Tuesday 13 September 2016

Graphic Novels With Latinx Main Character/s

I was talking to Naz @ Read Diverse Books the other day, and we kind of had a lightbulb-type moment.

We both love graphic novels, and Naz was interested in reading graphic novels with Latinx main characters.

If you've read this blog before, you'll be aware that I'm a complete comics/superheroes/graphic novels nerd... but we struggled to think of any.

Now, as the major English-language graphic novel publishers are American, you'd think that there would be a little more Latinx representation then there currently is.

Still, I was sure that Latinx main characters must exist out there somewhere - so decided to track them down.

After a lot of research and much SCREAMING AT THE DAMNED COMPUTER, these are the books I could find (I have no idea whether they're any good, but I found them dammit!):

Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

The first of two sets of brothers on this list, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá are from São Paulo, Brazil.

Gabriel Bá is also the artist on Gerard Way's Umbrella Academy (I love that series! SO BAD!) So you can be damn sure that these books are now on my TBR.


Brás de Oliva Domingos is the child of a famous Brazilian author, he dreams of being one himself, but is stuck writing the obituaries of famous people.

Goodreads describes this as  'a magical, mysterious and moving story about life itself.'

Amazon: UK - US

- De:Tales : Stories from Urban Brazil

These are short stories told in comics form - and according to Goodreads are 'Brimming with all the details of human life, their charming tales move from the urban reality of their home in São Paulo to the magical realism of [the authors'] Latin American background.'

Amazon: UK - US

The Hernandez brothers

Gilbert, Mario, and Jaime Hernandez seem to be the veterans of USA Latinx graphic novels, and have literally decades of work under their belts.

-Love and Rockets

This is a series about (according to our old pal Goodreads) 'three Southern California Mexican-Americans armed with a passion for pop culture and punk rock' which started in the 80s, going on to span many volumes and spin-offs.

(Seriously, I think it's possible to read nothing but this series, and it's related series, for the rest of your life.)

The first volume is 'Music for Mechanics.'

Amazon: UK - US

Marble Season

By Gilbert Hernandez, one of the above creators of Love and Rockets, this is a coming-of-age story about Latinx brothers growing up in 1960s America.

Amazon: UK - US

Julio's Day

A sort-of spin-off from Love and Rockets, Julio's Day is a stand-alone graphic novel from Gilbert Hernandez which shares some of the settings and themes of the Love and Rockets world.

Julio's Day follows Julio from his birth in 1900 to his death in 2000 - 100 years over 100 pages (and yes, I've totally added this to my TBR.)

Amazon: UK - US

Roller Girl

This an 'all-ages' (i.e. kids & people (like yours truly,) who are not ashamed to read kids' books,) graphic novel about Astrid Vasquez, a 12-year-old who has always done everything with her BFF Nicole.

So when Astrid signs up for roller derby summer camp, she figures Nicole will too - except Nicole goes to dance camp with another friend. What will roller derby camp be like on her own?

Amazon: UK - US

City of Clowns

This is a graphic novel version of Daniel Alarcón's story of the same name.

Our protagonist here is Oscar 'Chino' Uribe - a Peruvian journalist who begins documenting the lives of Lima's street clowns, while coming to terms with the realities of his late father's life.

Amazon: UK - US

Anita Blake

This is a graphic-novel-fication (shhh! It's a word now!) of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K Hamilton.

Anita is half-Mexican on her mother's side, and is generally pretty awesome. The first volume (like the first novel) is Guilty Pleasures.

Amazon: UK - US

Mi Barrio

This is entrepreneur Robert Renteria's graphic memoir of growing up in LA, based on his prose memoir 'From the Barrio to the Board Room.'

Amazon: UK - US

Ghetto Brother: Warrior to Peacemaker

This is a biography in graphic novel form, telling the story of Benjy Melendez - a Bronx gang-leader from the 1960s who led the Ghetto Brothers. This is the story of a gang that promoted peace, instead of violence, and managed to bring a gang truce to their area.

I've added this to my own TBR, because the more I read about it, the more I wanted to know!

Amazon: UK - US

Exilia The Invisible Path Book 1

The only graphic novel by Cecilia Pego which I could find in English, Goodreads describes this as a 'dark fantasy and mystical thriller graphic novel saga, originally crafted in ink, watercolor and oil painting.'

It features Exilia - who is apparently expelled from her convent and ends up in a post-apocalyptic quest (as we've all done, at some point in our lives...)

Amazon: UK - US


This is a brand-spanking new all-ages (kids) graphic novel from Raina Telgemeier about two sisters - Catrina and Maya - who move to the coastal Bahía de la Luna because the coastal air is better for Maya's cystic fibrosis.

But Bahía de la Luna has a secret - it's a town full of ghosts. Maya really want to see one. Catrina? Not so much.

Amazon: UK - US

Mr Mendoza's Paintbrush

Originally a short story, this graphic novel adaptation is about Mr Mendoza - the resident famous graffiti artist of Rosario, Mexico.

The residents of Rosario have a variety of opinions on Mr Mendoza and his satirical art, but rumours and speculation start to fly when a message is painted on the side of a pig: 'Mendoza goes to heaven on Tuesday.'

