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Home | Tag Archives: Carcass Studios

Tag Archives: Carcass Studios

Gallery+Story: ThunderCon breaks the pop culture convention mold, entertains attendees

When I first started High School, I was considered a nerd. I could have told you anything you wanted to know about the Dr. Who television series; it’s comic books and old radio shows.

Wanted to know about photography and calc? Then I was the one to turn to. I was that “geeked” out.

Between my obsessions with Dr. Who, photography, math, broadcasting and classic radio shows, the word ‘nerd’ summed my life up completely. (Even as a kid, my dream was to get into radio. As I wrote this, and as I was on the air yesterday, I realized that May 11th was my thirty-third year on the air!)

But it goes deeper than that…

I remember the first SciFi convention I attended, where I met Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and Peter Davison – all actors who played the Doctor in Dr. Who. When I told friends at school what I was going to be doing, I can vividly recall the jokes, the teasing, the bullying I received for being such a geek.

That was then. Things have changed.

When I was told about ThunderCon, and that it was taking place at Coronado High School, a lot of those old memories came flooding back. I honestly could not imagine a ComicCon being held at a high school, much less very many of the students attending.

Man was I wrong.

“Many thought a high school ComicCon would be boring,” said Rich, a student at Coronado High School. “This is anything but. It’s great. Though in its beginning, it is great!”

Rich said he regretted not dressing up as a Cyberman from Dr. Who – a kid after my own heart.

The gym was filled with vendors and people dressed as their favorite characters – Darth Vader, the Ghostbusters, Hatsune Miku, and so many others.

Even those who were not cosplaying were having fun taking it all in.

As my wife and I walked around, the crowds were not getting smaller; they were growing larger. It shocked me to see so many High School kids, and not just from Coronado, but other schools as well, attending.

ThunderCon was defiantly a citywide event.

I was also awed by some of the guests who had booths set up at the event: there was Diana Franco, international cosplayer Nadya Sonika was there; Joe Lujan, who told me about ThunderCon was there talking about his movies and comic books; Coronado alumna Jessica Meraz – from Supergirl, Tacoma FD and Major Crimes was in attendance.

Lastly, Matthew Rothblatt and Benito Perez of Phi3 comics, and co-creators of Spiralmind were set up and sharing their work.

“I didn’t know it would be this good,” said Amy. “I was impressed by the interpretive dance I saw and the artwork by some of my fellow students.”

The creativity that went into many of the costumes and cosplay was also to be found in the work of some of the school’s artists. Just outside the library was a student exhibit where one could see some awesome work – and some great photographs.

Looking at their work, I could not help but think I was looking at the next batch of creative minds that will come out of El Paso and inspire the world.

Be sure you check out Joe Lujan on Facebook and at Carcass Studios. To learn more about Spiralmind, check out the interview with Matthew Rothblatt above. For more on Matthew, Benito Perez and their comics, check out their Facebook page.


Now, for something I hope many of you will enter – a Herald Post contest that will get you some great posters and comic books.

Joe Lujan has given us three signed comic books. These books are based on his Immortal Wars movies. If you’ve never read them, they are great stories. Matthew Rothblatt (who I interviewed in the video about the Spiralmind comic series) and Benito Perez have given us signed posters.

These posters are drawn by some amazing artists from El Paso, and from all over the world.  How do you enter?

Simple, send me an email at saying you want to enter, or comment on this article. You’ll be entered in the drawing will take place on the 25th of May and winners will be announced that evening.

Video+Story: From Bullying Victim to the Big Screen

“To me, it’s very important to let people know, in high school, its rough. Just find your escape, your way to express yourself, and believe in it and just do it,” says Joe Lujan, owner of Carcass Studios.

Have you ever been bullied? Walked into school and simply wanted run home, or find yourself praying for the world to end or worse?

I know what it’s like to be bullied. Joe Lujan knows.

La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froide,” is from Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’s novel titled Les Liaisons Dangereuses.  “Revenge is a dish best served cold,” is one of those sayings that transcends cultures. It’s something many of us hope one day to extract, revenge.

For me, that revenge is living a life better than those who thought it was fun to bully the skinny kid who wanted nothing more than to write, work in radio, and one day be a reporter. People hating on me, people wanting to take my money, my books, anything I had.  That was my life at Andress when I was there.

What about Joe Lujan?

While attending Montwood, people would throw books at him. There were tons of rumors spread about him. There were even times, he says, that he would eat lunch in the bathroom, in a stall, just to avoid people and what they were saying and doing to him.

It wasn’t easy.

