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Visit festiva.themonitor.com to find out how you and your family can win a free trip to the flagship waterpark in New Braunfels.

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MARCO ANTONIO SOLIS, ANA GABRIEL TO PLAY RGV STAFF Spanish pop singers Ana Gabriel and Marco Antonio Solis are coming to the State Farm Arena Friday, Aug. 19, Gabriel announced on her Web site. Both artists hail from Mexico. Solis is

B-DAYS

known for his excellent production and song writing. Gabriel is more famous for her performances. Checkstatefarmarena.com for ticket information in the coming weeks. [ZQ]

FREE, THREE-DAY MUSIC FEST COMING TO EDINBURG ALI MAY 8

GREG MAY 6

AUDRA MAY 6

IRIC MAY 9

CLARISSA MAY 7

ROLAND MAY 9

In the footsteps of Woodstock comes Rudstock (pronounced rude-stock), a free three-day rock and blues festival which will take place June 10, through June 12, in Edinburg. Rudy Reyes will be offering a stretch of land to bands, campers and vendors. If you want to set up camp or sell food or drinks at the fest, there will be a fee, but the concert itself is free to all who want to attend. There will be country, rock, blues, hardcore, alternative, reggae, folk and Span-

ish rock bands mostly from Texas, and one solo artist from Ireland. Some bands scheduled to perform include Blind Man, Not Falling, Fuzer, Us vs. The World, Kid Zapper and the Rocking Zappers, Feto, The Craigers, Chrome and Spur 31. For more information on the fest, including performing at the event, camp or vendor sites or volunteering, contact Rudy Reyes at (956) 380-1528 or noesheba11@aol.com. [ANS]

BR ANDON R . GARCIA

EDITOR BGARCIA@THEMONITOR.COM

ZACK QUAINTANCE

WRITER ZQUAINTANCE@THEMONITOR.COM

AMY NICHOL SMITH

WRITER ASMITH@THEMONITOR.COM

CR YSTAL OLVER A

WRITER COLVERA@THEMONITOR.COM

TR AVIS M. WHITEHEAD

WRITER TWHITEHEAD@BROWNSVILLEHERALD.COM COPY/PHOTO DESK TAMARA CUPPLES AMY CASEBIER BRUNO GARCIA SANTOS GARCIA NYDIA GARZA TELMA GUZMAN JUAN LUEVANO DAVID VALLE PHOTOGRAPHERS JAMES COLBURN GABE HERNANDEZ NATHAN LAMBRECHT DELCIA LOPEZ JOEL MARTINEZ

Festiva, a product of The Monitor and Valley Freedom Newspapers of South Texas, is the Rio Grande Valley’s oldest and most established weekly arts and entertainment publication. It is available in every Friday edition of The Monitor. Story suggestions, comments and criticisms may be e-mailed to festivamagazine@ gmail.com. For advertising inquires, contact Christina Castillo at (956) 6834177 or Pily Toledo at (956) 683-4164.


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 MOVIES  HOMETOWN HOLLYWOOD

DANCING QUEEN

EDINBURG GIRL MAKES BROADWAY DREAM A REALITY BY AMY NICHOL SMITH

A

GABRIELLE RUIZ

AGE: 26 HOMETOWN: Edinburg LIVES IN Queens, New York City HIGH SCHOOL Edinburg North High School, Class of ‘03 DANCED AT Melba’s School of Dance and Gymnastics COLLEGE Oklahoma City University, BFA in Dance Performance TV “One Life to Live,” dancer, four episodes “Sesame Street,” Singing Electrician “Tournament of Roses Parade – Opening Number,” Dance Captain BROADWAY “In the Heights” (Ensemble; Carla, Nina and Vanessa understudy) TOUR “A Chorus Line” (Diana Morales) CURRENTLY “My One and Only” (Edith),

TOP Gabrielle Ruiz (6th from right) with final cast of “In the Heights” during closing night on Broadway. Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN. ABOVE Gabrielle Ruiz with co-star Tony Yazbeck in “My One and Only.” Photo by Emma Mead.

t 26 years old, Edinburg native Gabrielle Ruiz had to come up with a new dream. Her first goal since she was a young dancer at Melba’s School of Dance and Gymnastics had already been achieved. “My first young dream role was as Diana Morales in ‘A Chorus Line,’” Ruiz said. She landed the role in her first national tour of the musical. In the theater business, most dancers/ actors/singers don’t plan too far in advance because life can change with one phone call, which is exactly what happened during Ruiz’s time with “A Chorus Line.” “I was in ‘A Chorus Line’ on tour, and I had almost officially signed my contract to do another six months, when I got ‘In the Heights’ and had a three-week notice to change my whole life,” she said. “I didn’t have anywhere to live yet, I had to find a sub-let, I had a cat … and I had to go back to New York in three weeks.” So Ruiz was able to check another dream off her list. In 2009, she made her Broadway debut in the Tony-winning musical “In the Heights.” The dancer accepted a role as part of the ensemble cast and understudied for the lead roles of Carla, Nina and Vanessa. Though the professional dancer has been twirling and tapping since she was a toddler, Ruiz didn’t really hear her calling until she was 13 years old, when she visited New York with her family the first time. “I saw ‘Big,’ like the Tom Hanks movie, there was a musical called ‘Big,’ for, like, two weeks on Broadway. I saw it, and they looked my age, and I was like, ‘I can do that. This is what I want to do.’” That was when it clicked for Ruiz that she could have a career as a performance artist. Aside from dancing, singer and acting on Broadway, seeing the country with a touring dance company and scoring a lead role in her current job as Edith in “My One and Only” in East Haddam, Conn., Ruiz has also appeared on  CONTINUES

