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Tales from la Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology

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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 crea 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.


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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 crea 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.

30 review for Tales from la Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    Even when the topic is of great interest, graphic anthologies like this one tend to be a mixed bag, with the quality of the art and writing varying wildly from page to page. With stories between 1 and 4 pages, most of the creators barely have enough space to clear their throat, much less delve deeply into the Latinx experience. Still, there are enough tantalizing tidbits here to offset the less polished and nonsensical pieces.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Yasmin

    I really, really enjoyed this collection of short graphic stories. There is literally something for any Latinx reader to connect with. From not speaking Spanish well to feeling as if you don't fit. Of course, this isn't just for Latinx readers. Culture, roots, language, etc can eye-opening for any reader. Just read it. Trust me! I really, really enjoyed this collection of short graphic stories. There is literally something for any Latinx reader to connect with. From not speaking Spanish well to feeling as if you don't fit. Of course, this isn't just for Latinx readers. Culture, roots, language, etc can eye-opening for any reader. Just read it. Trust me!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ricky Vigil

    I really enjoyed this anthology! Dozens of Latinx writers and cartoonists were brought together to answer one question: "What is the most significant moment in your life as a latinx person?" Being an anthology, the book features a lot of different styles, from manga-influenced art to realism to experimental weirdness, and with most of the comics only being two pages long, each one is easily digestible and you'll never find yourself skipping an entry. The stories are divided into a few different I really enjoyed this anthology! Dozens of Latinx writers and cartoonists were brought together to answer one question: "What is the most significant moment in your life as a latinx person?" Being an anthology, the book features a lot of different styles, from manga-influenced art to realism to experimental weirdness, and with most of the comics only being two pages long, each one is easily digestible and you'll never find yourself skipping an entry. The stories are divided into a few different sections (my favorite was the one that focused on folklore and mythology) all while exploring each creator's latinidad. As a latino who has never felt entirely latino, I identified deeply with a lot of stories in this collection--it was comforting that so many of these creators had/have experiences similar to mine, from not being able to speak Spanish to having relatives who insist that our family is from Spain, not Mexico. I only recognized the names of a few of the creators (Los Bros Hernandez, Stephanie Rodriguez) but was happy to be exposed to a bunch of new favorites (Dave Ortega, Alejandro Juvera, Kelly Fernandez and Jaime Crespo, to name a few). I really enjoyed this book and hope that it inspires more comic collections featuring latinx creators.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Quite a diverse collection - my feelings about individual comics were mixed since style, content, art, etc varied so widely, but overall an interesting collection.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nadina

    I logged this in my "currently reading" folder a while ago, but did not actually start until today, when I also finished it. It was interesting, there were lots of contributors and it provided many different perspectives. It is said at the beginning that they asked the contributors to "reflect upon the most significant moments in their lives" and I'll admit, while those who came up with actual moments were interesting, the most powerful messages to me were the ones where the contributor said "th I logged this in my "currently reading" folder a while ago, but did not actually start until today, when I also finished it. It was interesting, there were lots of contributors and it provided many different perspectives. It is said at the beginning that they asked the contributors to "reflect upon the most significant moments in their lives" and I'll admit, while those who came up with actual moments were interesting, the most powerful messages to me were the ones where the contributor said "there is no defining moment that made me latinx". I found the artwork interesting and I definitely had those I preferred. It was an interesting read though and I think I would be likely to recommend it in the right situation or by suggesting it be included in a fitting display.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tim Hoiland

    In this lively collection, dozens of Latina/o comic book artists share short, visually creative, intensely personal responses to the question, What is the most significant moment of my life? The diversity of stories and backgrounds included in this book is striking. But a sense of liminality, in-betweenness, is everywhere here. One contributor says: “Living between worlds is what makes me, me.” In the words of another: “We have to be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Amer In this lively collection, dozens of Latina/o comic book artists share short, visually creative, intensely personal responses to the question, What is the most significant moment of my life? The diversity of stories and backgrounds included in this book is striking. But a sense of liminality, in-betweenness, is everywhere here. One contributor says: “Living between worlds is what makes me, me.” In the words of another: “We have to be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans! It’s exhausting!”

