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.
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.
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.
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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