Marvel and Columbia Pictures have released three Spiderman movies in the last nine years. (Christine Villegas/

Captain America punches his way into the movie mainstream

EL PASO – Six blockbuster movies based on comic books exploded into theaters this summer mirroring people’s discontent with the general state of the world. In the last seven years the genre has grown from films that appeal to a niche audience to movies that draw the general public. “You see, what they (comics) are, are historical picture books.” Mark Hajunga smiles as he stands at his counter of his store, Comic, Cards & Collectibles. He knows that the proof to his statement lies in the mountains of comics around him. Every time the world changed so did comics, sometimes even predicting future events.

(Courtesy of Jaime Portillo)

The borderland becomes comic book fantasy as gunslingers and vampires stalk the high desert

EL PASO – The blazing sun was so hot here Saturday that the mean old Texas gunslinger Dallas Stoudenmire could have strutted right out of pages of the western comic book Hell Paso into the desert morning in a barrage of gunfire. But the scoundrel stayed pressed into the pages of the colorful comic written by Jaime Portillo, which tells the adventures of the Old West marshal who lived in El Paso in 1891. Instead of outlaws and gunslingers the streets of Hell Paso teemed with comic book enthusiast anxious to meet their favorite comic book celebrities. The El Paso Comic Convention helped network local artists to the national comic book community. Such was the case for Portillo, author of other comic books such as Gabriel (2004), The Railroad Killer (2009).