Now Joe has found his revenge. Oh, and is it ever so sweet.  His revenge came in the form of a movie.  What movie? Ah, not so fast my friend, let me tell you about Joe first.

“A lot of the stuff I’ve created is not really for everyone,” says Joe, speaking of his films.  “It was my way of artistically expressing myself…I was bullied horribly in high school.”

For Joe, watching horror films wasn’t scary, it was a relief.

“Film itself was my escape,” Joe says. “Watching movies, watching horror films – Resident Evil, Scream – those films were the ones that would be my escape from the hard times I was having in high school.”

In the end, Joe found his voice, his soul. Joe found a way to use what happened to him to give voice to his creativity.  From his high school years, Atelophobia was born.

“When I decided to do my film Atelophobia,” says Joe, “that was my artistic revenge to all those who bullied me. That film is based off of experiences from high school. A lot of characters reflect a lot of people from my past.”

“It was my way of telling them ‘look at me now,’” he says. “I’m doing what I love to do; I didn’t let you guys stop me.”

After watching the trailer, I can only imagine what he went through.

Joe was born in Las Cruces but raised in El Paso. By middle school, he thought he had his life planned out: he wanted to be a veterinarian.

“Already in middle school, I was thinking what I was planning on doing with my life,” says Joe. But, then, an older sibling started to plant seeds in his mind.

“My sister snuck me out of school,” he says. “She snuck me and my younger brother out of school for a ‘doctors appointment’ to see the first Resident Evil.”

When he saw those credits roll, it was then that he knew he wanted to be a filmmaker.

“I was doing it with my cousins and my siblings here in El Paso, while I was attending school,” he says of his earliest work. Which can be seen here.

He was sketching characters, like Tikalypse, who is the hero in his lasts film, The Immortal Wars. (As a note, if interest, Tikalypse, and the Immortal Wars come from a comic book series called The Vanquishers, also by Joe. Locally you can get your copies at Rebels Comics.)

It’s not easy, being from El Paso, and wanting to break into music, movies, or even writing. Far too often we tend to think our friends and family are just playing around. Joe had the same issues, family thinking this was just a hobby, a passing phase.

“People taking it serious,” says Joe of his beginnings here in El Paso. “I think that’s been my struggle. When I was here a lot of people thought it was just a hobby. They didn’t know this is where my heart was at; this is what I what I want to do with my life.”

In creating films, in expressing himself, that was the biggest struggle he had, convincing people this is what he wanted to do. I can relate, we can all relate to this, it’s not easy. But Joe continued.

“I did a short film and that was the one…they started seeing the passion and drive…it was called Shear Death,” Joe recalls. “It was a short horror film, and they were getting creeped out by it.”

It was after that – after Shear Death – that people began to see his drive, his desire to be a filmmaker. It was also a time he started making a film almost every week.

“I was always constantly doing one every week, so I was learning from my mistakes,” Joe said. “They started seeing the progression, from each film getting better and better, and more and more they were more interested in what I was doing.”

You can see that progression. Joe’s film reel, which included the short film Shear Death is a place to start; Then, his most current reel. You can see the growth, the progression. You can also see the passion he has for what he does.

Joe’s life could have taken many different paths. Being bullied, he could have chosen to end his life. He could have given up on his dream, given in to what everyone was saying about him, or to him. But no, he continued striving. He moved on. He allowed his past to inform his work, his art, giving it a voice, and being able to move past it.

I, for one, am glad we have Joe Lujan. That he is still here and followed his heart, his dream. His hope, his final word is that we all would support those who are doing the same. You never know, it may be the only way they can share what they are going through, what is inside of them, screaming to be known.

“Support independent arts,” Joe asks of us all. “It’s crucial to support artists and people who have a passion and a love for something they want to do. It might be their escape. It might be their way of expressing themselves because they don’t know any other way to express themselves. It’s important to support them no matter what.”

Connect with Joe Lujan via website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube


One of the things Joe Lujan does, is comic books. How would you like to win a signed copy of The Vanquishers: Day Break? We have two copies we are giving away to two lucky winners. How do you win? Ah, but that is rather simple. Send an email to

Contest is open to anyone who is thirteen, or older. No purchase necessary. Entries must be received by midnight, May 20th, 2018.

A big thank you to Rebel Comics (12400 Montwood Drive) for giving us the comics, and a big thank you to Joe for signing them!



Lucha 728
Soccer/Volleyball 728
STEP 728
Mountains 728
Bordertown Undergroun Show 728
Khalid 728
EP ELEC 2019 728×729
Utep Football Generic 728
Amy’s Astronomy