Amazon: UK - US


This was actually already on my TBR. Another 'all-ages' title, this features young protagonist Penelope Torres - known as Peppi.

Peppi has just arrived at a new middle school, she has 2 cardinal rules for survival: don't get noticed by the mean kids, and join groups with similar interests to her own.

But a chance run-in with quiet Jaime Thompson leaves the mean kids calling her 'nerder girlfriend,' and instead of ignoring them, she treats Jaime very badly...

Amazon: UK - US


You know I like me some powers and capes, so I had to find some Latinx superheroes for this list.

It was more difficult than it should've been - especially since Latinx characters, where they exist, seem to be part of superhero team rather than having their own titles.

I wanted to go with title-characters because there's a guarantee that their story will take centre stage and not be eclipsed by others.

I did find some, so take a look:

Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes)

This is a DC series about teenager Jaime Reyes who has the powers imbued by a mystical Blue Beetle scarab. (Yeah... just go with it.)

This is technically a legacy character - i.e. another individual has taken up the mantle of a previous superhero - but there are very few people who remember the original 1930/40s character.

The modern Blue Beetle books start with the 2006 run - Vol 1, Shellshocked.

Amazon: UK - US

Araña/Arana (Anya Corazon)

Meet Anya, a Marvel Latinx Spider-Girl who goes by the name of either Araña or Arana. In all honesty, this one was a surprise to yours truly - I'd never heard of her. Ever.

I don't know whether this is Earth-616 (the main universe/timeline for Marvel) or an alternate universe or timeline (there are a lot of them - hence the requirement to number them.)

The only book I could find for Anya was Arana Volume 1: The Heart of a Spider from 2005.

Amazon: UK - US

Ultimate Spider-Man (Miles Morales)

The Spider-Man of the 'Ultimate' universe (Marvel - multiple universes, gotta love 'em. So many Spideys that it's now known as the Spider-Verse. #TrueStory,) is Miles Morales - a black-Latinx teenager.

This is usually a Brian Michael Bendis (BMB) title, which y'know, usually means pretty good quality. I was disappointed by the small rant against diversity fans earlier this year though :/ I expect better of BMB.

I recommend starting with Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man: Volume 1: Revival (Man, that's a long title!) because previous books in the ultimate series are kind of leading from the Peter Parker of that universe to Miles Morales, so there's crossover (as far as I understand it; really Marvel, if we could stop labelling everything as #1? That would be handy.)

(Yes, Miles Morales - one of the poster-boys for Marvel diversity - is both alternate universe AND a legacy character. Sigh.)

Amazon: UK - US

Nova (Sam Alexander)

Another legacy (i.e. takes up the name of a previous hero,) character, Nova is a dude who flies through space - often with the Guardians of the Galaxy - and also has his own title-series.

You can check him out in Nova, Vol 1: Origin.

Amazon: UK - US

Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes)

Yet another legacy character (but, y'know, being the Ghost Rider is basically just being the vessel of the Power of Vengeance, so I suppose that makes more sense,) Robbie Reyes' stint as Ghost Rider began in 2013/2014.

His title-series run begins with All-New Ghost Rider, Vol 1: Engines of Vengeance.

Amazon: UK - US

Vibe (Cisco Ramon)

Played by the amazing Carlos Valdes (I love him!) in the CW series The Flash, Vibe was also given his own DC comics title-series which so far only has one volume - Justice League of America's Vibe, Vol 1: The Breach.

Vibe uses vibrations and inter-dimensional physics to see through alternate universes and timelines (a handy talent in the comics world, let's face it,) and also to move objects, 'blast' stuff, and levitate.

Amazon: UK - US

Coming Up...

There's more good news for graphic novel fans later this year -

La Borinqueña, a new Marvel heroine, will be making her debut in November.

Bread and Butter (issue #1) by Liz Mayorga will also be out later this year (and yours truly will be doing a mini-review.)

And there's an anthology (La Raza Anthology) on Kickstarter which promises great things :)

Ok, my dearest nerdlets, I'm going to go take a long lie down now because you wouldn't believe how long this post took me... phew!

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  1. My library doesn't have most of these but I was able to find a couple so I requested them! I'm pretty excited for La Borinqueña. I found Arana on amazon for a penny. I might buy it later. Thank you for the list!

  2. Yay for all the work you put into this post!! I really want to read some comics/graphic novels about Miles Morales!! SOON. I should bump that up my TBR honestly. :D
    It's always sad, though, when it's hard to find a particularly diversity represented in books!! It shouldn't be this hard THERE SHOULD BE MORE!!

    1. Ha - 100% agree: it should not have been this difficult to find these!

  3. I think I've narrowed it down to Ghetto Brothers and Ghosts. Maybe I'll get both!
    Thanks again for all the hard work you put into the post. :)

    1. You're very welcome - I'm glad it was helpful :) <3

  4. It's a shame it took you so long to find some! But I am glad that when you did, they were really good sounding ones and you managed to amount to quite a few of them here as well!

    1. Ha, I have added loads to my TBR to be fair! Thanks very much, I'm just totally happy that people seem to like this post! XD XD XD


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