Just two years after its debut in December 2016, the critically-acclaimed and best-selling independent graphic novel series La Borinqueña will be featured in the new Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s comic book collection and Superheroes Exhibition.
On display now through September 2019 in Washington DC, this exhibition prominently features superhero-themed artifacts from the museum’s collection, including vintage DC and Marvel comics, original comic book art, film and television costumes, props and memorabilia.
The museum’s Graphic Arts Center Collection owns close to 900 original and reproduced comic art drawings, representing 375 artists and nearly 400 titles...but according to creator Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, La Borinqueña #1 is the only comic book featured in this exhibition and collection that is not published by a major comic book publishers like DC and Marvel.
Despite having created a charity fundraiser co-published with DC last year, La Borinqueña is published independently by the Brooklyn-based studio Somos Arte, owned and operated by Miranda-Rodriguez.
“When I self-published La Borinqueña, I did so in the hopes that this graphic novel would provide me the platform to bring to a wider audience the humanitarian crisis affecting 3.5 millions Puerto Ricans with American citizenship on the island of Puerto Rico," Miranda-Rodriguez said in a statement. "Seeing La Borinqueña on display alongside comic books that we all grew up on and recognize truly validates my work. Our stories, our heroes, and our heritage are now part of the historical record at the Smithsonian Museum for the world to see and learn from.“
Also on exhibit is the original Superman costume as worn by George Reeves from The Adventures of Superman television series, the Captain America shield used by Chris Evans in the film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Halle Berry’s Storm costume from X-Men: Days of Future Past. In May 2019 the Smithsonian’s ‘Superheroes’ exhibition will add to their display a La Borinqueña costume, which made its debut in the 2016 National Puerto Rican Day Parade.
Coinciding with the addition of La Borinqueña to the Smithsonian, Somo Artes have also reached 10,000 units in print of the comic's first issue. This fourth printing of La Borinqueña will feature new cover artwork illustrated by Caesar Antomattei and Chris Sotomayor that will be available at www.la-borinquena.com, at New York City’s Forbidden Planet, and at the Schomburg Center’s 7th Annual Black Comic Book Festival on January 18 and 19.
Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez will be present at this event also hosting a panel to discuss the philanthropic work of the charity anthology Ricanstruction: Reminiscing & Rebuilding Puerto Rico which to date has raised close to a quarter of a million dollars for local grassroots organizations in Puerto Rico.
La Borinqueña is also part of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian’s exhibition ‘Taíno: Native Heritage and Identity in the Caribbean’ in New York City, and is available for purchase at all of the Smithsonian Museum Stores.