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 THEATER

 LIVE MUSIC

‘Mamma Mia’

Tchaikovsky Performance

Lose yourself in the bubbly and fun pop music of ABBA and the Broadway musical “Mamma Mia!” this weekend at the McAllen Civic Center. The musical, written around songs such as “Dancing Queen,” “Honey, Honey” and “Does Your Mother Know,” follows the tale of 20-year-old Sophie, who is planning to marry in Greece, where her mother Donna lives. Sophie dreams of having her father give her away at her wedding, but it seems impossible since Sophie never knew her father. The bride-to-be discovers three men who might be her father, invites them all, and then everything goes awry and the conflict and resolve is sung to ABBA tunes. There should be no shame in loving a catchy pop hook, but if you must wear a disguise to go see “Mamma Mia!” then grab your darkest shades and floppy hat and go have fun. WHEN: 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 7; 2 p.m. Sunday, May 8 WHERE: McAllen Civic Center, 1300 S. 10th St. COST: $58 to $63 TICKETS: McAllen Convention Center box office, 700 Convention Center Blvd., or online at www.ticketmaster. com  MOVIES

‘Shirley Adams’

The Global Lens foreign film screening series continues at the University of Texas-Pan American with “Shirley Adams” at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 12, at the UTPA Student Union Theater. Oliver Hermanus’ directorial debut tells the tale of a mother in South Africa whose life takes a sudden turn when her teenage son is shot in the neck on his way home from school. Now she alone must care for her paraplegic son, Donovan, whose emotional health is rapidly declining. Shirley has lost all material possessions to pay for medical bills and struggles day-to-day with no job or income. Next month the series will screen “Leo’s Room” on Thursday, June 9, and Friday, June 10. WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday, May 12; 3 p.m. Friday, May 13 WHERE: University of Texas-Pan American Student Union Theater, 1201 W. University Drive, Edinburg COST: Free CALL: (956) 665-2282 or (956) 6652303 ONLINE: http://php.lib.utpa.edu/globallens

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Experience the music of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky through Yuliya Gorenman’s piano, Geoffery Wong’s violin and Benjamin Ponder’s cello. The trio will perform under the direction of conductor Peter Dabrowski at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at the International Museum of Art and Science in the Clark Gallery.

THE BEST STUFF

 LIVE MUSIC

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, May 7 WHERE: International Museum of Art and Science, 1900 W. Nolana Ave., McAllen COST: $35, adults; $30, children and seniors CALL: (956) 661-1615 TICKETS: Symphony office, 200 S. 10th St., Ste. 104, McAllen, or online at www.valleysymphony.org. ONLINE: www.valleyorchestra.org

WITH: Wade Bowen WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, May 6 WHERE: Las Palmas Race Park, 7509 N. Taylor Road, Mission COST: $25, general admission; $30, at the gate; $350, table for 10 BUYAT laspalmas racepark.com

 LIVE MUSIC

Mother’s Day Concert

The South Texas Youth Symphony offers a musical way to celebrate moms for this Mother’s Day — a free concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 8, at the University of TexasPan American in Edinburg. Of course, you don’t have to be a mom to enjoy the classical music of composers, such as Brahms, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky. WHEN: 4 p.m. Sunday, May 8 WHERE: University of Texas-Pan American, 1201 W. University Drive, Edinburg COST: $10, adults; $5, students and seniors; Free for mothers and grandmothers CALL: (956) 661-1615 TICKETS: Symphony office, 200 S. 10th St., Ste. 104, McAllen or online at www.valleysymphony.org. ONLINE: www.valleyorchestra.org  CHARITY

Relay for Life

Relay For Life is an annual event that challenges teams to keep a member of their team walking all night to symbolize the journey of those affected by cancer. WHEN: 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. Friday, May 6 WHERE: McAllen High School Stadium, 2001 N. Bicentennial Blvd. ONLINE: www.relayforlife.org /mcallentx

