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This Comic Book Is Here To Help Children Affected By Deportation

The U.S. is a scary place for Latinos right now. Immigrants are regularly the victims of hate speech, discrimination and crime. Laws are being proposed to strip them of their rights and undocumented immigrants are being targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation, separating them from their families. Those separations have been a major part of the national discourse, but might not be discussed at home as much.

That’s where this book comes in.

Artist, educator and activist, Vicko Alvarez, created “Rosita Gets Scared.”

Rosita Gets Scared/Scholar Comics

While it’s frightening for all affected, it could all be especially scary and hard to understand for kids. That’s why Alvarez created Rosita.

The comic book comes in English and Spanish versions.

Rosita Gets Scared/Scholar Comics

It aims to help children who are immigrants or have immigrant parents understand and talk about deportation, and the fear and discrimination they experience as a result of it.

It centers around a little girl named Rosita.

Rosita Gets Scared/Scholar Comics

She comes from a place that’s  “muy, muy, muuuuyyyy lejos.” Like many children that are in detention centers right now from El Salvador, Guatemala, and beyond.

Rosita has a hard time acclimating to a language.

Rosita Gets Scared/Scholar Comics

In the book, Rosita struggles with English, and she has to learn the cultural customs of her new country and the new environment she’s now in.

She faces teasing at school

Rosita Gets Scared/Scholar Comics

That’s something a lot of immigrant children have to deal with, especially now as Trump has emboldened parents to teach their kids to be hateful and racist.

Acts of bullying have increased since Trump took office and it’s no coincidence.

Rosita Gets Scared/Scholar Comics

So seeing a character like Rosita going through the same thing will help them feel less alone in the world, and teach them that hurting people because they’re different is wrong.

Rosita sees her neighbor taken away.

Rosita Gets Scared/Scholar Comics

When her neighbor Mr. Vidal, get taken away by ICE, it makes her realize the reality of the situation and world she and her family are living in.

That has a major impact on her life.

Rosita Gets Scared/Scholar Comics

Seeing Mr. Vidal be taken away by ICE leads Rosita’s mother to keep her from playing outside because it’s too dangerous. The danger of her being outside and being spotted makes it impossible for her to play like a normal child.

This, of course, makes Rosita incredibly frightened, confused and sad.

Rosita Gets Scared/Scholar Comics

These are emotions many immigrant children can relate to. Especially as the real fear of their parents being deported has come to feel like an inevitability. It’s a very scary time.

These are all important things to learn for kids like Rosita.

Rosita Gets Scares/Scholar Comics

“I’m very interested in social and emotional learning. I realized there isn’t too much of that for kids of color,” says Alvarez, who’s studying to be a teacher and worked as an organizer within immigrant and refugee communities.

And teaching about fear is also vital.

Rosita Gets Scares/Scholar Comics

“There’s literature out there that talks about feelings and fear, but it’s more generalized fear, like of whats under the bed, ” says Alvarez. “I feel we have to be more specific, especially with kids of color and the children of immigrants, because their fears come from different realities. We don’t address that.”

Through Rosita’s story, children and parents can open up a discussion about deportation.

Rosita Gets Scared/Scholar Comics

They can talk about the feelings that surround it with the aid of activities included in the comic book. That can help children understand everything that surrounds deportation, along with their parents.

It will encourage parents to have that conversation.

Rosita Gets Scared/Scholar Comics

As we all know, parents often choose the path of silence so as not to scare their children about things like deportation or what will happen to them if their parents are taken away.

That dialogue is absolutely necessary though.

Rosita Gets Scared/Scholar Comics

Not just for families that stand in danger of being separated, but for those that are privileged and don’t have to worry about this. It will teach empathy and might encourage kids to stand up for kids they see being bullied at school.

The book also includes a section on what to do if approached by ICE or other officials.

Rosita Gets Scared/Scholar Comics

That’s sadly where we’re at in this country, and have been for years. But arming kids with the information they need is absolutely necessary.

These comics are here to teach something we are rarely taught.

Scholar Comics

Alvarez, whose own parents came to the U.S. from Mexico in the ’80s as undocumented immigrants, thinks “Rosita Gets Scared” and her first comic book, “Scholar Gets Angry,” can be useful tools for emotional learning. The character Scholar also appears in “Rosita Gets Scared” as the friend that lends Rosita support at school.

What is emotional learning?

Rosita Gets Scared/Scholar Comics

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

All that applies to Rosita, and other children of color.

Scholar Gets Angry/Scholar Comics

Understanding their emotions, and not denying them, will help children – and adults – in their choices and how it affects them and others.

These lessons can help with mental and emotional growth, and teach emotions are ok to have.

Scholar Comics

“It’s about making these emotions not just acceptable but more comfortable so kids know how to manage them in the future,” Alvarez explains.

The next step is to share “Rosita Gets Scared” with organizations.

Scholar Comics

Particularly ones that work with communities and individuals facing threats of deportation so they can use it in children’s storytelling sessions.

Next, she’ll be working on a comic about a little boy with a very hard shell.

Scholar Comics

Through that story, Alvarez hopes to tackle the culture of masculinity imposed on small boys, who are taught to not seek support or share when their emotions.

