Launched in 2012, San Diego Comic Fest is organized by several original promoters behind the first San Diego Comic-Cons. This year’s edition, staged at the Town and Country Resort (February 12–14), features music performances by locals including cartoonist Will Clausen’s two bands Naked Picassos and Smith/Clausen, recently reunited ’80s pop-punkers NEIN, Watashi Wa Dance Party, Digital Lizards of Doom, True Stories, and Damian and Marion Bowles.
The Story of Rock 'N' Roll Comics
...a film trailer
A Music & Comics Crossovers panel will spotlight Slayer comic writer Michael Aushenker, Metallica cartoon biographer James Hudnall, Hard Rock Comics creator Spike Steffenhagen, local cartoonist Mary Fleener (who also plays in the Wigbillies), and pop-culture historian Duane Dimock. The local-centric documentary Unauthorized and Proud of It: The Story of Rock ’N’ Roll Comics will be screened, chronicling the life and still-unsolved murder of Hillcrest-based publisher Todd Loren.
Guests include Vivek J. Tiwary, author of The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story graphic novel, being developed by the Beatles’ production company for an upcoming film, as well as Trypto the Acid Dog co-creator Steve Leialoha, whose band Seduction of the Innocent is fronted by Lost in Space actor Bill Mumy.
As for Music Tent acts, “I’ve always been heavily inspired by comics,” says Gabriel Valentin of his theatrically inclined Digital Lizards. “Growing up, I lied a lot and lived in my own world. But, when I discovered that I had a passion for storytelling, it gave me a much more positive outlet.”
Valentin compares the intimate scale of Comic Fest to the original Comic-Con by describing the latter as “The big train that has all the bells and whistles. Then along comes a different train, but this conductor takes the time to show you around and gives you the opportunity to play with the bells and whistles, maybe even lets you take a stab at the wheel.”