Exploring Family Heritage Through Graphic Novels With Henry Barajas

Llyr Heller, Librarian, Teen'Scape,
Author Henry Barajas and his graphic novel, La Voz De M.A.Y.O. Tata Rambo. An illustration of him receiving a medal of honor from President Barack Obama

Graphic novels have become a captivating medium combining visual artistry and storytelling. The voices and perspectives of the Latino community have gained recognition thanks to authors like Henry Barajas. Through his work, Barajas celebrates the richness of Latino culture, exploring themes of identity, especially often within the backdrop of historical fiction. His work offers readers insight into individuals and topics they may not have known.

Henry Barajas, an acclaimed author from Tucson, AZ, has made a name for himself through his compelling graphic memoir, La Voz De M.A.Y.O. Tata Rambo, which delves into the life of his great-grandfather, Ramon Jaurigue. Additionally, Barajas is known for his work as the writer of the syndicated comic strip Gil Thorp and his contributions to iconic comic series such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Splintered Fate and SOMOS Healthcare. His remarkable achievements include being part of the Eisner-nominated anthology The Creepshow.

Barajas recognizes the power of narratives in bridging gaps between diverse communities that can lead to a deeper understanding of cultures. Barajas skillfully utilizes words and art to inspire and educate readers. In his latest work, he dives into the life of Dolores Huerta, introducing her story to a wider audience by shining light on lesser-known aspects of her fascinating life.

Barajas is always ready to impart valuable advice to aspiring authors. He emphasizes the importance of daily writing and avid reading across various genres and mediums. He encourages new writers to learn how to tell stories for their audiences, as this skill can propel them toward success. Moreover, he stresses the importance of libraries as havens of knowledge and creativity. Barajas acknowledges the abundance of libraries in Los Angeles, recognizing them as vital spaces for entertainment and communal learning. He commends librarians for their dedication to serving the community and fostering a healthy environment.

Looking to the future, we eagerly anticipate Barajas' forthcoming work, Dolores Huerta and the Plights of the Farmworkers and Union Organizers, as well as his ongoing contributions to Gil Thorp.

Henry Barajas will be a featured author at the Los Angeles Libros Festival, a free bilingual book festival for the whole family celebrating stories and music from Latin America and the United States. L.A. Libros Fest will be streamed live on YouTube on Friday, September 29, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The Festival will be in-person at Central Library in Downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, September 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Book cover for La voz de M.A.Y.O.: Tata Rambo
La voz de M.A.Y.O.: Tata Rambo
Barajas, Henry

Book cover of Helm Greycastle. Book one
Helm Greycastle: Book One
Barajas, Henry

Book cover of Graphic borders : Latino comic books past, present, and future
Graphic Borders: Latino Comic Books Past, Present, and Future

Book cover for Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics
Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics
Aldama, Frederick Luis