XXXXXXXXXX Randy Rogers Band V

alley country music fans likely know the Randy Rogers Band well — the group has performed here a handful of times. The hard rocking band is back and taking a break from its acoustic shows to play a full-band show at 7 p.m. Friday, May 6, at Las Palmas Race Park in Mission. The “Hold My Beer and Watch This” tour features the Randy Rogers Band and Wade Bowen. Texas has been aware of what the Ran-

dy Rogers Band offers in a live show, and now the rest of the country is starting to see why the band has been nominated numerous times for an American Country Music award. Earlier this year, the band performed on “The Tonight Show” and “Conan O’Brien.” For a taste of what the Randy Rogers Band sounds like stripped down, visit www.randyrogersband.com to download an acoustic version of the song “Interstate.” [ANS]

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FESTIVA .THEM ON ITOR.COM  LIVE MUSIC

 LIVE MUSIC

Blues On The Hill

The popular free live music series Blues on the Hill is back at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at McKelvey Park in Harlingen. Pull up a lawn chair and sink your teeth into some “backyard barbecue rock ‘n’ blues” by San Benito band Southern Train. Rich DelGrosso will also be performing his mandolin blues. Mexico City native Evelyn Rubio sings the blues in Spanish. And Eric Demmer and the Sax Dawgs blend jazz and funk to bring you some high energy blues. Outside food and drinks aren’t allowed, but you can purchase concessions at the concert. WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday, May 7 WHERE: McKelvey Park, 1325 S. 77 Sunshine Strip, Harlingen COST: Free ONLINE: bluesonthehillharlingen. com  LIVE MUSIC

Rock ‘N’ Beats

C

hristian rock band Press Play headlines the free “Getcha Hands Up” tour, which will make a stop at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, at the Word in Season International Church in Harlingen. On tour with Press Play are singers Charmaine, Rachael Lampa and Ryan Stevenson. Bands Shake the Nation and Taken By One will also perform. [ANS]

WHEN: 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 11 WHERE: Word in Season International Church, 3700 E. Harrison Ave., Harlingen COST: Free CALL: (956) 778-8635 ONLINE: www.wisichurch.org

 COMMUNITY

Art Walk

TO DO THIS WEEK

Press Play

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Supporting local music is as easy as taking a trip down to Brownsville for the day for the free “Rock ‘n’ Beats” music festival starting at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at the University of Texas at Brownsville student union lawn. Dozens of homegrown acts will take one of two stages for hours of rock, hip hop and DJs spinning and mixing. Some of the bands and DJs slated to play include Friday Avenue, The Alldays, Skye, Wildfox, DJ IQ, The BrownsVillains and Angel of Death. . WHEN: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 7 WHERE: University of Texas at Brownsville student union lawn, 80 Fort Brown St. COST: Free

ALL DETAILS AND IMAGES TO FESTIVAMAGAZINE@GMAIL.COM AT LEAST TWO WEEKS IN ADVANCE.

Tonight will be your last chance to see what Art Walk has to offer — at least, until the next season starts up in the fall. Art Walk wraps up the 2010-2011 season at 6 p.m. Friday, May 6, on Main Street in McAllen. Whether you start on the north side at Jac-Lin’s Florist/Art Gallery or south at Archer Park for the free outdoor concert series Music Afterhours, there’s a lot to take in between the two venues. Galleries, eateries and other businesses keep their doors open a bit later for the roaming art aficionados, music lovers and shoppers. The next season begins again in September. WHEN: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, May 6 WHERE: Main Street, McAllen COST: Free  MOVIES

Film Dash Results

Watch the films entered in the CineSol 24-Hour Film Dash and then stick around to see who won. WHEN 7 p.m. Saturday, May 7 WHERE: Cine El Rey, 311 S. 17th St., McAllen COST: $5 TICKETS: At the door

 LIVE MUSIC

Juliana Barwick

WITH: The Child Forgives & Creatives, My Empty Phantom WHEN: 9 p.m. Friday, May 7 WHERE: Fallback Records, 416 N. 10th St., McAllen TICKETS: At the door ONLINE: tigersblood.org


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television and in film. “I was a dancer and a cheerleader,” said Ruiz of her part in the soap opera “One Life to Live.” “It was … kind of like ‘High School Musical,’ they had a prom thing, so they had five of us girls as back up for the … day players.” It was an easy role for Ruiz to adapt to since she performed as the lead character, Gabriela, in “High School Musical,” and she was a cheerleader for Edinburg North High School. Ruiz can also be seen on reruns of “Sesame Street” in an episode where she played an electrician singing about counting laundry drying on the line. In 2007, Ruiz served as the dance captain for the American Spirit Dance Company’s opening number of the Tournament of Roses Parade. Recently, Ruiz wrapped a lead role in the independent film “BQE,” which is set in New York and is all about sex, salsa dancing and motorcycles. The film will be entered in festivals this year. Through hard work and perseverance (she auditioned for “In the Heights” eight times) Ruiz keeps accomplishing goals she sets for herself. Her latest dream may be several years in the making.

