Mar 28, 2019

ACLU 100 + Panel

Happy to say that I will be speaking on a panel (1-2pm) this Sunday with Innosanto Nagara,  Gregory Sale, and Sabiha Basrai. The panel will be moderated by Gigi Harney. We will be talking about arts and activism. BUT, thats not the only thing happening. You can hear bands play, get books and art, dance, see local artisans, live art, and hear some more great speakers on both Saturday and Sunday.

This is the Facebook event page and this is the ACLU 100 site which is part of a nationwide event celebrating the work of the ACLU and talking about mass incarceration, Immigrant and voting rights, activism, and more.  Check out the other cities they will be posted up in 

Not familiar with the American Civil Liberties Union? Go check out some of the videos they have up on Youtube regarding LGBTQ, Activist, Muslim,  and Immigrants rights.

Mar 27, 2019

Who is She 33? - Dolores Huerta

Short version: 
So this will be my only new piece for Women's History Month 2019. It's a larger illustration of Dolores Huerta featuring many symbols that represent parts of her life both big and small. Dolores is one of the most revolutionary women living. As the co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union her selfless activism and organizing helped to not only change the lives of the farm workers across California, but it continues to inspire young women and people all over the world.

It is a crime that more attention, respect, and admiration is not given to her. I just finished working on a project about her and had the chance to learn a lot more about her. But, if you're not familiar with Dolores, I highly recommend watching the most recent documentary by Peter Bratt. It will give you a good glimpse into her life. Then go check out her foundation because she is still organizing! I give Dolores and her family so much respect and thanks. Happy women's day! 

Longer Version: 
So, here is a slightly longer version but I am not going to go over her entire life just some of the words, drawings, and symbols I included. I would highly suggest watching the documentary if you are not a reader. If you're a reader go check out her foundation.

Stockton- Ok so Dolores was born in Dawson New Mexico, but she grew up in Stockton California. Although her dad was a farm worker and organizer, she was raised by her mom and siblings. There she watched her mom hold down jobs and eventually run a hotel which was not a typical thing for most women to do in the 30s. It was through her mom that she got her first feminist role model; saying that she never had to cater to her brothers. Her mother made them all work equally; which is often not the case in some Latinx families. Dolores attended school in Stockton in what was a very mixed setting, but she also experienced racism there in the treatment of students of color and her education. 

Dancing/Jazz-Dolores loved to dance and she loves music. One of her favorite genres is Jazz. She helped organize a dance, danced herself, and made time to go see musicians play live. 

Fred Ross-After working as a teacher and witnessing the conditions the children of farm workers lived in she dedicated her life to organizing. It is then that she met Fred Ross who ran the Community Service Organization (CSO). He taught Dolores about organizing and she became a bad ass at it. She was so persuasive and hard working that they soon promoted her to take policy changes to the states capitol.

Cesar Chavez-Another bad ass who worked with and was trained Fred Ross is Cesar. Cesar grew up as a child of farm workers and understood their experiences first hand. He was also a star at organizing and soon Fred was partnering Cesar and Dolores up. Cesar would also go on to be one of the most revolutionary activists of his time.

NFWA-National Farm Workers Association- Together Dolores and Cesar left the CSO and co-founded a small organization aimed at specifically organizing Latinx farm workers in Central California. They called it an association rather than a union because unions were outlawed and union organizers were being hunted. 

Huelga sign- After getting a jump from the Filipino workers AWOC (Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee) they joined forces with Dolores and Cesar to form what would become world famous as the United Farm Workers or UFW. The symbol for their flag inspired by Aztec iconography and later becoming a symbol for organizing, social justice, and Chican@ pride. The word Huelga means "strike" in both Spanish and Tagalog the languages spoken by the multicultural UFW.  

Si! Se Puede!- Dolores was a leader who often went into towns, cities, and communities to speak with folks, hear their needs, and to organize them.  She did this with wit, strength, and humility. But, if anyone ever told her she couldn't do something which both white folks and macho men of color often did, she'd say yes we can. Si Se Puede! Which is a slogan she came up with and was later used by Barack.

