20 Under 40: Ruben Najera

Local comic writer Ruben Najera is an example of the talent and passion exemplified in an Imperial Valley young professional.

“I have a relentless drive to make things happen and go above and beyond,” Najera said about his passion for his work.

As a writer for Archie comics, Najera is also the owner of Metahumans Comics in El Centro and the founder of the Imperial Valley Entertainment Convention. He is also one of three members of the Desert Skatepark Coalition that helped launch support for the skatepark to be built in El Centro.

“I always accomplish my goals,” Najera said, adding that he loves creating and “making dreams a reality” by “showing that what was thought as impossible is possible.”

Najera is also the owner of Terrestro Footwear, which should be launching in 2023. Among his business ventures, Najera is also the podcast host of “Passions Personified” on Spotify and Apple.

“My show is all about inspiring people and pursuing their passions,” he said. “Top 100 pop culture podcasts in the world right now.”

Najera has been writing in the entertainment industry for 5 years and has had Metahumans Comics in business for the last 7 years. Additionally his work involved in producing the Imperial Valley Entertainment Convention will be on its 4th show in 2023.

“Being published on the main title for Archie Comics a brand that has been around for 80 plus years” was one of Najera’s most memorable professional moments.

Additionally, similar moments were felt by Najera when he is “signing autographs at San Diego Comic Con year after year and then creating an entire show and convention for Imperial Valley here and bringing big talent and celebrities to our community and bringing jobs and revenue to the surrounding businesses because of the massive event” he produces.

Prior to his time producing comics, Najera spent some years as a professional skateboarder and had his own signature product endorsements, which were sold worldwide in Target and WalMart stores.

If Najera could go to any time period, he said he would go back to 2003 during the time he graduated to start with the mindset and drive that he has now.

“I could have worked twice as hard back then and have gotten the success I have now quicker,” he said.

If he could describe himself as any animal, Najera would choose the jaguar because despite being a lone cat, it is just as dangerous and harder to spot with a higher success rate and holds one of the strongest bites.

“It has the strongest relative bite force of any of the big cats,” Najera said. “I’m a Jaguar (because) I’m different, at times having been overlooked, but with an undeniable power and success rate.”

When it comes to celebrities, Najera said he would choose Jack Black to hang out with, if given the opportunity to.

“We met before, he is super into skateboarding,” Najera said. “We talked for a bit but this time we would actually go out and skate his ramp or cruise the streets on our boards. We also share a love for creating music.”

Najera enjoys having the opportunity to bring revenue to the Imperial Valley through his local annual Comic Con event and continues to bring the comic world to the Valley with his store Metahumans Comics.

“We bring the community together and I have never not once said ‘no’ to contributing or making donations to local events,” Najera said. “I am constantly giving back to the community and that will never end.”

Najera often thinks of one of his favorite quotes from the legendary Jedi Master Yoda, which shares the simple lesson in commitment and the power in giving something our all, in his words to Luke Skywalker to “Do or do not. There is no try.”

Similarly Najera advises other young professionals to remember they have but one life to live.

“If you love something, go for it,” Najera said. “Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not possible. With hard work and determination everything is achievable to a degree. I have proved it multiple times.”

When it comes to the future, Najera is excited to expand his different business ventures.

“My podcast is growing everyday with an amazing array of guests inspiring hundreds of thousands around the world,” he said. “My store Metahumans just got nominated for its 2nd Eisner award, the equivalent to an Oscar.”

Additionally, comic fans can catch up with the local Imperial Valley convention when it returns Saturday, September 30, 2023 in El Centro at the Martin Luther King Sports Pavilion.

“Aside from writing with Archie Comics, I just got a dream gig with an even bigger major publisher that I will be able to announce in February,” Najera shared.

Najera was honored by his nomination and made a note to let the community know he is open to talk to anyone pursuing their dreams.

“I am genuine when I say anyone in the valley, not just youth, can reach out for guidance or questions on pursuing their passions,” he said. “I know how valuable it is to have someone believe in you and give guidance. Not everyone has a mentor.”

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