This compilation of graphic stories is a feast for the eyes, heart, and soul. The book brings together work from more than 80 latinx comic artists, providing a wonderfully diverse range of visual styles. The stories, primarily autobiographical, highlight the intersectionality of the latinx experience-- whether it be mono- or multilingual, bicultural, straight, queer, or feminist. I loved being able to dip into one art style and life story after the next, and with every page my idea of what “latinx” means expanded and became more inclusive. I highly recommend this for fans of graphic novels and latinx storytelling alike.
— From Jen's Picks
In the Latinx comics community, there is much to celebrate today, with more Latinx comic book artists than ever before. The resplendent visual-verbal storyworlds of these artists reach into and radically transform so many visual and storytelling genres. Tales from la Vida celebrates this space by bringing together more than eighty contributions by extraordinary Latinx creators. Their short visual-verbal narratives spring from autobiographical experience as situated within the language, culture, and history that inform Latinx identity and life. Tales from la Vida showcases the huge variety of styles and worldviews of today’s Latinx comic book and visual creators.
Whether it’s detailing the complexities of growing up—mono- or multilingual, bicultural, straight, queer, or feminist Latinx—or focusing on aspects of pop culture, these graphic vignettes demonstrate the expansive complexity of Latinx identities. Taken individually and together, these creators—including such legendary artists as Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Roberta Gregory, and Kat Fajardo, to name a few—and their works show the world that when it comes to Latinx comics, there are no limits to matters of content and form. As we travel from one story to the next and experience the unique ways that each creator chooses to craft his or her story, our hearts and minds wake to the complex ways that Latinxs live within and actively transform the world.
About the Author
Frederick Luis Aldama is the author, coauthor, and editor of over thirty books, including recently Long Stories Cut Short: Fictions from the Borderlands and Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics. He is Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor, University Distinguished Scholar, and Director of the award-winning LASER (Latinx Space for Enrichment & Research) at The Ohio State University.
“The auspicious result features a manifold cast from the most established to as-yet-unproven discoveries, each working in varied styles, methods, lengths. . . . As testimony and magnification of the multitudinous Latinx experience, La Vida bursts forth con fuerte.” —Booklist
“These are all our stories. Every single one. We have dealt with all these issues at some point or another because we are Latinx. We are descendants of the indigenous peoples of the Americas—mixed, colonized, and gentrified with foreign blood and ideas. We are who we are now because of the past 500 years of key moments. Because of this we need to hold on to and uplift collections like Tales. They are crucial to propagating our stories and our lives.” —Christopher C. Hernandez, Latinx Spaces
“These stories represent the independent voice for Latinxs in comics today and Professor Aldama is the ‘cerebro’ that had the vision to pull them all together.” —Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, La Borinqueña
“This is comic book storytelling at its best. These deftly constructed stories shake us to our core selves, waking us and the world to the sweeping spectrum of Latinx identities and experiences. Mind blowing!” —Keith Knight, The Knight Life and K Chronicles
“You want cutting edge? Tales from la Vida showcases the best of the best. This bounty of Latinx talent opens eyes and hearts to the extraordinary possibilities of comic book storytelling!” —Jeff Smith, Bone
“Tales from la Vida gives me vida! The sheer volume of testimonies bearing witness to the depth and complexities of being Brown and Latinx, of being an interesting sentient being, of being a vato/a nerd, of being a wordsmith and visual creative—and the broad range of intelligence and artistry displayed in these biting comics is mind-bogglingly astonishing, and stands shoulder-to-shoulder with any seminal, canonical anthology of American poetry or prose. We are gifted here with double-barreled throwdowns of resistance, rebellion, and love from some of the most genius Latinx (and American!) comics creators in the land—all mitigated by the judicious and generous inimitable scholar-artist himself, the Good Doctor, Frederick Luis Aldama! Vaya!!!” —Tony Medina, I Am Alfonso Jones
“The best collection of Latinxdad—humor, pathos, politics, and DESMADRE—since the empanada.” —Gustavo Arellano, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America
“An eclectic and artistically stunning collection of work overflowing with emotional resonance and cultural reverence, Tales from la Vida is a gift to cherish.” —David Walker, Luke Cage and Bitter Root