Saturday, December 25, 2021

A Debt Paid

 The Christmas Season is a time for celebration and recollection. I have much to be grateful for, to include the opportunity on Type M to share anecdotes and observations. This post I'll take the occasion to reflect on a debt paid to the acclaimed Denver Chicano artist, Stevon Lucero, who recently passed away from health complications (not Covid).  An imaginative painter, more of a shaman who used paint as his way to share his visions, he was known for his fusion of Mexican and Indigenous folklore, the metaphysical, and American pop culture. He was also a scholarly fan of science-fiction, from the cerebral to the cheesy. 

Photo: Stevon Lucero Metastudios

I'd stop by his studio at the CHAC Gallery and we'd chat about art and writing. He could make connections between 2001: A Space Odyssey and Batman and Carlos Castaneda. How this worked in my favor was that in my Felix Gomez series, I had written myself into a corner. I'd penned each book as a stand alone and never gave much thought to a series arc. Then I got stuck. What had happened was that in my third book, The Undead Kama Sutra, I decided to throw a curve ball to the readers. Carmen Arellano, vampire femme fatale extraordinaire, had been captured by alien gangsters. The reader expected Felix to rescue Carmen but he failed. At the end of the book, she was a captive of aliens in deep space and I had no idea how to rescue her. Felix's dilemma weighed on his mind and mine.

At one First Friday Art Walk, I was chatting with Stevon when he said, "Mario, that was brilliant." Though I had no idea what he was talking about, I agreed with him. 

"What you did, vato. The psychic plane. In every book you build more about accessing the psychic plane. That's how you're going to rescue Carmen, using the psychic plane." He proceeded to explain about the supernatural vortexes at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. Reflecting on what he'd said, Stevon was right. Only I as the author didn't see it but to Stevon, the path across the galaxy using paranormal portals was obvious. And so, his insights unfolded into Rescue From Planet Pleasure. After I wrote the book I sat with Stevon to share my thoughts. With his usual self-effacing manner, he told me that he'd moved on to other things. But at least I had the chance to thank him. 

While Stevon's memorial service was Roman Catholic, more or less, his funeral drew upon Mayan and Aztec traditions. 

A Darth Vader censer violated no rules in Stevon Lucero's universe.

Aztec dancers lead the procession back to the chapel.

Merry Christmas. Best Wishes and Happy Writing to you all.


Ryssa Chrysalis said...

Seasons greetings to you and thank you for another great year of stuff from Mario.

Mario Acevedo said...

Thanks, Ryssa. Happy Holidays!