“Another dream … is to originate a role,” Ruiz said. “ “To be a part of the beginnings of it and (have) it be mine. It’s very rare; not a lot of actors can do that. Like, for ‘In the Heights,’ a lot of people originated those roles and that was a 10-year process. It takes a long time.” Though it would be a long and arduous process, Ruiz is in for the long haul to make that dream come true. “I don’t expect to retire soon,” she said. “So, I don’t mind if that role is at 80.”


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JUMPING THE BROOM

SOMETHING BORROWED

COMEDY/DRAMA; RATED PG-13

COMEDY/DRAMA; RATED PG-13

When Sabrina Watson (Paula Patton) and Jason Taylor (Laz Alonso) meet, the stars align and they fall in love, but when their two families come together for their wedding, the decidedly ���uptown” Watsons’ and more “downtown” Taylors’ worlds collide. The swirling plot includes class warfare, hook-ups, secrets and general mayhem as the bride and groom try to get married and keep the peace. The film stars a ton of notables, such as Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Meagan Good, Tasha Smith and Mike Epps. [ANS]

Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Dex (Colin Egglesfield) meet in law school and sparks fly, but before they have a chance to fall in love, Darcy (Kate Hudson), Rachel’s pushy best friend, steps in and steals Dex away. Fast forward a few years and Rachel is still single at 30 years old, Darcy and Dex are engaged, and one drunken decision leads to an impossible love triangle. Also starring John Krasinski. [ANS]

PURO VALLE

VALLEY SLANG: “I think it’s inap-

propriate for a newspaper.” “I do say Coke for every kind of soda.” VALLEY EATERY: “El Pato. It’s like, in the car. My parents bring it to me at the airport. …The other hot spot is Taqueria el Zarape. I mean, kill me and knock my socks off. I just have to lay down on the floor because it’s so good and worth it.” VALLEY FOOD CREATION:“I eat pickles with popcorn because of the big pickle they have at the movie theater. Nobody has that. Nobody else has that.” WHAT SONG PLAYED DURING YOUR QUINCEÑERA DANCE? “I

got a car instead. I had to get all As for my driver’s license, to take driver’s ed., and I got a B in chemistry and I thought my parents were still going to let me take it. And I got a purse for my birthday.”

JUMPING THE BROOM 11:10 2:00 4:50 7:40 10:30 SOMETHING BORROWED PG-13 11:30 12:50 2:15 3:30 4:55 6:10 7:30 8:50 10:10 THERE BE DRAGONS PG-13 1:05 4:05 7:05 10:05 THOR PG-13

HOODWINKED TOO! HOOD VS. EVIL PG

JUMPING THE BROOM 10:25 1:10 3:55 6:40 9:25 SOMETHING BORROWED PG-13 2:40 4:55 7:10 9:30 10:45 12:05 1:25 2:40 4:00 DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES: 12:25PM 5:20 6:40 8:00 9:20 10:40 PROM PG THERE BE DRAGONS PG-13 11:25 2:10 4:40 7:25 10:10 11:00 1:55 4:50 7:45 10:40 TYLER PERRY’S MADEA’S THOR PG-13 BIG HAPPY FAMILY PG-13 REALD 3D SHOWTIMES: REALD 3D SHOWTIMES: 7:35 10:20 10:30 12:20 1:15 3:05 4:00 11:10 1:15 2:00 4:15 5:00 WATER FOR ELEPHANTS PG-13 6:00 7:00 9:00 10:00 7:15 7:40 10:15 10:35 11:05 1:50 4:35 7:25 10:15 STANDARD SHOWTIMES: STANDARD SHOWTIMES: RIO G 11:25 2:10 5:00 8:00 10:55 12:30 3:30 6:30 9:35 REALD 3D SHOWTIMES: FAST FIVE PG-13 FAST FIVE PG-13 DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES: DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES: 1:30 4:15 7:00 9:45 1:15 4:15 7:15 10:15 STANDARD SHOWTIMES: 1:00 4:00 7:00 10:00 11:35 2:05 4:50 STANDARD SHOWTIMES: STANDARD SHOWTIMES: ARTHUR PG-13 12:00PM 11:15 12:15 2:15 3:15 11:00 11:55 1:55 3:10 4:50 5:15 6:15 8:15 9:15 HANNA PG-13 6:15 7:45 9:20 10:40 2:35 5:15 7:50 10:25 AFRICAN CATS G AFRICAN CATS G DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES: INSIDIOUS PG-13 DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES: 11:00AM 11:15 1:55 4:40 7:20 10:00 10:55AM HOODWINKED TOO! REALD 3D SHOWTIMES:

JUMPING THE BROOM SOMETHING BORROWED PG-13 THOR PG-13 REALD 3D SHOWTIMES: STANDARD SHOWTIMES:

FAST FIVE PG-13

1:10 4:05 7:05 10:00 1:55 4:35 7:20 10:10 1:50 4:40 7:30 10:20 12:15 3:30 6:15 9:15 12:00 1:30 3:00 4:30 6:00 7:40 9:00 10:35

