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Reading: Framing a Decolonial Future: Hurricane María in Independent Puerto Rican Comics

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Research Article

Framing a Decolonial Future: Hurricane María in Independent Puerto Rican Comics

Author:

Paul Humphrey

Colgate University, US
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Abstract

This article examines graphic narratives of Hurricane María in independent comics published both in Puerto Rico and its US diaspora. Focusing on María (Rosa Colón and Carla Rodríguez 2018), Temporada (Rosaura Rodríguez 2019), and La Borinqueña (Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez 2016, 2018), it analyzes the ways these works bear witness to the ‘foreshocks and aftershocks’ of the hurricane while delineating a decolonial future for Puerto Rico (Bonilla and LeBrón). The analysis begins by reflecting on the comics’ form, such as frames, text, and the space of the gutter, to explore the interactions between their structure and content and the ways in which they situate the reader in a generative process of memorializing. It then turns to questions of sustainability, particularly Rosaura Rodríguez’s use of watercolors, and how these titles seek to overcome the current environmental and political crises the archipelago is facing by foregrounding a close, community-oriented relationship with the natural environment. In Miranda-Rodriguez’s comics, this is framed within Indigenous and Afrodiasporic spiritualities and the need to reexamine Puerto Rican history in order to interrogate its experience of coloniality. Though distinct in their form and genre, these comics–alongside complementary short comics from Puerto Rico and the diaspora–critique the extractivist, colonial relationship with the US and invite readers to imagine sustainable futures drawn through a Boricua-centered, decolonial lens.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.26824/lalr.238
How to Cite: Humphrey, P., 2021. Framing a Decolonial Future: Hurricane María in Independent Puerto Rican Comics. Latin American Literary Review, 48(96). DOI: http://doi.org/10.26824/lalr.238
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Published on 03 Aug 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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