The Importance of Marvel’s All-New Ghost Rider

Posted in Misc. on March 28th, 2014 by Eric Valdez

Last night on Facebook I wrote a really long post about something that had to do with depictions of minority characters in mainstream media. Specifically, comics. Actually, it ONLY had to do with comics. It’s something that I have never cared enough to write about because my own ethnicity is something that I rarely even think about. Probably because I was fortunate to grow up in Alhambra, a suburb of Los Angeles that, at the time, was a very ethnically diverse community.

I went to school with a lot of different types of kids and since then, my groups of friends have always consisted of people from different ethnic background, so the color of my skin wasn’t much of an issue. Having been a punk kid during my adolescence and early adulthood had a lot to do with that too. Sure, I’m proud to be an American of Mexican descent, but it’s not something that I focus on because I never grew up with it being a defining characteristic. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the least interesting thing about me.

Okay, here’s what I posted on Facebook, along with an image of All-New Ghost Rider’s cover:

Attention fellow brown people/latinos, chicanos or whatever you choose to call yourselves, and those of you of other ethnicities who give a shit: I know a lot of you are really excited about the Cesar Chavez movie opening tomorrow and plan to see it this weekend, so you can do your part to make the movie a success and bring more attention to an important figure in American history. I plan to do the same. You know what else you should do in addition to that? Go to a comic book shop, pick up a copy of All-New Ghost Rider #1, and give it to a little kid that’s into superheroes. Brown kid, yellow kid, black kid, white kid…any kid, just give them this comic. Please. Especially if you were into superheroes as a kid.

As a child I was obsessed with comic book characters (I still kind of am) and most of them were white guys. There were some exceptions — Luke Cage, Sunspot and Rictor from New Mutants/X-Force, John Stewart, and Black Panther were all good guys of color, but none of them were major superheroes. I didn’t mind and I wasn’t longing for a popular superhero that looked like me. It never dawned on me that people who looked like me were being under represented in comics. I couldn’t have cared less. All I wanted were fights, space missions, explosions, and crazy looking art. But what if I did grow up with major superheroes who looked more like me? That would have been awesome!

Now there’s a mainstream comic book superhero who’s different and has a background that is similar to a lot of you. The latest incarnation of Marvel’s Ghost Rider is a latino kid from East L.A. and that’s a pretty big deal. Now some kids might grow up with a popular character who is a lot like them. Or maybe not.

If this comic book isn’t a success and this latest version of Ghost Rider doesn’t become as popular as previous versions of the character, Marvel won’t have a reason to keep publishing it. But if it is popular then we’ll get to see a brown-skinned kid become a superhero in cartoons, live-action TV shows, and movies because that’s what happens to popular superheroes nowadays. This could lead to more major superheroes of color in different medias. So, please buy this comic book and give it to a brown kid, yellow kid, black kid, white kid…any kid. They’ll love it. What kid wouldn’t love a superhero who turns into a blazing skeleton that drives a rad car?

If you’re a person of color who grew up reading comic books then you owe it to younger self to do this. That’s why I’m doing it.

And while you’re at it, do the same with the new Ms. Marvel comic. It’s about a teenage muslim superhero. Also, there’s already a latino and black Spider-Man, but he’s not Spider-Man in the main Marvel universe. It’s still pretty cool, though..

All-New Ghost Rider #1

All-New Ghost Rider #1

Robbie Reyes, the new "Spirit of Vengeance"

Robbie Reyes, the new “Spirit of Vengeance”

Savages art show in Paso Robles

Posted in Events, Group Shows on March 26th, 2014 by Eric Valdez

I haven’t been painting or showing any new work, so I didn’t think there was any point in me updating this thing. Especially since I’ve been focusing more on graphic design stuff and have been working on a new site for all of that stuff, which can be seen at ODDIOVISUAL.COM.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I finally finished a painting after over a year of abandoning canvases that I had started to paint on, and drove it up north to Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County. Neal Breton curated a rad art show and, once again, invited me to participate. I wasn’t going to bail on it for a second year in a row, so I threw something together.

Savages Art Show Flyer

Savages Art Show Flyer

My contribution to the show was this thing:

Hey You, New Wave - 18"x24" - acrylic, ink, and collage on canvas

18″x24″ – acrylic, ink, and collage on canvas

It’s inspired by one of my favorite Descendents songs, “Sour Grapes.”

I went up there for the opening, which was rad (check out pictures and a video of the event here and here, respectively), and while I was sipping on some excellent home brewed craft beer and root beer I saw a woman jotting something down on a notepad while looking at my painting. As it turned out, that woman was the Arts Editor of the San Luis Obispo’s New Times, who was covering the event. A couple weeks ago Neal informed me that my painting was featured in the article on the exhibit. I was shocked. Still am. After over a year of not being able to finish a painting, I managed to finish it, and it ended up in print. Weird.

