La Borinqueña made her superhero debut last Wednesday night at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies- Hunter College. Edgardo Miranda Rodriguez, creator of La Borinqueña, collaborated with Centro for the art exhibit Café Con Comics. Rodriguez’s work is displayed along with other Puerto Rican writers and illustrators in the comic book industry: Chris Bautista, Felix Serrano, Will Rosado, Emilio Lopez, George Perez, Wilfredo Torres, Alex Schomburg, and Gustavo Vasquez.
During opening night Rodriguez moderated a panel with guest illustrators and colorists Will Rosado, Chris Bautista, and Felix Serrano. Each described their life working for major publications like Marvel and DC, the struggles of meeting a deadline, and if they ever encountered issues with diversity in the industry. Characters like Riri Williams and Miles Morales are making debuts within Marvel comics. La Borinqueña is now going to break barriers for many Puerto Ricans. A brief Q&A session was done and all questions had brilliant responses. One of the most interesting questions brought up by an audience member was “what advice would you give to women who want to work in the comic book industry?” All four agreed now is the time for women to become involved as writers and artists.
After the panel, the exhibit was opened to the public. Posters donated by Rodriguez to Centro of La Borinqueña lined the walls of the entrance hall to the exhibit. Each revealed the heroine in different scenes.
The library transformed into a spacious art gallery with various art work from the featured artists. Within the archives, Centro had Spanish versions of the Fantastic Four. Rodriguez concepts for La Borinqueña are displayed in glass cases.
Artists brought out their illustrations and other comic book samples to display within the exhibit. Rodriguez even brought a mannequin with La Borinqueña’s costume bringing light to the event.
Rodriguez, Rosado, Bautista, and Serrano stuck around after the panel answering more questions and signing posters. I got the opportunity to get my poster signed and even a quick selfie with Rodriguez .
The Café Con Comics exhibit will be on display until January 22, 2017. Hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Centro Library and Archives
2180 Third Ave. Rm. 122
New York, NY 10035
Photos: Rosa Elena Oliveras and Arianna Olivo