Although the tiny island territory faces a perilous tide of disastrous financial debt, Puerto Rico’s political saga is getting a new twist with an unconventional hero. She’s neither a bird nor a plane, but rather, a brilliant new comic icon for an embattled land who hopes to lead her people to victory with courage, street smarts, and an unshakeable belief in justice.
Elena of Avalor is Disney’s new princess. She has been branded as the “First Latina Princess,” and hailed as a milestone for diversifying the Disney brand, and also reaching out to one of the fastest-growing consumer markets (and youngest demographics) in the country. She’s basically a brown-tinted version of the generic template: sparkly dress with baroque-slash-victorian aesthetics, the hint of an hourglass shape without distracting cleavage, wavy brunette hair betraying no ethnic peculiarities, and of course, a tiara.
Matt Huynh has a way of drawing outside the lines, having crossed many of them over the course of his life. As an artist who regularly intertwines his graphic work with poetic and fictive narratives, he has inked everything from fashion magazine spreads to the cover of the short-lived Occupied Wall Street Journal. But one of his most ambitious works explores borders within, through the collective memory of Australia’s Vietnamese diaspora.