*Note: This post was lifted from another site, TheJuanComic.com, a returning webseries I’m working on alongside my good friend, Arnie. I’m reposting here to get the word out about what we want to accomplish.
2 years ago, my good friend, Arnie Bermudez, came to me with a story idea. What if there was a superhero based out of our home city, Tucson, AZ? Usually heroes resided in the larger metropolises like New York, Chicago, Gotham City. No one was rushing over to save Tucson from the threats of the sun and massive heat exhaustion. If we pulled this off, he could mimic and mirror the hardships faced by immigrants crossing the border. A hero to stand in for the ideals of coming to a place that doesn’t want you, but still doing your best. After all, being tried for trying to help people is roughly the same as being tried for wanting a better life, right?
We played around with the idea, developed a yearlong story synopsis full of characters, a world for Juan to play around in, villains for him to face, and publishing schedule for us to follow. We had dreams and aspirations of what this series could become. “The Tick Comes To Tucson.” That was the drive that pushed us to launch “The Juan” in November, 2016. We walked around Tucson Comic Con and placed stickers in prominent places to announce his arrival. With a few pages under our belt, we felt confident in what we were doing.
But then, the election of 2016 happened. Suddenly our country was ran by the angriest of baby oranges and the divide naturally built into our country’s lifeblood had a bigger spotlight shone on it.
People, “our” people, were labeled “rapists” and “murderers.” Friend and family started listening to the super villains. I’m not entirely positive what this all came about. When your brain tries to make sense of chaos, you’re forced to accept a lot of awful truths. That’s painful, and eventually our publishing of “The Juan” came to a halt. Call it inexperience in self-publishing, or a disenchantment with our own country, but we stopped working on Juan’s story.
But then, 2 years passed.
We continued to see the mishandling of foreign affairs and insane internet outbursts and the rise of so-called “personalities” that felt they knew what the true America was and to what form it should return. They missed the point of what made America the place to be. A place that allowed immigrants to cross the border and start a webcomic on a whim in the first place. We couldn’t just sit there and do nothing. That wasn’t above us. That was below us, far below. It should be far below everyone. An inability to move while your country tears itself apart shouldn’t be wired into our bodies no more than the ability to suffocate ourselves with a pillow.
We want to live.
We have to live.
“The Juan” represents the best and most comical aspects of superheroes and Hispanics. Both Arnie and myself grew up loving American super heroes and not once questioned why no Hispanic/Latinx were abound on the page. So, in place of those lost years, we bring The Juan back, a man just trying to do the right thing against a country that may or may not want him. We understand this is a small drop in a big bucket, but every voice matters in times like these. Our hope is it demonstrates what two Mexican-American artists can do with a free voice and a free pen, to have fun, and, hopefully, break some evil clavicles along the way.
Thanks for reading.