Dallas ISD teacher Hector Rodriguez is the creator of El Peso Hero, a superhero that stands up for immigrants and fights drug cartels. Rodriguez is a teacher at the Jerry Junkins Elementary School. Photographed at his Apartment in Dallas, TX on November 20, 2013.

Dallas ISD teacher Hector Rodriguez is the creator of El Peso Hero, a superhero that stands up for immigrants and fights drug cartels. Rodriguez is a teacher at the Jerry Junkins Elementary School. Photographed at his Apartment in Dallas, TX on November 20, 2013.

Kye R. Lee/Staff Photographer

For convention floors packed with people dressed as superheroes, aliens, cyborgs, mutants and more, sometimes the nation's biggest comic book conventions can also feel a little too white.

That's the sentiment expressed by Hector Rodriguez in an interview with Texas Standard earlier this month. He's the creator of the El Peso Hero series of comics, and he's the founder of the Texas Latino Comic Con -- a first-of-its-kind event in Texas (California has one that started in 2011).

"We've always been involved with the comic book medium as consumers of it," Rodriguez says in the interview, but he thinks the time is now for Texas to have a Latino comic book convention.

Texas Latino Comic Con

"Representation matters," he says, and while Latino representation in superhero comics isn't nonexistent (Marvel's Ms. America is a notable example, and a recent hero to hold the title of Spider-Man, Miles Morales, is half Latino), those characters aren't exactly prevalent, either.

Unlike most of the big but pricey comic conventions in Texas (of which there are many), this event, which is being held at Dallas' Latino Cultural Center on July 29, is free to attend.

"One thing about these conventions is that they're costly, so in a way they tend to discriminate [against] lower-income families," Rodriguez told Texas Standard. "I created this event in a way to make sure that it's all inclusive -- that everybody has an opportunity to get into the comic book spirit and enjoy what a comic book convention has to offer."

The guest list includes celebrated Venom artist Sam de la Rosa, Hector Cantu (creator of the comic strip Baldo), Eliamaria M. Crawford, Eddie Medina and Richard Dominguez. There will also be panels and some Latino superhero short films.

And yes, of course there will be a (Latino character-centric) cosplay contest. It's a comic book convention, after all.

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