HOOD VS. EVIL PG

REALD 3D SHOWTIMES:

1:10 3:25 5:40 7:55 10:05

DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES:

11:00AM PROM PG 11:15 1:50 4:25 7:00 9:35 TYLER PERRY’S MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY PG-13 2:10 7:30 WATER FOR ELEPHANTS PG-13 11:25 2:10 4:55 7:45 10:30 RIO G REALD 3D SHOWTIMES: 11:20 1:50 4:20 7:05 9:30 STANDARD SHOWTIMES:

12:10 2:40 5:10 SCREAM 4 R 11:45AM HANNA PG-13 7:40 10:20 SOUL SURFER PG 11:30 4:50 10:10 INSIDIOUS PG-13 2:25 5:05 7:35 10:05

HOODWINKED TOO! HOOD VS. EVIL PG REALD 3D SHOWTIMES: 2:20 4:45 7:00 9:20 DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES: 11:45AM PROM PG 1:35 4:15 7:15 9:50 TYLER PERRY’S MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY PG-13 9:40PM RIO G REALD 3D SHOWTIMES: 12:30 3:05 5:30 7:55 10:25 INSIDIOUS PG-13 1:45 4:25 7:10

WHAT NICKNAME DID YOUR FAMILY HAVE FOR YOU? “Too

many. Gabita, Gabina, Gabs … Gabby … Gabi.”

LEFT Gabrielle Ruiz with Victor J.

Wisehart in “My One and Only.” Photo by Robin L. McGee.

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES PG SUCKER PUNCH PG-13 PAUL R BATTLE: LOS ANGELES PG-13 I AM NUMBER FOUR PG-13 GNOMEO & JULIET G REALD 3D SHOWTIMES:

11:35 11:20 11:30 11:15 11:40

2:05 4:25 7:15 9:35 2:00 4:50 7:40 10:10 2:15 4:45 7:45 10:15 1:55 4:35 7:25 10:05 2:10 4:40 7:10 9:50

11:25 1:45 4:15 7:00 9:15

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: 12:15 2:35 4:55 7:15 9:35 RODRICK RULES PG SUCKER PUNCH PG-13 11:25 1:55 4:35 7:05 9:50 PAUL R 2:20 4:50 7:20 9:45 BATTLE: LOS ANGELES PG-13 11:20 2:00 4:40 7:30 10:15 RED RIDING HOOD PG-13 11:35 2:10 4:30 7:40 10:10 BIG MOMMA’S: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON PG-13 11:45 2:15 4:45 7:25 9:55 I AM NUMBER FOUR PG-13 7:10 10:05 GNOMEO & JULIET G REALD 3D SHOWTIMES: 12:05 2:30 5:05 7:35 9:40 STANDARD SHOWTIMES: 11:40 2:05 4:10 YOGI BEAR PG 11:50

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1/29/2011 -

LEIH HOLLES 709 N 10TH ST MCALLEN, TX (956) 682-3419

THE M ON ITOR | FRIDAY, M AY 6 , 2 0 1 1

Mondays-All Night Happy Hour Tuesdays-Ladies Night Wednesdays-Live Bands 10pm Thursdays-DJ Mix-up w/ Sam Wise Friday Saturday May 6th ..THYRIUM May 7th ..ALLEY CATS 13th..VENTT 14th..GOODBAR SHOW 20th...CHRIS RIVERA 21th...AWAYOUTT 27th..STONEFREE 28th..SONIC SOUL

Sundays Live Country Music 3-7 RIVER TOURS! CALL FOR DETAILS & TIMES!

ENTERTAINMENT & EVENT CENTER Serving Food Daily Open 11:00 • Spacious Areas For Rent! For more info call (956) 581-1033 • or visit www.ontheriver.net 214 E. Chimney Road South Mission off Conway Ave

COMING SOON LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY NIGHTS

Fridays Fish Fry Great Place for Your Next Party or Event!!!


F R I DAY, MAY 6, 2 01 1 | THE M ON I TO R

FESTIVA .THEM ON ITOR.COM

HERO WORSHIP A LOOK AT THE VALLEY’S TOP COMIC CRUSADERS AND THEIR SECRET BASES

COMING THIS SUMMER This summer, a bevy of superheroes will be kicking major supervillain butt — from patriotic super-soldiers to mutants and gunslingers. But just in case you’ve forgotten, we’ve put together a list of the comic book films we are most excited for, so mark your calendars and study up on their origin stories because you won’t want to miss any of the following blockbusters.

STORY BY CRYSTAL OLVERA | PHOTOS BY JOEL MARTINEZ AND DINA AREVALO

Get your free comic books, May 7, at any of the comic book shops featured in this issue. Each establishment will be having a variety of festivities including costume contests, music, prizes and tons of free comic books!

