Your Brain on Latino Comics
341 pages, 6 x 9
90 b&w illus.
Release Date:01 Jun 2009
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Your Brain on Latino Comics

From Gus Arriola to Los Bros Hernandez

University of Texas Press

Though the field of comic book studies has burgeoned in recent years, Latino characters and creators have received little attention. Putting the spotlight on this vibrant segment, Your Brain on Latino Comics illuminates the world of superheroes Firebird, Vibe, and the new Blue Beetle while also examining the effects on readers who are challenged to envision such worlds.

Exploring mainstream companies such as Marvel and DC as well as rising stars from other segments of the industry, Frederick Aldama provides a new reading of race, ethnicity, and the relatively new storytelling medium of comics themselves. Overview chapters cover the evolution of Latino influences in comics, innovations, and representations of women, demonstrating Latino transcendence of many mainstream techniques. The author then probes the rich and complex ways in which such artists affect the cognitive and emotional responses of readers as they imagine past, present, and future worlds.

Twenty-one interviews with Latino comic book and comic strip authors and artists, including Laura Molina, Frank Espinosa, and Rafael Navarro, complete the study, yielding captivating commentary on the current state of the trade, cultural perceptions, and the intentions of creative individuals who shape their readers in powerful ways.

[A] great book that paints a long and complex history of Latinx comics and their creators while explaining their place in the mainstream, which is where the community's visibility is less stable. Comics Beat
'Holy funny pages, Batman!' Fred Aldama's Your Brain on Latino Comics tears open new
tierra as its savvy x-ray vision parses Latino visual culture. With voracious eyes attuned
to word-image conspiracies, grandmaster Aldama's ink-stained hands reveal the legacy and
destiny of 'American' comics. This is a go-to book for profs in ethnic/cultural studies and
communications. Jump into a phone booth and reach for your hot spandex tights—Aldama's lush,
semiotic alchemy will have you leaping buildings in a single bound!
William A. Nericcio, Chair, English and Comparative Literature, San Diego State
University; Visiting Professor, Media and Cultural Studies, University of California,
Your Brain on Latino Comics is a much-needed addition to the field of Latino studies,
serving as a bridge between a rich Latino comics history that has been paid little scholarly
attention in the past and a thriving contemporary Latino literary culture that was widely
influenced by Latino comics like Love & Rockets.
Eric Reynolds, editor, Fantagraphics Books
FREDERICK LUIS ALDAMA is Professor of English and Comparative Studies and Director of
Latino Studies at Ohio State University, Columbus. His seven previous books include Spilling
the Beans in Chicanolandia: Conversations with Writers and Artists.
  • Part I: An Overview of Latino Comics
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. So Many Approaches, So Little . . .
    • 3. Concerned Comics
    • 4. The Good, Bad, and . . . Beautiful
    • 5. Mainstreamed Compadres
    • 6. Slipstreamed Latinos
    • 7. Latinos Strike Back
    • 8. Spandexed Latinas, Where Art Thou?
    • 9. More Superheroes Revealed
    • 10. Spandex Alternatives
    • 11. All That Is White Turns Noir
    • 12. Other à la Modes
    • 13. Strips with New Stripes
  • Part II: Brains A-sizzle on Latino Comics
    • 14. Introduction
    • 15. Comic, Tragic, Epic--Redux
    • 16. Proof's in the Pudding
    • 17. Getting Emotional
    • 18. Abracadabra . . . the Mind-Reading Trick
    • 19. Double Trouble: The Visual and Verbal Narrator
    • 20. Latinos Conjured Up
    • 21. Rereading Race and Ethnicity
    • 22. It's a Burrito Wrap
  • Part III: Conversations with the Creators
    • David Alvarez
    • Gus Arriola
    • Hector Cantú
    • Carlos Castellanos
    • Richard Dominguez
    • Frank Espinosa
    • Roberta Gregory
    • Gilbert Hernandez of Los Bros Hernandez
    • Jaime Hernandez of Los Bros Hernandez
    • Javier Hernandez
    • Jonathan and Joshua Luna of The Luna Brothers
    • Laura Molina
    • Rhode Montijo
    • Rafael Navarro
    • Anthony Oropeza
    • Peter Ramirez
    • Fernando Rodriguez
    • Bobby Rubio
    • Carlos Saldaña
    • Wilfred Santiago
    • Ivan Velez Jr.
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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