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Cuba in Comics
April 10, 2010 6:02 PM   Subscribe

ComicsFilter: How can I find Cuba in comics or graphic novels?

I'm trying to find out if there are comics or graphic novels (or maybe even serial strips) that make some sort of commentary on Cuba. They could be written from the "Down with Communism!" perspective or the "Viva Castro!" perspective or any other perspective, for that matter. They do, however, need to be English language.

I've found the mentions of Cuba on the DC and Marvel wikis, but I'm not really sure where else to search.

Thanks for any direction you can offer!
posted by Edelweiss to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I don't know if you're looking for graphic novels specifically about Cuba or ones with mentions. You can sort of massage library catalogs to get some of this. For instance, this is a search on WorldCat [sort of a catalog of catalogs] for the keyword cuba and items that had the word "comic" in the subject headings. You can see some comics about Che Guevara and also some weird old Cuban comics. You can do a subsearch to see if any of these are in libraries near you. When you look at a specific item you can see the subject headings off to the right. So one subject heading is, for example Guerrillas Latin America Biography Comic books, strips, etc. which would have more Che-related stuff in a lot of languages. Keep in mind that the subject is going to refer to the item's overall topic, and not just a brief mention of Cuba or Cuban policy.

Your best bet is really to find someone who has done the work before you. Here, for example is a list of comic strips and other stuff about Cuba [usally of Cuban origin] in the Michigan State University's Comic Art Collection. This link (pdf) will take you to a research paper about the Cuba/US relations as played out in the funny papers in Cuban Papers during 1959-1960 and contrasts it with a more recent sample year to see what has changed.

I suspect, however, that you're looking for sources that reflect US opinions about Cuba and not vice versa. You might want to contact MSUs librarian/archivist to see if they have pointers beyond this.
posted by jessamyn at 6:17 PM on April 10, 2010


Ruiz Cuba for Beginners
posted by hortense at 6:51 PM on April 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I recommend picking up a copy of Spy vs. Spy: The Complete Casebook. The bulk of the book is reprints of the comic Spy vs. Spy from the pages of MAD Magazine, but the opening chapters deal with the early life of the comic's artist, Antonio Prohias, and his career as a cartoonist in Cuba before, during, and after Castro's takeover. The book contains copies of Prohias's anti-communist political cartoons, and has some interesting stories about how he was forced out of the country for them. All the cartoons are wordless, IIRC.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:27 PM on April 10, 2010


Much of Juan Padrón's work is up this alley. He's considered a founder of Cuban comics; his freedom fighting Elpidio Valdés character ("un coronel mambí que lucha por la liberación de su patria del yugo opresor español") appears in lots of comics and animated films.

Searching 'cuba' at Lambiek's Comiclopedia turns up other names it might be worth exploring. Padron's the big one (well, the one I know about, anyway).
posted by mediareport at 9:47 PM on April 11, 2010


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