The Feminist fist- I included this because although Dolores was brought up Catholic in a traditional Latinx family she was brought up with some very feminist ideas. And when she met feminists on a trip to NYC to promote the grape strike of the mid 60s she gained some new ideas. At first she didn't rock with all of what they said, but then slowly she started to change her mind, incorporating them into her life. This is important, because of in el movimiento there can be sexism. Women from the Black Panther Party have spoken about this as well.

Family-So Dolores amazingly had 11 children! She now has 17 grand kids as well. So, as a movement parent she lifted up farm workers and fought for revolutionary causes. She worked tirelessly to do this for decades. But, her family life was sacrificed in many cases. She got married three times and often was away organizing. Her grown children have not held back in saying they were sometimes angry with her, left behind, or frustrated. They understand why she did what she did, but it was not easy. Somehow with little to no money (organizers don't get paid often) she raised and got help raising her kids. 

Billy club- I put that in there because she was beaten by the San Francisco Police Department. They broke her ribs and she had to be hospitalized. She has been arrested over 20 times in her life.

Why? Ok, so why did Dolores do all this work? Why sacrifice? A couple of reasons. The Mexican and Latinx workers who grew, picked, and serviced the farm lands that feed the United States were being exploited. They were being ripped off financially. Whenever possible the white farm owners undercut their pay. leaving them with not enough money to pay for proper housing (Dolores' mom often let workers stay for free because of this) , food, clothing, and/or schooling for their kids. Their kids could not attend school, they had to work in the fields to help support the family. The working conditions were horrible. Imagine bending over all day to pick fruits and vegetables without proper breaks, no drinking water, no bathrooms, or shade. Workers were . threatened if they asked for these things and fired if they attempted to form a union. They had no sick time, no benefits, no regular raises, and no support if they got ill. Lastly,  the farm owners were poisoning their workers as they worked them to death (life expectancy was in the 50's). The farm owners had their fields sprayed with harsh chemicals such as DDT known to cause cancer. Because of all this Dolores was passionate about fighting for these workers. 

Victory-And you know what? They organized among the Filipino and Latinx workers striking for years, bringing down a boycott that reached across the US . This eventually took so much money out . of the growers pockets that they forced them to the negotiating table, winning better working conditions, rights, and pay for the families. Dolores is a bad ass!

There's a lot I'm leaving out, but please check out more of the drawing and go find out more about this woman's life!   If you wanna see more women I've drawn for Women's History Month check these past examples:

Mar 19, 2019

Jambo Books Box

Hey, so I got a chance to collaborate with Jambo Books Club, a new company that has created a diverse kids books box for anyone looking to find new books. The founders have two daughters who inspired them and you can read more about their company HERE.

Check it out, some of my story time illustrations on their book boxes and a peak inside. 
If you are interested in licensing any of my artwork for your products or company please contact me at

Mar 17, 2019

Latino Comics Expo 2019 Photos!

Hey folks, so what follows are some photos I and others took at the 2019 Latino Comics Expo in Modesto California. This is my exhibitor pass. You can find a lot more by following them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

As you walked in you were greeted by several students from Modesto Junior College who showed vendors to their tables and helped out throughout the two day event. Here you can see their table, the LCE table, and some large panels of comic artwork up.
My set up!

All kinds of folks started to set up, traveling from Texas, Chile, Mexico, Los Angeles, Central California and many more places.

Here are some photos of some of the vendors! Including Cathy Camper's Lowriders in Space and Los Bros Hernandez (Love & Rockets).

On the second day I drove downtown to meet a librarian at the Modesto library. Here is the famous Modesto arc sign.

The lowriders showed up and hung out for the 2nd day too. These moving pieces of art are always breathtaking to see. I shot some details. And then..
I got to meet and pose with Cathy Camper who wrote Lowriders in Space, illustrated by Raul The Third. You can hear an interview I did with Raul here.

