Metahumans Comic Shop Opens With Local Artist Dave Garcia As Special Guest
By Alfredo Guzman
Metahumans Collectibles opened for business at the Calexico Smart Buy Center November 22nd, 2016. Professional comic book artist and Holtville native, Dave Garcia was at the opening, signing autographs and telling stories. The event packed the store.
Metahumans Collectibles will be the first comic book and collectibles store recognized by Diamond Distributors, to be open in the Imperial Valley in almost ten years. Metahumans Collectibles is recognized by Diamond Distributors as an official comic book vendor, which means it will have access to the full catalog of new Diamond Distributors comics, including Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse and independent titles. Metahumans Collectibles official status means it will also receive Mezco toys exclusives and will host Free Comic Book Day. Besides being an official comic book vendor, Metahuman Collectibles will also organize Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, Dice Masters and HeroClix tournaments.
Ruben Najera and Sheyla Valencia are the owners of Metahumans Collectibles. Ruben Najera stated that he hopes the store “fills a void in the Imperial Valley.” and hopes that “we can work to organizing a full on comic convention in the Imperial Valley.” Sheyla Valencia has artwork on display and plans to teach art classes within the store.
Dave Garcia was on hand at the opening to sign autographs and talk about comics. While at the opening, Dave Garcia discussed how he got the opportunity to work on the Archie Comics version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Dave Garcia said,“Peter Laird (one of the creators of TMNT) and I met through working on fanzines. It was through that connection that I was able to work on the TMNT comics. The original TMNT had a gritty look to it, like Frank Miller’s Daredevil. When I started working on the comic was about the time the cartoons became hugely popular. So, that’s the style I worked in. They would send me the storyboards (which are like visual scripts) of the cartoon and I would break down the storyboards into comic book stories. I even got to see some of my artwork from the comic on TMNT shoe boxes.”
“The comic process is like an assembly line; Editor, Penciler, Inker, Letterist, Colorist. I started out on ‘The Tick’ comic as an Inker and ended up working on that comic for twenty odd some years,”said Garcia.
Shadow of the West is the comic project that Dave Garcia is currently working on. “It answers the question; ‘Why did the Lone Ranger use Silver Bullets’?” said Garcia.
“I’ve been an artist all my life. I had no idea I was red/green colorblind until I was drafted. Colorizing is my least favorite part of the comic process. I had noticed even before that I would over mix colors and would end up with browns and greys. Now I know,” said Garcia.
Imperial Valley artist Katie Limon is the colorist for the first pages of Shadow of the West. “Comics are kind of a collaborative process. I prefer inking in black and white. Katie can handle the colorizing.” said Garcia.
Comic book fan culture has had a positive effect on the lives of many people in the Imperial Valley. Dave Garcia works as a professional artist making comic books while others who are inspired by comics are affected in other ways. “I’ve known Ruben a while. We did this skateboard design together,” said Garcia as he holds up a skateboard deck with a collaborative design him and Metahumans Collectibles owner Ruben Najera worked on. Both store owners were inspired by comic book culture. Sheyla Valencia’s artwork was inspired by comic books. Ruben Najera is a professional skateboarder and said that “The reason I started skateboarding was by imitating the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
Metahumans Collectibles is located at 121 Hacienda Drive, Space 16B, inside the Smart Buy Center in Calexico, Ca. They are open Tuesday thru Thursday, 11am to 6:30pm; Friday and Saturday, 11am to 7:30pm; and Sunday, 1pm to 7pm. Look for them on Facebook and Instagram for future events and promotions.