His success with DMC and Marvel provided Miranda-Rodriguez the proper momentum and motivation needed to take the character La Borinqueña—which was originally created solely to place on t-shirts for the National Puerto Rican Day Parade committee in order to raise funds for their Rising Scholars program—and further evolve her into a full-fledged comic book character with her own series. This way Miranda-Rodriguez’s symbol for hope could reach a larger audience and raise awareness on an entirely larger scale. Before he could do this, however, he felt he had to do a bit of research. Therefore, he headed to Puerto Rico this past summer where he explored the Northeast Ecological Corridor of the island to get a deeper understanding of Taino mythology and its deities—like the goddess Atabex and her sons Yúcahu and Juracán, which are the ones who give La Borinqueña her superhuman abilities.
“I was also able to tap into the local community and get a sense and a pulse of what was happening. I was really able to understand the power that so many prominent activists have invested in Puerto Rico, like fighting for the Northeast Ecological Corridor to preserve the natural habitat of the island. Also, with everything that is happening now in Puerto Rico with the debt crisis and this bill signed by the federal government, PROMESA, which is going to basically decide the present and future of Puerto Rico, it’s a very, very real time,” a sentiment which Miranda-Rodriguez reiterated this past Wednesday (Oct. 5) during a panel discussion at the Café Con Comics exhibit at the Center For Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in East Harlem, where he also briefly touched upon his life as a social activist before comics. The event also featured and exhibited artwork by comic book artists Will Rosado, Chris Batista and Felix Serrano, who have worked on titles like Detective Comics, Spawn, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Superman, as well as on Miranda-Rodriguez’s La Borinqueña.
The first issue of La Borinqueña is set to debut under Miranda-Rodriguez’s Somos Arte imprint on Dec. 22, 2016, which marks the 121st anniversary of the creation of the Puerto Rican flag in New York City. The issue will also include a bonus story, which Miranda-Rodriguez created for a Smithsonian pop-up exhibit opening up in SoHo on Nov. 12. At the Café Con Comics panel it was also announced that an original La Borinqueña action figure is in the works, which Miranda-Rodriguez anticipates will be out in time for Christmas.
Having walked an unorthodox path to success, in terms of career advice, Miranda-Rodriguez says,
“I don’t really know what to say, because there’s really no specific formula to what I did. I think the main thing that I can offer is that people in art have to develop thick skin. They have to have patience, and stay as long as they can in the game. I didn’t get my first break until I was, my goodness, 42! I’m 46 now, and here I am actually creating comic books and creating new characters, and mingling with everyone from Axel Alonso to DMC. That’s just surreal!”
You can catch Miranda-Rodriguez alongside Axel Alonso, DMC, Erick Sermon, Method Man, Rigo “Riggs” Morales and some surprise guests this coming Sunday (Oct. 9) at New York Comic Con as they take part in a panel titled “Boom! Bap! Pow! – The [R]evolution of Hip-Hop & Comics” where they’ll be discussing the close relationship between these two facets of pop culture and how they have inspired one another throughout many years.
For a sneak peek at more images of La Borinqueña check out our Gallery and visit La Borinqueña and Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez at: