VER­TIGO

Eric M Esquivel is un­leash­ing Mexican mon­sters in Ver­tigo se­ries Bor­der Town

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The cult comic book line gets a re­launch with Border­land.

While he’s a fan of hit Net­flix se­ries Stranger Things, Eric M Esquivel is dis­ap­pointed by its lack of Latin char­ac­ters. This is an ab­sence rec­ti­fied in his new Ver­tigo se­ries Bor­der Town, which kicks off a re­launch of the cut­ting-edge DC im­print next month. Set in the small Ari­zona town of Devil’s Fork, the Ra­mon Vil­lalo­bos-il­lus­trated monthly de­tails what hap­pens when a crack in the bor­der be­tween worlds re­leases an army of mon­sters drawn from Mexican folk­lore onto an un­sus­pect­ing pop­u­lace.

“It’s not the Mexican mythol­ogy that makes our story dif­fer­ent, it’s the Mexican per­spec­tive,” Esquivel tells Red Alert. “It’s also about the ways we choose to seg­re­gate our­selves from our fel­low hu­man be­ings.”

The story cen­tres around Frank Dom­in­quez, a re­luc­tant re­cent ar­rival in Devil’s Fork. “He’s a moody high-school sopho­more who’s never met his Mexican fa­ther, and was raised – up un­til now – in an ag­gres­sively Cau­casian Wis­con­sin sub­urb by his white, sin­gle mother,” ex­plains Esquivel. “As a re­sult, he’s ex­tremely anx­ious around all things Mexican, and sees him­self as a tourist in his own skin. A be­lief that’s shared by his new class­mates, both the flu­ent-in-Span­ish cho­los and the lo­cal White Power mili­ti­a­men bully Frank.”

The only ca­ma­raderie Frank finds is with some fel­low “mul­tira­cial mis­fits”, in­clud­ing Chuy, who just hap­pens to be a chu­pacabra, a Puerto Ri­can “goat­sucker”. “He’s like the mas­cot of the book,” laughs Esquivel. “But for some weird rea­son, some­thing hap­pens to the brains of the less ‘woke’ folks of Devil’s Fork when they look at him, which causes them to hal­lu­ci­nate Chuy as a non-threat­en­ing puppy. And be­cause of his otherworldly na­ture, Chuy can lit­er­ally sniff out the su­per­nat­u­ral.” SJ

Bor­der Town #1 is re­leased on 5 Septem­ber.

We doubt if that’s re­ally Su­per­man.

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