elmuerto.com Forum Index

Big Umbrella reunion? Nah, just a birthday!

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    elmuerto.com Forum Index -> Javiland
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Javier Hernandez
FUNeral Director


Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 4531
Location: Whittier, CA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:20 am    Post subject: Big Umbrella reunion? Nah, just a birthday! Reply with quote

Last saturday night, a group of us got together to celebrate the birthday of one of my prized friends, Michael Aushenker. Mikey, as some on the Board may know, is the dazzling cartoonist behind the underground cult comic, EL GATO, CRIME MANGLER, as well as numerous other humorous comics. He's also become a regular contributing writer for BACK ISSUE magazine, writing such enlightening articles on the likes of 70s cult comic
icons, The Human Fly and the Son of Satan!

Michael and I met some 10 years ago, and we have had one hell of a time on the comic convention circuit! To honor Mikey on this birthday, I thought this would be a great gift, an original Man-Thing portrait! (You guys didn't think I painted anything 'cept Muerto, huh??)



Joining us for the evening was fellow cartoonista and one-time Big Umbrella partner, Ted 'SpongeBob' Seko. Ted is always a delight to spend time with, and he was nice enough to spring for dinner! Hurray for SpongeBob!!!! We met at this cool little Japanese restaurant in West LA. The plates were small so we ended up ordering about 10 dishes to share amongst all of us. Duck, chicken, beef, shrimp, etc.!! Just about had the whole gosh-darn Ark!!



We were celebrating Mike's birthday, but I'm the one who got the chocolate cake!! Mr. Green Bernyce was actually recovering from a weeklong bought of flu/cold, with a little bit of leftover larangitus. But like I told her, she still looked like a million bucks and some change! Bernyce actually met all us Big Umbrella artistes about 4/5 years ago, and now that she's back from two years in Atlanta, is was a nice reunion.



All told, this was a great evening. Wonderful friends, a new place to eat, tons of sophisticated talk about stuff like superhero movies, CASINO ROYALE, watching The Electric Company on YouTube, etc. I also showed the guys some of the new Muerto pages, as they don't tune into the Board here! ( Mad ). But we all had a great time.



Mike, and Ted and Bernie all qualify as real 'mensch'. Turns out Ted's birthday is in June, so we're already planning a Fantastic Four 2 B-Day party!! HAI!!!
_________________
"I'm not bad. I just draw that way!"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
El Cucuy
Undead Elite


Joined: 24 Jul 2005
Posts: 1491
Location: Mictlan, Cali.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like a terrific time! AND you almost got Michael to actually smile in photo 2! I've only met Ted once and he's so cool and gracious that you don't forget him. He's the best and his SUPERMONSTERS comic is really great!!

Cool painting Javier! ...Did i mention that MY birthday just passed? Okay not really but i thought that i'd give it a shot. Wink
_________________
All the more SHOCKING because IT'S TRUE!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Juny
Undead Elite


Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 1843
Location: Fighting ninjas on my front lawn

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm...sounds like you had a good time...

BUT...did you notice that in every picture...everyone BUT Aushenker is all smiles... Laughing


(Unless you count the 2nd one)
_________________
"Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world" -Miyamoto Musashi, from The Dokkodo
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Javier Hernandez
FUNeral Director


Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 4531
Location: Whittier, CA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikey's 'All Smiles' all the times.... I guess when I took the pics I caught him in those microseconds between smiles!

S'funny, as three of the former Big Umbrellas were hanging out in LA, ol' Rafael Navarro was getting the dubious pleasure of meeting The Juny up at Emerald City Comic Con over the same weekend.

Anybody out there seen Rhode Montijo last weekend? Shocked
_________________
"I'm not bad. I just draw that way!"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
KUZEH
Muerto Militia


Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 794
Location: Niles, IL

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, seems like you guys were having lots of fun!!
So, Javi, pardon my ignorance...what's Big Umbrella's story?

Oh an that Man Thing paint is awesome!!
_________________
Primero quiero ser inmortal
y después morirme...