New Times Savages Article

The full-color web version of the article can be seen here.

Maybe I should start painting more.

Fake Flyers

Posted in Events, Group Shows on October 13th, 2013 by Eric Valdez

Last night Espacio 1839 had their 1 year anniversary party. The festivities included an exhibition of flyers for shows that never happened featuring bands that never existed at venues that also never existed. Obviously, I had to participate.

flyer wall

I was already working on a painting that featured an Day of the Dead of the Circle Jerks’ famous “Skank Kid,” so I put that on a flyer with some fake bands.

Fake punk rock show

Fake punk rock show

And I also did a couple of flyers that were reminiscent of flyers that I used to make and see back when I first got into punk rock in the mid-90s. One of them was inspired by backyard punk gigs and the other was inspired by all ages hardcore matinee shows.

fake backyard punk rock gig flyer

fake backyard punk rock gig flyer

fake hardcore matinee flyer

fake hardcore matinee flyer

If you’re in the Boyle Heights area, stop in at Espacio 1839, buy some records, books, or clothing and check out the wall-o-flyers.

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Black Flag Gig Poster

Posted in Music on July 14th, 2013 by Eric Valdez

UPDATE: 7/15/13

Last night was a lot of fun and I’m extremely grateful to GITBAM, The Vex Arts and, of course, Black Flag for putting on such a great show and letting me be a small part of it.

The posters sold out quickly due to the very limited run, so a lot of people that were thinking of getting one at the end of the night, so it wouldn’t get DAMAGED (pun intended), didn’t have an opportunity to get one. If you happen to be one of those people or if you like the design, feel free to download a pdf file of the poster and get it printed for about 2 bucks at FedEx Office or Staples on 11″x17″ paper. It’s slightly different than the version that was sold at the show to distinguish it from the screen printed version.

black flag vex poster

Greg and Ron signed the albums that they each appeared on (their signatures on Damaged don't show up in the picture) and the entire band signed the poster. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my Decline of Western Civilization lp.

Greg and Ron signed the albums that they each appeared on and the entire band signed the poster. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my Decline of Western Civilization lp.

Black Flag is playing tonight at The Vex Arts in Los Angeles. They have been one of my favorite bands since I first heard them when I was 14. A band that I used to be in covered Nervous Breakdown all the time. Their music, aesthetic, and attitude continue to be huge influences on pretty much everything creative that I’ve ever done. Needless to say, Black Flag means a lot to me.

I’ve been lucky enough to establish a good relationship with Joe Vex and his crew, so I took a shot at designing a gig poster for Black Flag’s show there and, after a few revisions, last week I got the go-ahead to have some copies printed. All of this went down within the last couple of weeks, because I couldn’t decide on what to design until then. I needed someone who knew what they were doing to help me out and print some posters without much notice, and Dewey Tafoya of Social Machine Productions had my back. Unfortunately he had to squeeze this project into an already tight schedule, so he only had time to print 25 posters. I’m cool with that. And I’m also extremely grateful.

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click to enlarge

If you’re going to be at the Black Flag show tonight at The Vex, be sure to get a poster if that’s the sort of thing you’re into. They’re 10 bucks each and there will only be 25 of them in existence (only about 20 will be sold, the rest will be given to the band, venue, promoter, and I’ll try to hang on to a couple), and once they’re gone, they’re gone FOREVER. Don’t be surprised if they pop up on eBay for way more than $10.

I’ll be sure to make any posters that are left after the show available to those of you who were unable to attend the show.

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Descendents – I Wanna Be A Bear EP

Posted in Uncategorized on June 14th, 2013 by Eric Valdez
Click to enlarge.



5  copies of this very rare “lost” Descendents – I Wanna Be A Bear EP will be available at the Re-Covere-ed art show tomorrow. The EP, released before Milo Goes To College, contains 2 songs that would eventually appear on the album, an outtake from the MGTC sessions, and a live track. Each copy will come with an I Wanna Be A Bear button and, since they’re super limited edition “works of art(?)” and I didn’t actually press bootleg records, a digital copy of the EP.

Upcoming Group Art Exhibitions

Posted in Group Shows on June 7th, 2013 by Eric Valdez

Here’s what I’ll be up to this month:

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click to enlarge

Facebook Event Page


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I’ve done quite a few album cover re-interpritations, so I’m pretty excited about this show and I think I might end up finishing a couple of new pieces for it.

Facebook Event Page


click to enlarge

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This is going to be a really fun night of punk rock for a very important cause and I’m glad I was asked to participate.

Facebook Event Page


Posted in Events, Group Shows, Music on March 16th, 2013 by Eric Valdez

I’ll be participating in some great events that’l be coming up really soon…like tomorrow. Here’s the rundown:


A few days ago I got an invite to show some paintings and whatnot at a couple of spots during this rad St. Patty’s Day event in the Pasadena Playhouse District. A couple of pieces will be up at the Playhouse, where Janis Joplin’s famous psychedelic Porsche will be located, and a few doors down at Zona Rosa Coffe‘s art show.