WHERE 4617 N. 10th Street, McAllen CALL (956) 687-3104 HOURS 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Saturday; Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday ONLINE facebook.com/ mythadventures

MYTH ADVENTURES

I

t was 1959 when an elementary teacher confiscated Helgi Davis’ “Superman” and “Iron Man” comic books. “We weren’t allowed to read comics,” Davis recalls of his time in a Philadelphia school. But the scolding didn’t stop him from reading. Like all superheroes, the incident was just another chapter in his origin story. Now, at 62 years old, Davis offers a huge selection of comic books at one of the oldest comic shops in the Valley: Myth Adventures. The Icelandic-born super fan has been head of operations for 25 years, witnessing the highs and lows of the comic book industry. “Gamestops have taken away 80 percent of this business, the Internet the other ten,” he laughs. But Davis said everything has its cycle, and it hasn’t stopped Davis from sticking with the business. “This job keeps you pretty young,” he said. “A lot of high school kids come in here all the time.”

THOR OPENS MAY 6

Q&A HELGI DAVIS • Favorite character: Thor. It’s the heritage since I’m of Viking descent. In Iceland there is a Thor religion in the church on Thursday nights in the Icelandic Lutheran Church. • Superpower of choice: To be able to fly. You can go from one place to another place in a hurry. • Movie you’re most excited for? With the release of the “Captain America” and “Thor” movies and the Marvel blockbusters, I’m excited for them to basically continue the Marvel universe. “The Avengers” is the one I’m waiting for. I’d like them to get some of the other characters out there besides “X-Men” and

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“Spider-Man.” • Best movie? I like the “Iron Man” movie a lot, the acting was better, the villains were better and the plot was better. The second one was kind of cheesy. I just really liked the character, I remember him having a drinking problem, and I could relate with it in my family. • Superhero/villain that deserves a movie? Carnage. • Best thing about comic books? The storylines can enhance your ability to understand plots, it gets you interested in reading. My wife used to read them in the program in Edinburg schools. You can gradually get (students) into writing … because it has pictures it is

In the latest Marvel comicbased film, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the God of Thunder, inadvertently incites war between two realms and is stripped of his powers and banished by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) to Earth. Scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) finds him dazed and confused in New Mexico. What follows is campy humor, thrilling action and — by Odin’s beard! — some awesome CG effects. Be sure to stick around after the credits roll — Marvel likes to hint about sequels and other upcoming films.


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WHERE 801 Pecan (corner of 8th Street & Pecan, 2 blocks from 10th Street) CALL: (956) 630-BOOM HOURS: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday ONLINE: http://kaboom-comics.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/kaboomcomics BELOW Ramsey Ramirez, left, and Jes

Sanchez, right, prepare for battle outside KaBoom Comics & Collectibles.

PRIEST OPENS MAY 13 Adapted from the Korean comic of the same name, “Priest” stars Paul Bettany as a holy man who sets out to save his niece from the vampires that kidnapped her.

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS OPENS JUNE 3 Before Magneto and Professor X were at each other’s throats, they were allies. “X-Men: First Class” is a prequel that traces the origins of the epic rivalry while also introducing a slew of new mutants including Emma Frost (January Jones) and supervillain Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon).

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ag X publisher Ramsey Ramirez said he used to wield imaginary swords around his house when he was little, battling invisible super villains. Comic books were his biggest escape as a child, so when he needed to make use of the extra room in his “Mag X” office, he decided to open up “Ka-Boom Comics & Collectibles.” With the help of his general manager Jes Sanchez, the 36-year-old spent six months saving up enough money to transform his “Mag X” office into every comic lover’s dream. “It’s been a crazy awesome year,” Sanchez said. “We’ve been comic fans for more than 20 years. We tried to make it look like a 15-year-old’s bedroom but times 10.” The store will celebrate its one year anniversary in June, and hopes to keep comic lovers coming back for more with a variety of cards, comics and collectibles.

Q&A RAMSEY RAMIREZ • First comic book you read as a kid: “Buck Rogers.” My mom used to buy me those for $1.99 at this store called The Winns. They’d sell packages with three random comics. Sometimes I’d get “X-Men” or “Spider-Man”; other times I’d get what whatever you found at the convenient store. • Favorite female character? I guess I would have to say the Invisible woman from “Fantastic Four.” She’s probably my favorite right now. • Worst movie: That old “Fantastic Four” movie from the ‘80s that was never released. It was so terrible we had to watch it. • Best thing about comic books? I really consider them a literary art form.

People have a misconception that comic fare is for little kids. You have to forgive the spandex, but for the most part the stories are very interesting and adult-oriented and thought-provoking. These characters you grow up with and the comics have grown up with us, and the art is phenomenal. You start wanting to see what happens next. I’m an artist and I like looking at badass art and a lot of these have great art, that’s what draws me to it. It’s really something that’s overlooked because people still have that mentality that it’s for little kids but it’s not really anymore. • Favorite artist: Joe Madureira is amazing.


