to visit San Antonio and Alamo City Comic Con is great. I’m going to meet up with my dad and cousins (on Friday). I can’t wait to eat some barbecue and some real Mexican food.”
Jamie Tyndall, from Canada, is another comic book artist who has a booth at the Comic Con. He also spoke at a panel, “Cover Artists, Questions and Answers.”
A good cover is colorful. “It does more than tell a story,” Tyndall said. “I look at it as a pinup.”
Tyndall said it’s inspiring to see a character he has drawn come to life with cosplay. “I might spend 20 hours doing a cover,” he said. “And when I see someone who spent 100 hours creating the costume I designed, it’s awesome.
“One of my favorite moments was when a 6’4? Wonder Woman had meticulously made a costume I designed and complimented me,” he said. “I was honored because she had done the work, I just drew the picture.”
Bob Layton knows a thing or two about comic book heroes in general and “Old Shell Head” in particular. He’s been drawing Iron Man since the 1970s. His favorite comic book movie is the 2008 “Iron Man.”
He believes comic books are dying out. “Comics must be like every issue is the first issue,” he said. “Marvel publishes for their fan base audience. If you’re not keeping up with it every issue, you’re not going to know what’s happening by the ninth installment.”
Layton said movies are where it’s at now. “Movies are more simplistic. A movie must be made so that your mother gets it.”
This year ACCC also hosted its first Alamo City Film Festival at the Lila Cockrell Theatre. Some of them were anything but simplistic.
“Unconventional,” a 22-minute film played Friday. The short, directed by Eric Blakeney in 2015, concerns a failed comic book writer and artist who tries to mount a monthly pop culture, sci-fi, comic book convention. You can watch the short film here.
“This is Joe” is a 4-minute short about Joe Shuster, the delivery man who helped create the character of Superman in the 1930s. You can watch the trailer here.
The Texas premier of “Star Trek: Renegades” was also screened Friday. Click here for the full schedule of remaining film festival events. The final award ceremony will take place on Sunday during a brunch.
The Comic Con runs through Sunday, there’s still plenty to explore. Check out the schedule here, tickets are still available and can be purchased at the front entrance to the Convention Center.
*Featured/top image: Senator Uresti estimates there will be 70,000 fans at this year’s Comic Con. Photo by Thomas Mathis.