Santa Claus Purikura

Couldn’t let Christmas slip past me without sharing this bit of holiday purikura posted by the notorious Maria Ozawa on her blog. Hella cute!

Speaking of purikura, my work in the medium is expanding. Here’s a few pics from a recent trip to Japantown’s Pikapika with the one and only Maya Chinchilla.

Peace,

Rio

Merry Christmas!

Things have been so crazy and hectic, yet wonderfully productive the last two weeks. My new collective the Bloody Swans recently launched our website at Bloodyswans.com. It’s a collaborative photo/make up art project with Mariela and our best homegirl Carina. We’re in the process of editing and preparing our photos but you can see a few raw photos on the site. I also put together this video of Carina with my vast sunglasses collection using warm-up photos we shot during our first session.

Speaking of Carina, she and I made this video Christmas card secretly behind Mariela’s back on Wednesday. Like a lot of my recent work it takes inspiration for Jim Mendiola’s video for Girl in a Coma’s Static Mind. Merry Christmas!

Lastly, I’ve been doing some work with Mission Loc@l. Here’s this rcent video featuring myself and the lovely Amanda Martinez reporting on the Mexican Museum’s Christmas Traditions of Mexico exhibit.

Merry Christmas and Peace,

Rio

Scott Pilgrim Style Guide

As my birthday quickly approaches in January I am more determined than ever to have the greatest Scott Pilgrim themed birthday party OF ALL TIME. I was talking to Mariela and our homegirl Carina about it this weekend and got stuck trying to explain the aesthetics of Ramona Flowers, Scott Pilgrim’s Girlfriend. Originally I was going to send them a few of the following pictures but since I’m trying to get as many people dressed as Scott Pilgrim characters for the party I thought I’d post this as a handy inspirational guide to Scott Pilgrim costuming. First up: The one and only Ramona Flowers!

And here are some photos taken by Edgar Wright from the set of the Scott Pilgrim movie with Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers.

Sadly there are not a whole lot of Kim Pine looks out there on the web. Since Mariela has cute-ass freckles I always thought she’d make an awesome Kim Pine.

And now some Kim Pine photos from the Scott Pilgrim movie with Alison Pill as Kim Pine.

And last but not least we have Knives Chau, the most dangerous tenderoni to ever walk the Earth. Sadly, there is also a lack of Knives looks out there was well. Here is what I could find.

Without further ado here is Ellen Wong as Knives Chau in the Scott Pilgrim Movie.

Peace,

Rio

Validating Validus

Damn, it feels good to be a Chicano nerd today. After William Nericcio at Tex[t]-Mex pointed out a recent article discussing the depictions of non-White video game characters I got really depressed thinking about how underrepresented Raza are in nerd-related genres. Let’s face it, the only Latino actor with any real sci-fi or fantasy cache is ol’ crater-face Edward James Olmos (Blade Runner, Battlestar Galactica). That’s why it was such a big deal for me to see Culture Clash’s Herbert Siguenza in the recently released Ben 10 Alien Swarm. Herbert plays Validus, the movie’s main villain.

What’s so revolutionary about it is that he plays a contemporary Latino character. That may sound basic but it’s actually incredibly rare. If a Latino actor is given a role in a sci-fi or fantasy genre movie they usually play non-Latinos (see Christian Serratos as Angela in the Twilight films) or they play Latinos in a context where race has a different meaning or is irrelevant (see futuristic franchises like Star Trek). In Ben 10 Alien Swarm, Validus is a contemporary Latino character that is not deprived of the context of being just that. To be clear, Validus makes no profound statements about being Latino. He’s just a character with a Latino name and a Latina daughter, who happens to be a powerful super-villain.

I’m no expert in the Ben 10 mythos but here is a basic recap of the events of the movie. Spoilers ahoy!

In the film, Victor Validus is a former scientist gone rogue. In trying to prove to everyone that sentient alien microchips are a threat to the Earth he becomes taken over and possessed by them. His body gains the ability to reproduce the chips and he controls them like a giant swarm of insects (hence the Alien Swarm in the title). Validus plots to take over Earth by spreading his swarm far and wide using a shipping company to literally send them across the planet.

The bulk of the film has the main character Ben and his sidekicks trailing Validus and battling swarms of micorchips and possessed humans along the way. There’s a subplot about Validus’ daughter Elena (Alyssa Diaz) reaching out to Ben for help to save her father and Ben’s friends not trusting her. The final battle of the movie has Ben and company discovering Validus in a warehouse hooked up to a machine that helps him reproduce the alien microchips (see photo above). Ben uses his watch-like alien device called the Omnitrix to shrink down in size and battle the Queen of the aliens inside Validus’ body.

Ben 10 Alien Swarm is out on DVD and Blu-Ray, but that’s not all. Behold, there is a Validus action figure. It’s a part of the Alien Swarm Movie Set 1 figure pack and can also be ordered through amazon. Can you think of the last time you saw an action figure of a Latino character?

Orale Herbert!

Rio

Dreams Comin’ True

A lifelong dream came true today. If you’re in the Mission, please pick up the latest El Tecolote to see the first installment of my weekly comic strip Hella Mission. As soon as it goes online I’ll post the link. Hella thanks goes out to Mission Local editors Amanda Martinez and Kate Kilpatrick for making this all happen.

And just for kicks, here’s a video of me goofing around to Freezepop’s Plastic Stars.

Peace,

Rio