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ananya Vahal

    Tales From La Vida: A Latinx Anthology is a graphic novel filled with some of the most talented Latinx artists and writers in the country and edited by distinguished Ohio State University professor Frederick Luis Aldama. This is the type of book you read in one sitting. The vast variety of styles in cartooning and intimate storytelling make it impossible to put down. Artists like Crystal Gonzalez and Jamie Crespo explore their struggle with identifying as Latinx. Artists like Breena Nuñez Peralt Tales From La Vida: A Latinx Anthology is a graphic novel filled with some of the most talented Latinx artists and writers in the country and edited by distinguished Ohio State University professor Frederick Luis Aldama. This is the type of book you read in one sitting. The vast variety of styles in cartooning and intimate storytelling make it impossible to put down. Artists like Crystal Gonzalez and Jamie Crespo explore their struggle with identifying as Latinx. Artists like Breena Nuñez Peralta and Carlos “Loso” Pérez explore the complicated experience of being labeled and identifying as Afro-Latinx. Artists like Ivan Velez Jr. and Kelly Fernandez explore family traditions and folklore. The stories are a beautiful expression of what it means to be Latinx for each individual artist and writer involved. Through their experiences, they show us how they are viewed in the United States by the non-Latinx community as well as within their own families. The unapologetic authenticity of the stories made this one of my favorite graphic novels to date. I highly recommend this book!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Thurston Hunger

    XO's for Latinos and Latinx... Inspirational to see so many artists, as soon as I read this I wanted my kids to read it as well; but it doubles a cautionary tale as well since there are soooo many artists, that is so many unknown (and unpaid, or at least underpaid) artists. For my boys, and I'm sure the many who contributed here, it's a labor of love....in a way even more impressive are the artists who have one (or three) other "day" jobs and find the energia to create on top of that. That alway XO's for Latinos and Latinx... Inspirational to see so many artists, as soon as I read this I wanted my kids to read it as well; but it doubles a cautionary tale as well since there are soooo many artists, that is so many unknown (and unpaid, or at least underpaid) artists. For my boys, and I'm sure the many who contributed here, it's a labor of love....in a way even more impressive are the artists who have one (or three) other "day" jobs and find the energia to create on top of that. That always amazes me in all forms of art and music. While most of the entries here are two pages tops, they often are quite deep and personal. Too hard to pinpoint any thread, although the collection does have chapters based on how they assembled the various works. Most importantly to quote John and Carlos Gonzalez from the Pop Cultura Is Nosotros section and their Borax Boys : "Half of the fun is discovering the new and weird." Always! Much thanks to - https://english.osu.edu/people/aldama.1 (makes me wonder if my kids might consider Ohio State U - those who teach with exuberance are gold!) Looked for a collection of links to the artists, no luck so far but there is https://cartoons.osu.edu/events/tales... and embedded in that is a youtube presentation which at its very end has a scrolling of contributors (so you cannot click on links, but pause and type 'em in by hand, the way the comics themselves were made). Direct youtube link appears to be here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efAQC...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Osito

    This is anthology of short comics that asks a number of established and new creators to reflect on the most important moment in their life as Latina, Latino, Latinx person. Although, as is often the case with anthologies, a few duds, most of these are compelling, and the collection as a whole is an excellent resource for instructors who want to infuse their course with Latinx content. The Latinx experience here is heterogeneous, representing Latinxs who are indigenous, the experiences of those w This is anthology of short comics that asks a number of established and new creators to reflect on the most important moment in their life as Latina, Latino, Latinx person. Although, as is often the case with anthologies, a few duds, most of these are compelling, and the collection as a whole is an excellent resource for instructors who want to infuse their course with Latinx content. The Latinx experience here is heterogeneous, representing Latinxs who are indigenous, the experiences of those who are not fluent in English, the relations of Latinx artists to the larger comic book industry, Afro-Latinx experiences, and the ways in which different artists/ writers related to their families, communities, and schools. There are some real gems here, and the collection is definitely worth your time.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    This is an anthology I think every Latino/a/x should read. It encompasses so many different aspects of being Latinx through an illustration of our similarities and differences as a community and assists in humanizing us beyond just being part of a minority group. There is no one way to be Latinx; we share the love for our culture and the desire to promote this love and that’s what this anthology is about. It’s about validating us all whether we’re first-generation born, immigrants, or those who This is an anthology I think every Latino/a/x should read. It encompasses so many different aspects of being Latinx through an illustration of our similarities and differences as a community and assists in humanizing us beyond just being part of a minority group. There is no one way to be Latinx; we share the love for our culture and the desire to promote this love and that’s what this anthology is about. It’s about validating us all whether we’re first-generation born, immigrants, or those who the border crossed.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I loved many of the contributions but most of then were so short (1-2 pages) that I didn't feel like I really got a sense of each creator's work of voice, which was a shame. I also thought the editorial decision to ask each artist to reflect on their most important moment as a Latino left the scope of pieces more constrained than it otherwise would be. Like, it would be awesome to have an anthology from Latino creators that includes fiction and legend and nonfiction and more. I loved many of the contributions but most of then were so short (1-2 pages) that I didn't feel like I really got a sense of each creator's work of voice, which was a shame. I also thought the editorial decision to ask each artist to reflect on their most important moment as a Latino left the scope of pieces more constrained than it otherwise would be. Like, it would be awesome to have an anthology from Latino creators that includes fiction and legend and nonfiction and more.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mela