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GREEN LANTERN OPENS JUNE 17 Ryan Reynold’s is DC’s Hal Jordan a.k.a. The Green Lantern, a human chosen to become a part of the elite Green Lantern Corps, which keeps order in the universe. But in order to save the human race, Jordan must first learn how to use his superpowers, which come in the form of a special ring.

WHERE 5401 N. 10th Street Ste. No. 127, McAllen CALL (956) 668-9700 HOURS 12:30 p.m. To 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday ONLINE hobbiesandheroes. marvelretailers.com

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obbies & Heroes owner Chris Salazar takes collecting a step further at his 10th Street store. The sports enthusiast not only sells comic books, he also specializes in sports cards and sports memorabilia. He’s got everything from the latest “X-Men “ to the most sought-after baseball, football, basketball and UFC cards. Salazar said sports card collecting has taken on a whole new level. He said cards are beginning to include pieces of a player’s jersey. “They’ve started selling things like pieces of Abe Lincoln’s and George Washington’s hair,” Salazar said. “I heard a piece of the pope’s clothes sold for $80,000.” But as far as sports teams go, Salazar said football cards are his biggest seller, along with the variety of comic books that fill the shop. Salazar said he’s excited for the many hero films to be released this summer because it always brings in new readers.

Q&A CHRIS SALAZAR • Favorite team: The New England Patriots by far. I’m a big nutty fan of the Patriots. • Favorite player of all time: Tom Brady and Steve Young. • First card you ever collected? The 1989 Ken Griffy Jr. rookie card. It was made by Upperdeck. Upperdeck changed how collecting was seen when they started. They had this whole new design and look to the card with a hologram in the back. They got the ball rolling for collectors and made it more exciting and innovative. They were the most innovative company that had come around. It was a really significant card. • Favorite character: Captain

America. He encapsulates everything that’s good about the United States and I’m real patriotic so that character always stood out to me. • Superpower of choice: I like characters like Wolverine with a healing factor, where they got shot and heal in five seconds — a healing factor or super-human strength. • Best comic book movie? I’d probably go with the second “X-Men” movie; that’s the best one I’ve seen. I just liked how the story was done, I think it was very true to form. • What superhero deserves a comic book movie? There’s a character, a Marvel one called The Sentry, he’s kind of like Marvel’s version of Superman to a certain degree.

CAPTAIN AMERICA OPENS JULY 22 When Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) vounteers to become a part of a special military project, he is transformed into a butt-kicking super-soldier called Captain America. Set in 1942, the Captain America battle Nazis with the help of sidekick Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan).


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COWBOYS & ALIENS OPENS JULY 29

Gunslinger Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) helps battle an unlikely enemy in this Jon Favreau-directed action thriller, based on the 2006 graphic novel of the same name. When Lonergan wakes up attached to a mysterious device, he finds he may be the only person who can defeat the powerful force.

omic books aren’t just for kids anymore. Andy Alexander, owner of Gotham Comixs in Harlingen, has seen the age of his clientele rise over the

years. The comic aficionado who opened the store in 1986 said he mostly caters to adults who have followed their favorite superheroes since adolescence. “Back in ‘86, at least 75 percent of my costumers were kids. Now, 80 percent are adults and 20 percent is kids,” Alexander said. “Kids just don’t read as much as they used to and game systems and the Web haven’t helped.” Alexander said he caters to serious collectors, carrying extremely rare ‘60s-era copies of an “XMen” and “Avengers” issue worth thousands of dollars. “They’ve become a serious form of literature,” Alexander said, “The art is amazing.” WHERE 211 S. Commerce St., Harlingen

CALL: (956) 364-0097 HOURS 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday: 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m Wednesday.; 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday: Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday ONLINE: www.facebook.com/GothamComixs

Q&A ANDY ALEXANDER • First comic book: Green Lantern • Favorite character: Batman. It’s a character that you can relate to because he doesn’t have superhero powers. He has super gadgets. It’s something you can actually say, “Hey I can do that.” He’s sort of James Bond-ish type. • Superpower of choice: Healing, so I could heal people that are sick. • Worst movie: The “Captain America” movie that came out back in the ‘80s. It was very very campy. • Best movie: “The Dark Knight.” It was very well executed, not only in cinematography but the acting. The whole process was amazing. I think it was something that most people who aren’t into the genre of comics could also enjoy at the same time. • Movie you’re most excited for? It’s neck and neck. One happens to be Marvel, which is “Thor,” and the other is a DC movie, which is “Green Lantern” — those two I’m highly anticipating. • Which superhero is worthy of a movie? In the DC universe, the name that comes to mind is Flash. Flash had a TV series back in the early ‘90s and it was good but unfortunately it was short-lived. I think the big screen is ready for a Flash movie especially with today’s CGI. It would be amazing. • Ever dress up as a superhero for Halloween? The first costume my grandma made for me when I was around 10 years old, was a Green Lantern costume.