I also got to catch up with these guys. The gentlemen of 656 Comics who I met almost ten years ago when they brought me to Ciudad Juarez to hang out and meet their community. Read that post here.

Photo credit: Sandra Rios Balderama
Here's the view from my table and a new friend Sandra Balderama, a retired librarian.

And that was it. I met and talked to lots of great people, students, teachers, and artists, including my table mate Nicky Rodriguez who i forgot to take a foto with. I saw Breena Nunez, Isabel Qunitero, The guy who started Homies toy line, and so many more. 

Photo credit: Fredrick Luis Aldama
Here is a photo with all of the exhibitors. A very diverse group of folks indeed. BIG thanks to Ricardo Padilla of the Latino Comics Expo, professor Theresa Rojas of Modesto Jr College, and all the wonderful people that came to support, say hello, or just walk by. See you at the next one!!

Lastly, support Paul and Carlos Meyer who are running a kickstarter! They were tabling at the expo!

Dig this? Check out some photos from a book reading I did at Mills Elementary in Oakland 

Mar 12, 2019

Stuff I've been listening to - 12

Wow, I must have listened to this song 20 times playing the bridge over and over. Gabby Wilson aka H.E.R. is an incredible musician and deserves every single praise and or accolade. These are a bunch of songs I've had on repeat recently. You can see the last "Stuff I've been listening to" HERE
Temani really gives a different style on this one. Unlike any voice i've heard recently.
This is an old one, but I've been listening to a lot of house lately. Good vibes please! Both Yvette and Spinna did their thing on this! Makes me want to dance every time I hear it.

Destani Wolf's voice is a thing to behold. I've been in the same room as her while she sang and it just lifts you off the ground. Headnodic of Crown City Rockers produced this incredibly vibe filled beat.
This entire EP is fire. Just head nod material from start to finish!
Anthony Valadez, shout out to RecordBreakin!
A group of giants! R+R=Now
Again, found them via RecordBreakin!

Wanna hear more? Here is "stuff I've been listening to" 11

Podcast Interview- Papa Culture Pod!

Yo! Been listening to this laid back podcast run by two fathers. They talk about hip hop, sports, pop culture, dad fails, and dad triumphs! I was lucky enough to be a guest on their show. Check it out on Itunes, Stitcher, or whatever podcast app you listen to. 

Here is the link if you want to listen to it on your desktop. LINK

If you'd like to hear another interview check out The Stoop Podcast where I talked about Black Hair and kids books.

Mar 5, 2019

Latino Comics Expo - Modesto March 15-16th

This is the 8th annual Latino Comics Expo. I attended one of the first expos in San Francisco and since then, the organizers (Ricardo Padilla and Javier Hernandez) have created events in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Columbus Ohio, San Jose,  and Brownsville Texas. This is the schedule for panels and speakers.
I will be there selling my books and other goodies. Please come or invite someone you know who lives in Stanislaus county (Modesto, Turlock, Salida). If you'd like more info, please go HERE.

The LCE, has not only provided warm and welcoming environments for creators of stories and story seekers, they have also helped promote academic study of Latino Comics, animation, and film events. With their ground breaking collaboration "Sol Con" they are also bridging cultures by encouraging Black and Brown creators to join forces. Stay tuned and follow them on 

Mar 4, 2019

Rock the School Bells - Educators Conference

Peace y'all, I will be tabling at the 12th annual Rock the School Bells Conference for educators on march 9th and the Conference for youth w/ workshops on March 23rd at Skyline College in San Bruno California. Come through if you work with youth or if you have youth that you'd like to expose to some dope hip hop & ethnic studies education.

Need more information? Want to volunteer? MORE INFO

Here are some videos from past years so you can get an idea for what to expect.

Cleo Sol - Inspiration

"As the mist falls heavenly" -Cleo Sol