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Immigration and family separation policies at the US border inspire comic book ‘Home’ – Orange County Register

The disclosure rebounded Julio Anta when news came to light in 2018 that the family had separated at the US-Mexico border.

“I’m usually not surprised at how this government deals with Latinos and immigrants of all kinds,” you say by phone from your home in New York. “But the separation of the family felt different from me. I was shocked by it, as many did. It really offended me, and it really made me angry. I was sad, and I didn’t know how to deal with it. “

With the recent release of the movie “Black Panther,” you, a longtime comic book reader with Cuban and Colombian traditions, pondered how little Latin people are expressed in the comics world. When these two thought streams converged, you dreamed of your own cartoon. “Then I learned how to write manga myself,” he says. “At that point, I had never written anything other than a music review online.”

In the five-part series “Home” of Image Comics starting April 14, a boy named Juan plans to travel from Guatemala to the United States with his mother, but the situation changes when the two leave. While in custody, Juan inadvertently discovered that he not only allowed him to escape, but also had supernatural powers that led to complications of reunion with his mother.

“Looking back, I think it’s a way to deal with my feelings and thoughts about what it means to be Latin in this country and what it means to be a child of immigrants.” You say the story.

For you, there was a learning curve to tell the story. His background was music — he ran an indie record label called The Native Sound for several years — not a comic.

This series brings together a group of international collaborators. Artist Anna Wieszczyk is Polish, color artist Bryan Valenza is based in the Philippines, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou is based in the United Kingdom.

Early on, you listened to the advice of comic writer Ed Brisson, who worked on the comics for “Predator” and “Ghost Rider.” “This was a common thing he posted on Twitter for the creators of new comic books, focusing on short stories, not your big ones,” he recalls. With that in mind, you wrote five comics, each on pages 4-10, and released them online for free. Through it, he was able to engage with the comic book community that became decisive for developing his career. It was through this community that he was able to connect with Image and find agents.

Anta connected with artist Wieszczyk on Reddit. “If you’re talking to a cartoonist, that’s not quite common,” he says.

However, when Anta posted the artist’s first call to Reddit, comments were received from people who were angry with the subject. “That’s right, SJW [Social Justice Warrior] This and the liberal thing, “recalls you.

“I think I want to have a simpler discussion and persuade people that way,” you say. “I want people to read this and change their minds. I know it’s not the most likely scenario of who my readers will be. My readers will probably be people who already have the same idea. “

“Home” is a healthy inspiration from superhero comics. Juan needs to learn to adapt to the new environment and control his power while losing his family. He is not much different from Superman, a character whose story has often been interpreted as similar to the experience of immigrants.

“I started telling this story with a very clear intention that I wanted to talk about immigrants,” you say. “I wanted to talk about how this country treats Latinos, so I wanted to have a conversation with comic book readers.” That’s why “Home” is a comic rather than a stand-alone graphic novel. This is one of the reasons why it is released as a series. That’s why you adopted some of the superhero genre conventions when telling the story.

Still, you say this is not a traditional superhero comic. “This is really a book about survival, trying to learn to control these forces that are tied to his trauma of what happened to him,” he says.

Five issues are planned for “Home,” all of which were written before the 2020 presidential election. You make sure this miniseries tells a complete story, but if it succeeds, he says he wants to continue. “Thanks to Trump, we’ve seen more atrocities because of deterrence, but we’re still terrifying at the border with the new administration,” you say. “I don’t think things will change from one administration to another in a way that eliminates the need to pay attention to borders so that the problem is resolved.”

You also have a graphic novel to be released in 2023 through HarperCollins called “Frontera”, which touches on the Bracero program in the mid-20th century.

“It obviously affects the separation of the child, but it’s less important about the current event, but it’s more important about the experience as a whole,” you say. “There is always cruelty, it’s systematic.”

Immigration and family separation policies at the US border inspire comic book ‘Home’ – Orange County Register Source link Immigration and family separation policies at the US border inspire comic book ‘Home’ – Orange County Register

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