“Superman had such an impact on my life, so I have a tattoo with a rendering of a Neal Adams drawing on my arm,” says Gabriel Valentin, whose band Digital Lizards of Doom will be performing at this year’s San Diego Comic Fest, where artist Adams is a featured guest. “The Death of Superman [was] one of the first comics I read when I was a kid. It took the most powerful comic-book hero and gave him the ultimate choice. The struggle between good and evil is so greatly expressed in that book, and I have yet to see it replicated.”
A conscious attempt to re-create the fan-friendly vibe of early San Diego Comic-Cons, Comic Fest unfolds October 17 through 19 at the Town and Country Resort. Several music performances are scheduled, but the local Lizards have one of the most comic-inspired setlists.
“I think [our song] ‘Ray Gun Arcade’ is probably the most blatant example,” says Valentin. “It hints at a lot of anime references.”
Also appearing is the band Madus, which features Kirby Shaw, son of Crawford High alum Scott Shaw, who became one of the best-known Flintstones artists.
“The guys and I have a very eclectic and cosmic sound to some of our tunes,” says Kirby, who was named after comic artist Jack Kirby. Despite having attended the now-gargantuan Comic-Con every year of his life (one of the perks/perils of having a comic-pro dad), the younger Shaw touts the much-smaller Comic Fest’s offerings.
“I’m looking forward to less stress, being able to actually walk the convention floor without being mauled by people who do nothing else but look everywhere besides their path, the ability to meet up with loved ones easily, no Hollywood, and most of all, parking.” Other performers include local folkster Robin Henkel, steampunk rockers Poplock Holmes, and Damian and Marion Bowles.