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raig Haddad has been a comic book lover most of his life. With Wolverine-like chops and a love for games and figurines, the Comics Unlimited owner said he spent most of the time in the toy section at his previous Babbages and Sam Goody jobs. But his comic book love affair started with an unlikely hero: Donald Duck. “My mom or dad used to walk down to the store near where we lived and buy me Donald Duck comics when I was a kid,” Haddad said. In November 2006, Haddad took the plunge and opened up his own comic and gaming shop in Harlingen. The shop offers a variety of comics, toys and collectibles and recently has become a big draw for Pokemon tournaments.

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Q&A CRAIG HADDAD • Superpower of choice: Probably magnetism like Magneto. • Comic book female you crush on: When I was kid, it was Rogue. • Worst movie: “Ghost Rider.” I like Nicholas Cage but he was acting like Elvis in this movie. It wasn’t “Elvis Rider” it was “Ghost Rider.” • Best movie: The “Iron Man” stuff. I think that’s been really awesome, and “Batman” is a really close second with Christian Bale. • Movie you’re most excited for: “Captain America.” We close our stores to go out to San Diego, Comicon and “Captain America” is debuting there so there’s so a lot of hype. • What superhero deserves a comic book movie: Wonder Woman deserves a full movie. • Favorite villain: That would be

• • •

Apocalypse from the Marvel universe because he knows what he wants. He’s very determined. Best thing about comic books: It’s how I learned to read better when I was a kid. It puts pictures to the words and it’s an escape. You see your own fantasy world and in the movies there’s only so much they can show. In the books it’s still going on and you can see what’s happening every month, it’s not like the movie where you have to wait for years. Favorite artist: Michael Turner Favorite author: Matt Fraction DC or Marvel? I hate it but I’m a Marvel guy, I hate that I’m very one-sided. The storylines in DC are better and the continuity is not messed up, but it’s the characters I grew up with so I’m more familiar with them.

WHERE 623 N. 77 Sunshine Strip, Harlingen, TX 78550 CALL: (956)412-7808 HOURS: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. ONLINE: facebook.com/pages/ Comics-Unlimited/374603555137

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s the only female comic book shop owner in the Valley, Erika Blanco isn’t intimidated by her male counterparts. However, she does admit she has different barriers to break. “A lot of people have this idea that comics are just for boys,” Blanco said. “I have fathers that come in here that tell their little girls, ‘Let your brother pick out stuff, these are not for girls.” But Blanco said the stories and superheroes and sagas aren’t only

male-oriented. The comic book lover said she’s been reading comic books since she was a little girl. “My mom would bribe me to go to the grocery store with comics. I would always go to El Centro or HEB to get the most recent ‘Archie‘ or ‘X-Men,’” Blanco said. She took over Rogue Comics in 2007 and moved the store from its downtown location to North Park Plaza. Along with comics, collectibles and cards, the store holds Heroclix tournaments.

Q&A ERIKA BLANCO • First comic book: “Archie” comics are the oldest ones I can remember reading. • Favorite character: I like Rogue or Wonder Woman. In male characters I love Batman but I like female characters because no matter what they go through they still get their butts kicked. Like, even though Wonder Woman is an Amazon princess, she strives through it and fights no matter what. • Superpower of choice: To fly • Best movie: The “Batman” movies, the most recent ones. It sticks more to the storyline. The last Batman one with Heath Ledger went back to the dark, grittiness, the atmosphere of what Batman and The Joker is. It enthralled you and it was more comic-based versus all the other movies. • Movie you’re most excited for? It’s a toss up between “Thor” and “Transformers.” • What superhero deserves a comic book movie? I’d rather see Wonder Woman get a movie than a TV series. • Best thing about comic books? I’d recommend it for kids because it’s a lot easier to read a short 39-page book with pictures. It’s not a big commitment, I know novels are a way to get away from everything, but it’s a monthly treat to get away from reality.

WHERE 13 North Park Plaza, Brownsville CALL: (956) 574- 0484 HOURS: 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 11 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday ONLINE: facebook.com/RogueComics7

THE MOST VALUABLE COMICS Comic book collecting is not just a way to escape. Collecting can also be a huge investment, especially for serious collectors like the Valley store owners we interviewed. How big of an investment? Check out the three most expensive comics in the world.

‘SUPERMAN’ NO. 1

‘ACTION COMICS’ NO. 1

This was the first comic book devoted to the Superman character.

Action Comics features the first appearance of Superman.

VALUE: $671,000 ISSUE DATED: JUNE 1939

VALUE: $1,060,000 ISSUE DATED: JUNE 30, 1938

‘DETECTIVE COMICS’ NO. 27 VALUE: $1,790,000 ISSUE DATED: MAY 1939

Batman makes his first appearance in the 27th issue of Detective Comics.


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THE EARLY RELEASE

‘LOVE JAPAN’ EARTHQUAKE BENEFIT CONCERT | HARLINGEN PHOTO BY DINA ARÉVALO

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Festiva (May 6, 2011)