In late 2019, Chicana writer and Long Beach pocha Myriam Gurba took down the book darling of the American Publishing Complex so hard that Oprah’s ears are still ringing.
Jose Contreras of Tacos and Trifectas (he likes “the ponies”) stops by Taqueria La Mexicana at 4th and Coronado, Long Beach, Califas, and picks up tres de asada. Spoiler: He likes ’em, he really really really likes ’em!
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Javier Hernandez of Love and Rockets fame, is the ringleader.
As box office figures can attest, comic books are big business, with successful cinematic adaptations proving that superheroes have made the leap from pop cultural niche to mainstream entertainment. Despite their wide appeal, however, comic books, at least the established titles that usually become big screens franchises, are still predominantly filled with white, male characters, especially in leading roles.
A new exhibition at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach, “Artists Assemble! Empowerment and Inspiration in Contemporary Comics,” aims to challenge that narrative by focusing on mainly Latino artists who are using the medium to explore cultural and political issues that have meaning for them.
“On a Saturday afternoon in late summer, in the midst of a Long Beach multicultural neighborhood inhabited mostly by Cambodians, Latinos and African-Americans, an empty lot came alive. Families walking with their children, teenagers running on skateboards and curious drivers slowed down their pace to watch live performances by an Hispanic theater group made up of day laborers, and by a group from CSULB’s Dance Department.” — Filmmaker Rick Meghiddo.