Weekend Preview: December Nights, 'Danny's Story,' Little Fish’s Comic Savvy Holiday Edition
Speaker 1: 00:00 Holiday activities start ramping up today as the 42nd annual bell boa park. December nights gets underway. The free holiday festival runs tonight and tomorrow. But remember, parking can be a challenge. So plan ahead if you want to look past the weekend. Blind spot collectives production. Danny's story was created with San Diego LGBTQ plus youth performances are set this month at various high schools and at the Lyceum theater on December 11th and KPBS arts reporter Beth Huck Amando suggests another event, little fishes, comic savvy holiday edition. She speaks with little fish comic book studios, executive director, Alonzo nuÃ±ez to explain what us savvy is all about. Speaker 2: 00:46 Alonzo, you run little fish comics on klahoma Boulevard. Explain to people what this is if they've never been there. Speaker 3: 00:53 Yeah, so a little fish complex studio is a nonprofit comic art studio and advocacy group, which kind of put an English means that, uh, we teach classes, we run camps, all the kind of cool, fun art studio stuff that you would expect. But then we do a lot of advocacy for, uh, comic books in general. So we run, uh, community events. We, uh, have different partnerships around the city to involve the community, to involve schools. Uh, it kind of to convince everyone that comics are a legitimate art form, that they can be educational, that they can be fun and that they are a true American art form. Speaker 2: 01:29 And I've been to your shop or your place and there are frequently a lot of kids there. So what kind of stuff do you do with kids in terms of allowing them a chance to draw or to read comics? Speaker 3: 01:40 Uh, we often have kids in there, even throughout the day, you know, uh, we have different, uh, groups that are homeschooled. We might have a girl scout girl scout troupe. Uh, the girl Scouts have a badge in comic book art making, which is amazing. So they'll come in, uh, we'll get en to welve kids in for that. They'll sit down, uh, I'll teach them the fundamentals of making comics, me or ne of the other instructors. Uh, and then they'll go out with a badge throughout the week. Uh, students come in and they get the fundamentals of comics from, uh, writing comics to drawing comics. To the collaboration of comics, which is really important to me. So they learn how to collaborate. So ne student might do the initial pencil drawing, they pass it over to another student to ink, they pass it to another student to color so that they learn the kind of uh, the joy of kind of artistic collaboration from a young age. Uh, when I was, when I was young, I just remember being almost like a Hobbit in my bedroom, you know, over a desk with a ballpoint pen. So I like to open it up as much as possible cause for me going to art school, a big part of it was uh, seeing what everyone else was doing. And so we like to keep that collaborative spirit kind of just uh, embedded in the studio. Speaker 2: 02:45 And ne of the things you do on a regular basis is something you call a comic savvy and you have your holiday ne coming up. What is a comic savvy? Speaker 3: 02:53 So a comic savvy is a chance for students, teachers, professionals, but also just lay people that love comic books to come into the studio. Right. I often feel bad because, uh, parents, uh, or younger siblings or even older siblings that maybe aren't artistic will come in for a family member's class just to drop them off or to see the studio and they look around and they go, this is amazing. But, uh, we realized early on that there was a desire for little fish to be a community hub. And so, uh, every, every month or so we opened up the doors. We buy donuts, we have free comic books. And beyond that, it's a chance for people to come in, see the space, talk shop, you know, uh, whether they be professionals, fans, uh, students, uh, and just get to, uh, get to see the space to explore it. Speaker 3: 03:39 We have people that come in and all they want to do is just sit and like read from our library for hree hours. Right. And some people, some students will come in and they're like, I've been wanting to read the stack of books. They just take the stack of books. They go up to our reading room and they're just there for hree hours. They're like, they grab a donut. They're like, don't talk to me, don't bother me. Right? This is is my time. But so we leave it open for whatever people want to do with the studio in those hree hours. Speaker 2: 04:01 And this is a free event. Speaker 3: 04:02 It's a free event, uh, absolutely free. Uh, all ages. Uh, families are welcome. Welcome to come. We'll have a big butcher paper out for people to draw on and uh, kind of create. Speaker 2: 04:12 Now this is your holiday events, so it's meant to have a lot of holiday cheer. However, we just lost obert Scott who was the owner of the wo kamikaze bookstores, ne in Liberty station, ne in Claremont. He'd be passed away. And this leaves a big question Mark for our pop culture community. I mean, it's a great loss of him as a person, but also he's run these wo stores. What does it mean for the comics community? Um, if the future of those stores is up in the air, Speaker 3: 04:43 it's hard. Whenever something like this happens, um, it's always big. But Robert feels particularly big. Losing him. It's, I mean there's the logistics just of it being wo stores, not ne store, but Robert was such a presence in San Diego as not just a retailer, but he occasionally published books. Um, and he was always incredibly generous and open with his studio's use as a community space. Um, I worked with a school last year and they had their book published and just complete without, without me had approached him to see if they could set up a table out front to sell their, uh, their comic. And of course Robert being the generous soul that he was said. Of course. Absolutely. And so they sold their comic in the evening. It's, it's frankly, it's going to be hard. Beth. It's San Diego is a big city and our, our nerd community, our pop culture community has a lot of generosity of spirit. Speaker 3: 05:34 Hopefully someone can step up and kind of maybe take over those stores would be the best, uh, the best back cause those stores are really anchors for the communities of, of Claremont. And then over in Liberty station, uh, what he was building along with, uh, IDW being foundation. There was a really great kind of nerd hub. Um, and it, it would be incredibly sad to see that, to see that go away. I'm hoping that someone, um, can fill that. If not, um, I hope that kind of like when villainous layer was forced to close a couple of years ago, that community, uh, finds another kind of bedrock somewhere in San Diego. That'd be my, that'd be my hope. Speaker 2: 06:18 And we also are at a time when mysterious galaxy may also be forced to close. So it feels like particularly sad time for people who love books that are not necessarily of the mainstream. Speaker 3: 06:30 Absolutely. In LA bodega just, uh, had to, had a, um, was forced to move out the end of the month. Uh, the gallery down in Barrio Logan, of course, it feels like a pop culture community in San Diego is, uh, up in flux a little bit right now. Um, right. Uh, it's often said that it was a, a, a curse, not a, not a hope. May you live in interesting times. Right. It feels like San Diego is in interesting times right now. Right. Speaker 2: 06:56 All right. Well I wanna thank you for talking about little fish. Absolutely. Thank you. That was Beth Armando speaking with Alonzo nuÃ±ez of little fish comics. Tonight the studio is hosting its comic savvy holiday edition from ven tto n tthe event is free.