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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Margarito Garza: Judge By Day, Radical Comic Book Artist By Night
Program #

Linda Fregoso
Margarito Garza
Apr 1, 1980

Margarito Garza: Judge by Day, Radical Comic Book Artist by Night

Margarito Garza discusses his comic book character Relampago, a Chicano superhero, and the message he hopes to spread through his comics. Garza’s comic book combines elements of South Texas folklore and Mexican history: the hero, Marcos Zapata, a petty criminal, is the grandson of Emiliano Zapata and turns into a superhero after a curandera saves his life. Marcos leaves his life of crime and uses his powers to stop villains. Garza explains why he created a Chicano superhero. He talks about the connection between his comic books and Chicano social struggles. He believes that many young people who do not have the finances and opportunity to succeed turn to crime because they think it will be easy money. Garza says that the Relampago comics show that all criminals do have to pay eventually.

Garza then describes some of the characters and plotlines of his comic. Garza explains that Relampago is one of his fantasies: as a judge, Garza wished he had the strength to deal with young kids who think crime and drugs are the solutions to their problems. He wants Relampago to be a role model for Chicanos, and so his hero does not drink, cuss or smoke. Garza explains that when he was young he looked up to Mexican celebrities like Pedro Infante and Jorge Negrete, and Chicano youth today need similar role models with which they can identify. Garza would like his comic to be distributed nationally, but he has been unable to find backers because publishers find the comic to be too local.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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