Last edited by KUZEH on Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:24 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Javier Hernandez
FUNeral Director


Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 4531
Location: Whittier, CA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooh, my bad. Kuzeh, back in 2000 through about 2003 or so, several of us indie creators decided to ban together and publish our books (and exhibit at shows/signings) as Big Umbrella.

It wasn't an imprint like, say, DC or Image comics, but more of a loose coalition of indepedent publishers. Rafael 'SONAMBULO' Navarro, Ted 'ATTACK OF THE SUPER MONSTERS' Seko, Michael Aushenker, Rhode Montijo and myself were the 5 artsts in the group. That's why you see the BIG UMBRELLA logo on my King-Size El Muerto as well as on Ted's SUPERMONSTERS. Rhode had joined after he started printing the PABLO'S INFERNO mini-series, so it was decided that he would add it to the next new book that came out.

However, market forces kind of jinxed the whole enterprise! So, we 'disbanded' the brand and continued to publish ourselves. That's why EL MUERTO MISHMASH doesn't have the BU logo on the cover.

However, we were all the best of friends to begin with and that didn't change after the end of BU. I've been meaning to write about BIG UMBRELLA for a while, and hope to get the story down one day. Either online or printed in one of my periodic zines or maybe even a mini-comic!
_________________
"I'm not bad. I just draw that way!"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Autentico Paranormale
MUERTO MODERATOR


Joined: 05 Nov 2005
Posts: 729
Location: Breaking the space/time barrier.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, the Big Umbrella concept has served as a bit of a business model for my own idea of a multimedia label that I plan to establish at some point. Artists, united, regardless of their medium or genre, profiting from their own creations and responsible for their own productions but supporting one another and benefitting from that support and association with one another through a shared label. As I've said to Jav before, I see Big Umbrella as a business model that seemed so perfect and was founded with the best of intentions and friendships, but that seems like it was doomed, not by personal disagreements or conflicts of interest, but rather, by time and individual schedules.

You guys do look like you all were having fun, and I think I'm starting to pick up on a Javier and Bernyce expression that the two of you seem to put on whenever in photos together, judging from the ones posted here or on the myspace, anyway.

Also interesting- for some reason, I remembered Aushenker as being much paler and scraggly haired than he looks in the pictures here, to the point that I wouldn't have recognized the guy in these pictures, based on my own comic-con-oxygen-deprived-memory, without being told who it was. Interesting how that works. And yet, I'm sure I could remember Rafael Navarro based on memory, I'd just have to look for the guy in a pirate shirt with a soul patchÂ…
_________________
There were never any good old days. They are today, they are tomorrow. It's a stupid thing we say, cursing tomorrow as sorrow.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Javier Hernandez
FUNeral Director


Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 4531
Location: Whittier, CA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really, the straw that broke the camel's back, regarding Big Umbrella, was the cold hard fact that Diamond, the sole, national comic distributor with a stranglehold, er, exclusive contract, with the national comic books 'direct market', chose to only carry some of the books.

Imagine starting a record label and the distributor only chose to carry half your acts, based on 'market saleability' or other things like arbritary 'artistic merit'. But like you said Timo, BU was started out as something between friends and remained such throughout the ordeal. Where BU really flourished was at store signings and conventions. We really had a great time exhibiting together and the fans always responded well to all of us. We were able to bring all our diverse fan bases together, united really in a comaderie between each artist more than a particular 'brand' element to our individual creations. Although I suspect that our individual, idiosyncratic creations may have been the unifying theme...

Sometimes after a signing I would comment to the other BUs that I felt we were like the early Beatles (not in terms of sales numbers!!) but in the fact that we were a bunch of lads hanging out together, having a good time, and sharing it with our fans. In the Beatles documentary 'ANTHOLOGY', Ringo said that in the end, they were just four guys who loved hanging out with one another. I'd add to that: The fact that people also loved the work, that was a great by-product.
_________________
"I'm not bad. I just draw that way!"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    elmuerto.com Forum Index -> Javiland All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group