    favorite section, "new mythos," ... favorite storeis new citizen conqueror by raul gonzalez, el chupasoymilk by eric esquivel, my life as a poncho by j. gonzo, mixed by samuel teer, and the artwork in una historia de guero by juan argil swooon. so eclectic and varied. some of the art i'm not into, but the stories are all pretty amazing... favorite section, "new mythos," ... favorite storeis new citizen conqueror by raul gonzalez, el chupasoymilk by eric esquivel, my life as a poncho by j. gonzo, mixed by samuel teer, and the artwork in una historia de guero by juan argil swooon. so eclectic and varied. some of the art i'm not into, but the stories are all pretty amazing...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mara Klco

    While there were many great entries, many stories felt limited by the constraints of only having 1-4 pages. I wish that this had been done with less stories but more in depth stories. That being said there were some that were able to capture their story wonderfully even in such a small space and those were fantastic. It is always hard to rate an anthology.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Allan

    What a great collection of stories! I have been a lifelong reader of comics. Yet living in the northeast of the USA; I have never really been exposed to the wealth of Latino comic writers and artists more prominent in the west coast and the southwest. This collection has made me want to seek out and experience these voices previously unknown to me. A great compendium!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Noam

    70 short comics from different LatinX artists. Many of them were beautiful and/or interesting. It was just hard to get into 70 different comics, most of which were one or two pages long. It felt like reading the opening chapter of 70 books. It's a really interesting project, though. I just wouldn't recommend trying to read it all within a few weeks. 70 short comics from different LatinX artists. Many of them were beautiful and/or interesting. It was just hard to get into 70 different comics, most of which were one or two pages long. It felt like reading the opening chapter of 70 books. It's a really interesting project, though. I just wouldn't recommend trying to read it all within a few weeks.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    This was an interesting concept where comics artists shared a pivotal moment in their lives. The art, design, and stories are incredibly diverse, and some could have benefitted from a little more space for exposition. Here's hoping this prompt leads to many more comics and graphic novels to come! This was an interesting concept where comics artists shared a pivotal moment in their lives. The art, design, and stories are incredibly diverse, and some could have benefitted from a little more space for exposition. Here's hoping this prompt leads to many more comics and graphic novels to come!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ana Bee

    It includes the many different perspectives of the obstacles, challenges and situations the Latinix community faces while growing up and how they feel about themselves now. I enjoyed variety of comic drawing styles and stories.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    Great introduction to the wide world of comics, especial Latinx comics. Will follow-up on several of these creators for my library's collection. Great introduction to the wide world of comics, especial Latinx comics. Will follow-up on several of these creators for my library's collection.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Bex

    This is the perfect anthology for the classroom. I will be incorporating it into my Latinx Studies courses

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sherry

    Immensely enjoyed this anthology presenting the life experiences of a range of Latinx comics authors and illustrators!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    Beautiful anthology of what it "means" to be Latinx through short, witty comics. And the author is pretty cool, too. Beautiful anthology of what it "means" to be Latinx through short, witty comics. And the author is pretty cool, too.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melina

    I was sad when it ended. It is my favorite comic book anthology now; frankly my favorite comic book period.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emilia P

    Semi-incoherently organized, overly full comix anthologies what would the world be without youuuuuu.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Remy

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Casas Carreño

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Becca

  28. 4 out of 5

    SA

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ry

  30. 5 out of 5

    Samy

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