Frederick Luis Aldama

in Latino Studies

ISBN: 9780199913701
Published online March 2013 | | DOI:

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  • History of the Americas
  • US Cultural History


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In Mexico and other Latin American countries, reading comic books and comic strips has long been an accepted form of entertainment and even a potential mode of cultural and political learning and transgression. In Mexico in the early 21st century the socially and politically critical comic books of Gabriel Vargas Bernal (La familia Burrón) and the work of Eduardo del Río, or Rius (Los supermachos, Los agachados), are still read by college kids and adults. In the United States, comic books generally have had a more troubled history. Their consumption had long been considered a childish activity. The growth of the alternative comics scene in the 1970s and 1980s and the success of the nonserialized, longer graphic novel in the 1990s changed this. These developments led to a mushrooming of English-language comics by and about Latinos and Latinas in the United States and the appearance of Latin American authors and artists (e.g., the Argentinean Carlos Trillo and the Brazilians Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá) producing and distributing English-language comics. As a storytelling medium, the comic is especially attractive to Latinos and Latinas. Comic books cost little to make. They offer the possibility of a grassroots-style distribution on the Internet and by word of mouth, for instance. For audiences, comic book consumption can take place in short bursts and in between other leisure activities and work. US Latino comic book practitioners include Frank Espinosa, Los Bros Hernandez (Jaime Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez, and Mario Hernandez), Rafael Navarro, Ivan Velez Jr., Rhode Montijo, Wilfred Santiago, Fernando Rodriguez, Jaime Crespo, Jose Cabrera, Hector Cantú, Richard Dominguez, Carlos Saldaña, Anthony Oropeza, Ilan Stavans, Joe Quesada, and Erik Rodriguez. Although US Latina comic book authors and artists have traditionally been fewer, the early 21st century has seen more and more making comics, including Graciela Rodriguez, Iverna Lockpez, Gregory Roberts, Liz Mayorga, Isis Rodriguez, Gabrielle Gamboa, and Alana Macías.

Article.  4481 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas ; US Cultural History

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