Comic-Con memories: Jaime Hernandez on San Diego’s days of ink

July 17, 2012 | 4:01 p.m.

Gilbert, Jaime and Mario Hernandez in the 1980s. (Courtesy of Fantagraphics)

In September 1982, Gilbert, Jaime and Mario Hernandez published their first Fantagraphics issue of “Love and Rockets” but it premiered first at Comic-Con International in San Diego — and if you do the math you’ll see why this year’s convention was a special one for the illustrious family brand known simply as Los Bros Hernandez. Thirty years in the independent scene have made the Oxnard brothers a signature name at Comic-Con (not to mention the Southern California publishing and art scene) but Jaime Hernandez said it didn’t get off to an auspicious start. “The first time we spotted ‘Love and Rockets’ some guy was already selling it for half-off.” There was a far more impassioned response at the 2012 convention as fans cheered the news about three upcoming Los Bros Hernandez releases (including “Love and Rockets: New Stories” No. 5) and a push into the digital world  – but it’s fun to look back to the inky past, which is what we asked Jaime Hernandez to do with the list below.

Jaime Hernandez’s list of 30 memories from 30 years of the big Con in San Diego. 

Classic “Love and Rockets.” (Fantagraphics)

1. I remember when it was just comics.

2. I remember when it was at the old convention center.

3. I remember when I could drive there without traffic.

4. I remember when our comic debuted.

5. I remember when I met Daniel Clowes, Peter Bagge, etc…

6. I remember when the celebrities were comic artists.

7. I remember when those “Turtle” guys started.

8. I remember when a lot of bogus comic companies sprung up because they thought comics could make money…

9. …and I remember when those bogus companies were gone the next year.

10. I remember when I met Sergio Aragones, Mort Drucker, etc…

11. I remember when I met Bob Bolling

12. I remember when most of the attendees ended up at the Marvel party

13. I remember when I saw Francis Ford Coppola in the hot dog line

14. I remember when Jack Kirby shook my hand just for standing there

15. I remember when it was scary to walk back to your hotel at night.

Mario, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez in 2008. (Photo courtesy of Fantagraphics)

16. I remember when you could get a hotel.

17. I remember when cosplay was called “dressing up.”

18. I remember when women started coming to cons.

19. I remember when I met Gil Kane,  Alex Toth (sort of), Al Williamson, etc.

20. I remember the days before comics were called “graphic novels.”

21. I remember when Dave Stevens took us to strip bars.

“Love and Rockets: New Stories” No. 5 is due in September and marks the 30th anniversary of Los Bros Hernandez at Fantagraphics. (Fantagraphics)

22. I remember when you could buy old comics for $3 that weren’t beat-up and coverless

23. I remember when Dave Sim threw parties.

24. I remember when I wasn’t tired after the Con.

25. I remember when every panel ended up “How can we get comics into book stores?”

26. I remember when everyone could get in.

27. I remember when people were still friendly with Gary Groth.

28. I remember when the Christopher Reeve “Superman” movie was the only superhero movie.

29. I remember when Marvel and DC decided to have fancy booths.

30. I remember when I had fun. What am I talking about? I still have fun! My fans are there!

– Jaime Hernandez


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2 Responses to Comic-Con memories: Jaime Hernandez on San Diego’s days of ink

  1. Mark Hernandez says:

    Was wondering Im looking for my long last family of Hernandez(s), there are so many, its a common last name in the Latino comunity as Smith in the Anglo community, well I wish the best of luck to the Hernandez brothers, good comics. My name is Mark Hernandez..

  2. Mark Hernandez says:

    Good comics, wish the Hernandez brothers much luck. Im missing my long lost Hernandez family members, dont know where they may be? There are many Hernandez(s) out there common last name in the Hispanic community, as Smith is in the Anglo community. My name is Mark Hernandez.

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