With most of the United States still social distancing and living in relative isolation in response to the growing novel coronavirus pandemic, award-winning comics writer Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, best known for his creation La Borinqueña, has put together work from a number of famed comic book artists to provide fans (and their kids) with a free, downloadable coloring book to use at home. Miranda-Rodriguez has always had a way of bringing big names together, having brought people like George Perez into his creator-owned book and then assembling an all-star roster of creators and characters for his Ricanstruction comic, which raised funds for Americans living with the impact of natural and financial disasters in Puerto Rico.
Miranda-Rodriguez, who is headquartered out of New York, is working not just with comic book professionasl but also with educators to provide needed resources to kids in one of the hardest-hit cities in the country. As the United States has become the new epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Yorkers are particularly vulnerable, with millions of Americans packed into a densely-populated area.
"My sons have not been in school since the week of March 13. We're all doing our part to lower the curve, with social distancing, staying home, all so that we can lower the increasing cases in New York City of COVID-19," Miranda-Rodriguez explained. "Like many others in the comic book industry, I'm missing out on appearances and revenue that comes from that to help support our family. Many of my projects have had to stop production as well. Living here in New York City truly hits us hard knowing that our city has 50% of the cases in all of the U.S. At home, my wife Kyung Jeon-Miranda and normally run our own design studio. Having our sons' home with us now, has challenged us to create activities that engage them as we self-quarantine ourselves. We are grateful that we are healthy and while we are artists, have introduced a lot of creative activities at home for them. This is what inspired us to publish a free La Borinqueña coloring book. Since we posted the digital book on our website this Saturday, March 21 we noticed that school teachers and parents from New York City to Paris, France have been downloading the free coloring book and it's amazing to see the beautiful black and white artwork from our graphic novel series colored by children internationally. Some of these illustrations are created by many established comic book artists like George Perez, Ralph "Rags" Morales, Will Rosado, Nicole Virella, Wilfredo Torres, and Steve Buccellato who contributed an original La Borinqueña piece helped him reconnect to his Puerto Rican heritage. Another artist that contributed original art is Manuel Preitano Italy, who is currently receiving praise for his work on DC's Oracle Code graphic novel. He is in Italy, a country that is struggling with COVID-19 and he himself contributed two original illustrations for our coloring book. It's a beautiful collection of artists that believe that we are all citizens of the world. We are in this together. If our art can shed a little light and make a child smile, then that's part of the healing. That's the cure."0comments
"The cheers were heard down the hall when I introduced La Borinqueña to my classroom of twenty-seven exuberant girls," said Danielle Sacks, who teaches fourth grade at New York's Girls Prep Bronx Elementary School. "They exclaimed how they had never seen a super hero that looked like them. We spent the entire afternoon dissecting the importance of multicultural representation in the classroom and the world, as well as new Spanish vocabulary! My students read and reread La Borinqueña and spoke about how they aspire to be as brave, courageous, kind and fierce as she is. As a classroom teacher, now missing my students tremendously as we navigate remote learning, I am excited to integrate La Borinqueña into the virtual classroom discussion. It is so important that even in isolation we are coming together as a community and honoring all of our cultures and diversity."
You can get a copy at the comic's official website.
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