I was in geek heaven this past weekend as I got to attend yet another wonderful Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) held at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. To help keep my fellow nerds updated, I will be posting a few articles about C2E2 covering the event in general and some of the specific fun areas and activities. I picked up some comics, board games, and card games, too, so look for my reviews of those in the coming weeks.
One of the top spots to be at C2E2 is Artist Alley which is where my first article will take place. Referred to as “the beating heart of C2E2,” Artist Alley is the spot where the artists and creators are gathered. It is a good mix of local talent and big names in the industry of comics and graphic literature. You can chat with the artists, pick up some comics, place a commission, or pick up some artwork. I did nearly all of the above.
One artist I met was Kayden Phoenix (who you might be familiar with from our site’s previous coverage) who is the creator/writer of the books about the first Latina superhero team, A LA BRAVA. Besides this latest which has the full team together, the series also includes each superhero getting her own book so readers can learn their origin story. Readers can start wherever they want, but it is probably best to meet each hero individually before reading A LA BRAVA.
This was Phoenix’s first trip to C2E2 and she took the time out of her busy day to chat with us here at Film Combat Syndicate. So here are Phoenix’s thoughts:
On the characters:
Each character is from a different heritage including Chicana, Dominican, Mexican, and Cuban. Each location has their own unique heritage just like Latinas who have different experiences depending on where they are located or where they are from.
On the bigger picture:
My dream is for this to be made into a feature film. I figured a team of five would greatly increase my chances of a film happening.
On the focus of the books:
One of the main ideas of these books is to focus on social justice issues. No one saves females in what they need help in like ICE, domestic violence, and trafficking. Another focus is how the experience of an American Latina is different from that of Jalisco’s experience.
Not only do the stories focus on social justice issues, but there is a little bit of Phoenix’s background in each of the tales. Jalisco’s story includes the ballet folklorico dancing; Loquita’s tale has a supernatural aspect to it; Ruca is a chola who will help to change the negative stereotypes people have of cholas; Santa’s tale includes pieces of Phoenix’s trips to Texas; and Bandita is inspired from the western movies Phoenix used to watch with her grandfather.
When you turn on Netflix what do you see? If the setting is in anywhere, Middle America you see only white characters. If there are any Latinos, you see negative aspects like drug dealers (Narcos) or gangbangers. So then what happens when viewers see Latinos in person? Are they going to be scared? Will they cross the street to move away from them? How will they treat them? That’s why representation matters. Storytelling helps explain our differences; that’s what will save the day. Another interesting fact about this series is that all the artists are Latina on purpose for authentic voices to be represented both on and off the page.
The books are available online with other goodies so make sure you visit https://latinasuperheroes.com/.
I picked up a (signed!) copy of JALISCO so make sure you come back here to read my review.