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3/8/24 6:00 pm
Frederick Luis Aldama: Through Fences

Join us for an event with Frederick Luis Aldama and illustrator Oscar Garza to discuss their new graphic novel, THROUGH FENCES. They will be joined in conversation by Ashley Robin Franklin.

THROUGH FENCES follows the ups and downs of Latino kids and young adults in the US–Mexico borderlands: San Ysidro, Calexico, McAllen, and back and forth across the border. A young girl’s journey north goes wrong, and now she is in a forbidding new place, away from her parents and brother, where she doesn’t understand what the adults in green are saying even as she tries to obey their rules. Rocky, one of the few white kids in town, stands by and watches as Miguel is jumped by two of his friends. Maggie and her parents are separated at the border in a tragic accident. Alberto’s son doesn’t understand his Mexican father’s hatred for “illegals” or his work as a border patrol agent. Alicia is a TikTok influencer who doesn’t want to grow up to be a hospital cleaning lady like her mother, but COVID complicates things. Whatever their challenges, the kids, teens, tweens, and adults in these pages are just trying to survive their everyday lives. Vibrantly illustrated by Oscar Garza, each of these short stories brings a different perspective on the perils of living on the border while brown.

Frederick Luis Aldama is an award-winning author and editor of dozens of works of fiction, comics, animation shorts, and scholarly books, including Tales from La Vida, The Adventures of Chupacabra Charlie, and Con Papá / With Papá. The founder and director of the Latinx Pop Lab, he holds the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin.

Oscar Garza is a comic book artist, an animator, a storyteller, and a professional comedy wrestler from Brownsville, Texas. For over two decades, he has been creating various comedy projects, including the action-comedy comic series Mashbone & Grifty for Chispa/Scout Comics. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his four beautiful kids.

Ashley Robin Franklin is a queer cartoonist and illustrator based in Austin, Texas, where she lives with her girlfriend and their goofy tiny dogs. Ashley makes sweet and spooky comics with horror and fantasy elements. Her most recent in-print comics are One Million Tiny Fires (2020) and That Full Moon Feeling (2021), both published by Silver Sprocket. She has also published several short comics with the New Yorker, the Nib, and Pome press. The Hills of Estrella Roja is her YA graphic novel debut.

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