Last month, March 27th to be precise, a plane broke through the dark clouds hovering above the bay around noon and eased on down to a rain soaked runway at the San Francisco airport. While the plane was still in the process of taxing to its berth the passengers had already started grabbing their carry-ons and impatiently stood blocking the aisle. As the door finally opened it spewed passengers one at a time. In that crowd was the well known and admired comic book artist Alex Niño.
Alex came to San Franciscoor Bagdad by the Bay as the natives here like to call it, to do a demonstration at the San Francisco Academy of Art from an invitation sent by the Academy’s art director, Charles Pyle.
It was a miserable afternoon as the incessant rain for over a week never gave the sun a chance to break through. A cab took Alex to the Academy while the driver cursed at his wind shield wipers for not wiping the rain off his windshield fast enough.
A small flyer announcing Alex Niño’s arrival had been posted by the front door of the Academy in the hope to lure some students for Alex’s demo that afternoon. Before the appointed hour a few students began trickling in. As the hour got closer for Alex’ appearance, more students began showing up in spite of the unrelenting rain pouring down. Umbrellas of all shapes and colors wilted from the rain and students soaked to the skin tried to shake themselves like dogs do. It was soon apparent that the organizers for the demo had underestimated the number of students who would show up and watch Alex illustrate his artistic talent. Most of them had to contend to watch while standing or sitting on the floor. There just weren’t enough chairs to accommodate everybody.
The demo lasted over two hours and even after it was over students hung around Alex like bees in a beehive. The rain never damped the student’s admiration of Alex’s drawings.
The next day Alex Niño flew back to Los Angeles and for jus a moment there was a sliver of sunshine as the plane lifted off.