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March 22nd

Alex Trillo and the good folks at Art! The Magazine are putting on another event at the legendary Vex and I’ve been asked to be the featured artist.

music on canvasclick to enlarge

March 28th:

A while back I submitted a design to Global Inheritance for TRASHed Coachella. I was chosen to participate and now I’m painting a big recycling bin that a bazillion people will be seeing at Coachella. All of the bins will be on display before both weekends of the festival, some come take a look. It’ll be fun!

TRASHedCoachella2013_ShowPosterclick to enlarge

Here’s the design I submitted.

trashed designclick to enlarge

This guy will be losing his socks in the final version.

April 6th:

Deadmundo and Sketch are putting together another great show and this time it’ll be at one of my favorite spots in Highland Park, Mi Vida.

jokebox artclick to enlarge

I’ll post some info on a couple more up-coming events soon.

This Saturday – My Art at the legendary VEX

Posted in Events, Group Shows, Music on February 21st, 2013 by Eric Valdez

This Saturday I will have the honor of, once again, displaying some of my art at The Vex. If you don’t know how important The Vex is then peep this article. If it hadn’t been for punk rock (and comic books), I probably wouldn’t have ended up becoming an artist, so having the opportunity to get some of my art on The Vex’s walls for a second time is a huge honor and means a lot to me.

My pieces will be up during my buddy Brando Von Badsville‘s show, Angel City Stomp. It’s a psychobilly show, so I’m not too familiar with the bands that are playing, but if Brando is putting it together then it should be a rad show.

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Live: THE SWAMPYS (Belgium), THE CHOP TOPS (Santa Cruz), Reckless Ones (MN), Screamin Rebel Angels (NY), The Grims, The Quaranteds, The Radarmen;
-Special Features: Full Bar, Smoking Patio, Art Show, Secured Parking Lot +Tons of FREE parking along bldgs in back corridor
-SPECIAL NOTE: Look for the GIANT MASK on the bldg
-$15 PreSale / Doors at 6:30pm / ALL AGES
-5240 Alhambra Ave, Los Angeles CA 90032
-Facebook Event: HERE
-Nearby Hotels: Starlight Inn, Best Western, Comfort Inn
-Vendor Rates: Email for info
-Pre-Sale Tix: HERE
-Pre-Sale Tix Outlets:
*LIBERTY VINTAGE / BIG ED’S RECORDS (2146 E 4th Street, Long Beach)* *REDZONE DTLA (629 S Broadway, Los Angeles 90014)*
*SPITFIRE INTERIORS (12907 Philadelphia st, Whittier)*


Posted in Events, Misc. on January 21st, 2013 by Eric Valdez

Here’s some graphic design stuff that I’ve done lately. My girlfriend, Andee, has started an event planning company and she’s already helped produce some great events, which is how I ended up making these flyers.

The most recent flyer is for Viva La Graza, a rockabilly festival on February 16th in L.A., which should be a lot of fun if you dig retro stuff. I’ll have a couple of pieces in the art exhibit portion of the event. If retro culture isn’t your bag, then just come by and gawk at a bunch of latinos dressed up like the cast of The Outsiders.

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My new solo show!

Posted in Events, Solo Shows on September 11th, 2012 by Eric Valdez

I’ve been living in the lovely Boyle Heights section of L.A. for over three years and I haven’t had the opportunity to display my art in the area…until now! Well, not now, but very soon!

Eastside Luv is one of my favorite places in Boyle Heights and it’s a bar that I frequent pretty regularly, so being allowed to put my art up on walls that other talented artists have filled before me is a huge honor that I do not take lightly.

My exhibition entitled “Geeking Out!” (for obvious reasons) will run from October 6th to October 28th and the opening reception will be on October 6th from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. It’ll be a blast, I promise. Click below to get a better look at the flyer.

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I’ve always wanted to have an opening reception for a solo show that is more like a party than the usual art exhibition opener, and this is definitely going to be a party. Seriously, it’s gonna go off, so join me for a night of drinks, music, and art in various mediums based on all kinds of pop-culture stuff that I obsessively geek out over.

If you’ve never been to ESL, then you’re missing out. There’s ALWAYS incredible art up on the walls and there are a lot of fun events that take place weekly. One of my favorite regular events at ESL is MorrisseyOke™, which is why I’m thrilled to have a mini-MorrisseyOke™ session at my opening reception. Click here to find out what KPCC has to say about MorrisseyOke™.

If that’s not enough to get you to come out then check this out: the first 25 people in attendance and all MorrisseyOke™ participants will receive a limited edition print.