Through her comics, Alvarez is giving children the information they need to understand the world, how it affects them, and how to overcome obstacles. You can read the comics at scholarcomics.com or follow them on Facebook.


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Real-Life Superheroine Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is The Star Of A New Comic Book

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Real-Life Superheroine Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is The Star Of A New Comic Book

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has been the conversation on everyone’s lips since she unseated 10-term incumbent Joseph Crowley last June. The youngest woman in Congress’s heroic win, progressive proposals, clever clapbacks and unapologetic style choices have been the center of countless thought pieces and a $10 million Netflix documentary, so it comes with little surprise that she’s now the star of a new comic book.

Last month, Devil’s Due Comics announced the one-off commemorative comic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force: New Party Who Dis? The comic anthology, which will also include appearances from fellow newschool congressional badasses like Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) or Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), will feature fun, straight-forward satire, reflective and celebratory stories as well as pieces publisher and artist Josh Blaylock has called “absurd.”

“I don’t know if someone can give me a better example of someone in politics to make a comic about. Whether she intended to or not, she’s bringing a heroic energy into Congress,” Blaylock told FIERCE.

For the owner of the Chicago-based independent publishing company, Ocasio-Cortez is sparking new life into Washington.

“Beyond just the current insanity of the polarized left and right politics, AOC, and some of the new members of Congress, are going in there and calling out important issues that both sides have been ignoring for far too long. It’s almost like a family intervention: we’re coming in, the younger kids, and shutting the establishment down,” he said.

This isn’t the first time Blaylock’s comics have gotten political. In 2009, he worked on the mini-series Barack the Barbarian, a four-issue comic about former President Barack Obama, and also published comics on the Armenian Genocide and cryptocurrency.

Devil’s Due Comics

“I’m creating supernatural, fantastical stories of action, and every now and then there’s something of the real world that grabs you and won’t let you go,” he said.

Blaylock is intrigued by the way Ocasio-Cortez refuses to tiptoe around issues that are devastating our country, and world, and cutting through the establishment’s “BS” to actually solve problems, all while also ensuring that Latinxs are no longer represented as a one-issue monolith.

Her story — fresh, energetic, inspiring and historic — makes it ideal for a comic book, he said.

“There’s something specific about the comic book medium that can communicate like no other book can. It’s not just prose. It’s not just looking at a piece of art. The piecing isn’t controlled the same as a film is. There’s something about a sequential art medium, something that happens between the panels as you are reading it that the arts, word, can’t give you,” Blaylock said. “Also, in a lot of ways, we’re just having fun here. It’s a way for people to vent and get their expression out, and capture this lightning in the bottle moment into a nice package that people can resonate with right now and years from now look back on it and how it captures what the world was feeling at this time.”

The comic will have two different covers. The first shows Ocasio-Cortez donning a suffragette white suit while holding her cellphone on top of a defeated GOP red elephant while a blue Democrat donkey stares anxiously behind her. In the second, she’s wearing a Wonder Woman–inspired “Washington Warrior” costume.

News of the comic has also made its way to the star, who shared her appreciation.

“It’s certainly an honor that people would put so much of their time and talent into that all on their own, and I’m especially honored that they’re donating the proceeds,” the Bronx Boricua told TMZ.

Partial proceeds will go to RAICES, an advocacy group in Texas fighting for the protection and civil rights of immigrants, as well as a charity for military veterans.

The comic book, releasing May 15, is available for preorder for $5.99.

Read: Democrats Are Turning Their Backs On Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

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Netflix Is Turning Gabriel García Márquez’s Classic ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ Into A Series

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Netflix Is Turning Gabriel García Márquez’s Classic ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ Into A Series

Fans of magical realism rejoice. On Wednesday, Netflix announced it acquired the rights to Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and will be turning the literary masterpiece into a Spanish-language series.

This is the first time the 1967 novel, considered “one of the most significant works of the 20th Century,” will be adapted for screen. For years, the author, who died in 2014, refused to sell the film rights, believing the story could not be done justice through a two-hour project, according to Deadline.

Rodrigo Garcia and Gonzalo García Barcha, García Márquez’s sons, who are serving as executive producers on the show, believe a series is an appropriate approach to the book.

“For decades, our father was reluctant to sell the film rights to Cien Años de Soledad. He believed that it could not be made under the time constraints of a feature film, or that producing it in a language other than Spanish would not do it justice,” Rodrigo Garcia told BuzzFeed News, adding that the “current golden age of series,” with “the level of talented writing and directing, the cinematic quality of content,” changed the family’s mind.

“The time could not be better to bring an adaptation to the extraordinary global viewership that Netflix provides,” he continued.

The series will be filmed in Colombia.

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” tells the story of the multi-generational Buendia family, whose patriarch Jose Arcadio Buendia founded Macondo, a fictional town in the South American country.

The book has sold more than 50 million copies and has been translated into 46 languages.

In a statement, Francisco Ramos, Netflix’s vice president of Spanish-language content, said, “We know our members around the world love watching Spanish-language films and series and we feel this will be a perfect match of project and our platform.”

He’s right. Since announcing the adaptation, fans of the magical realism novel have been celebrating the news.

There’s no word yet on when the series will debut and who will star in it.

Read: This Film About Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is At The Center Of The Most Expensive Sundance Documentary Deal Of All Time

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