Books for Adults / Comics & Graphic Novels

The Puerto Rican War

A Graphic History

By John Vasquez Mejias (Author)


Pub Date 5/14/2024

ISBN 9781454952466

Format Hardcover



The Puerto Rican War

A Graphic History

by John Vasquez Mejias
"A brilliant blend of graphic and literary narration and a lovely work of art in itself.” —Kirkus, STARRED Review

Rendered in gorgeously carved wood blocks and buffeted with historical supplemental material, John Vasquez Mejias’s The Puerto Rican War tells the story of the the 1950 insurrection on the island that resulted in 38 deaths and a failed assassination attempt against President Harry S. Truman. Told as a fable, in which the leaders of the movement are visited by the ghosts of Michael Collins and Gandhi, this book showcases an important and often overlooked moment in American history and a historical touchstone for the Puerto Rican independence movement.

“The woodblock method lends density and gravitas to the work that command attention; each centimeter of each panel is rich in visual detail, inviting readers to linger over the page….A brilliant blend of graphic and literary narration and a lovely work of art in itself.” —Kirkus, STARRED Review

“Mejias brilliantly weaves his heavy, saturated, and stunningly beautiful woodblock method with common comics tropes, as in an entire narrow panel filled with firefight sound effects—“PEW TANG ZANG BANG PIM PLIP ZAP BUM ZOP.”—Booklist, STARRED Review

"Mejias’s painstakingly hand-carved woodblock art results in vibrant, detailed scenes that lend a poetic touch throughout. This impressive work of art brings history to full and fascinating life." —Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review

"Each page of this elegant, agit-prop stylized, confrontational yet nuanced account of the 1950s Puerto Rican independence movement is printed from painstakingly hand-carved woodblocks. It took Mejias a decade to create this art object—cutting into the negative space to reveal history more often swept away. I’ve been a fan of Mejias’s since I first (many years ago) picked up his zine Paping. It’s cheering to see the dedication he puts to his craft respected in such a high-quality hardcover release."—Publishers Weekly

"This is a story most people today have forgotten, but one full of fascinating people and riveting events. The graphic format makes this history accessible to today’s readers, whether in school or out."—We Are Teachers


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John Vasquez Mejias is a visual artist and high school art teacher in the Bronx. He regularly produces zines, comics, and performs hand-crafted puppet shows and theater events based on The Puerto Rican War and other subjects. The self-published version of The Puerto Rican War is in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Library.

Title Details

Pages 112 pages, 96 color illus.

Trim 8.25 x 11 x 0 Inches

Territories World

Category Comics & Graphic Novels | Reference