What’s been your biggest career milestone to date?
Winning the Eisner for “Puerto Rico Strong,” hands down. I’m so glad I went; it was my first time in California, let alone at San Diego Comic-Con. I didn’t think we had a chance, to be honest, I thought Image had it in the bag.
“I believe that a lot of ignorance can be cured with education,” said Rodriguez. “We have stories that talk about things like the debt crisis or the birth control trials or the Taino Indians, and then we have science fiction stories that are a little bit brighter and just explore the beauty of the island.”
“All charity anthologies – and how amazing it is that there’s so many in the industry nowadays? – are great but I always felt like after the incident or initial fundraising push was over, that was it. I wanted this anthology to have longevity beyond the Hurricane Maria news cycle.”
But what it boils down to is that Rodriguez, as an editor, is Lion Forge’s superhero wrangler, responsible for the day-to-day stories and art for the superhero Catalyst Prime Universe.
Rodriguez’s job is not just coordinating continuity across all eight titles in the Catalyst Prime line but also making certain the line lives up to Lion Forge’s motto: Comics For Everyone.
“I believe a good editor is there to make the book better, to help enhance the story,” she says. Rodriguez is an editor for Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime line, was co-editor for the Puerto Rican Strong anthology, and wrote a story that is included in the Ricanstruction anthology.
“Oh my gosh, I’m like this little, little 4-foot-11″, ‘Rican girl from Jersey, and I have an actual career in comics. I’m not used to saying that.”
“It’s a bit [making comics] like making a cake, I help oversee the process to the cake being made. There’s the conveyer belt metaphor but that’s not as tasty.”
“I think the fundamental flaw in regards to the representation of Latinx people in any media, comics, film, television or otherwise is ignorance. As frustrating as I found the education system at times, I’m a big supporter of being educated.”
“It was that absence of discussion about Latinx issues within the industry and overall comics community that pushed me towards speaking up.”
– CHILLING WITH JOURNALIST AND LION FORGE EDITORIAL ASSISTANT, DESIREE RODRIGUEZ by Greg Anderson-Elysee on The Outhousers
– Acceptance speech for Best Anthology at the Eisner Awards
– MAÑANA Latinx Comics From the 25th Century – ComicWatchersShow E091
“There’s so little history taught about Puerto Rico. One of the things I noticed when the hurricane news was at its peak, was that a lot of people didn’t know about the Jones Act. They didn’t know about the economic struggles that [Puerto Rico] has continuously gone through and the history behind that,” Rodriguez said. “One of the goals was to teach people. … That way, people could read this … and can learn about the island through actual Puerto Ricans, because history is so often told through the privileged point of view.”
Added Rodriguez: “Puerto Rico has always been an ‘other’ in American history; something not fully acknowledged nor taught. One hope is this anthology can teach others a bit more about our history, culture, and people while also being an entertaining piece of fictional media.”
“It’s difficult enough to find superhero live-action media that includes Latinx characters, period,” says Desiree Rodriguez, a contributor at the news site Nerds of Color. “Especially in roles where they play a part in the plot, aren’t whitewashed or used as tragedy fodder for the white characters.”
– Where are the movies for Hispanic audiences? by Patrick Ryan for USA Today
“A persistent aspect of Latinx representation in comics is the lack of authenticity of our community.”
–Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider Should Be MCU’s First R-Rated Film by Britney Monae for The Nerds of Color
“When Latinx actors do get roles, I feel they’re oftentimes stereotypes,” wrote Desiree Rodriguez, Editorial Assistant for Lion Forge sci-fi comic book Catalyst Prime and writer for Women on Comics and The Nerds of Color, in an email interview. “The Spicy Latina, the Buffoon, the Tough Chick Who Dies, the Sexual Exotic Fantasy, the Drug Dealer, the Gangster, and so on.”
Podcast Guest Spots:
Progressively Horrified: The Mummy (1999) (aka The Bisexual Thirst Trap) with Alexis Sanchez & Desiree Rodriguez
Jeremy, Ben, Alexis, and Desiree find themselves trapped between late nineties Egyptian exoticism and overwhelming thirst for Evy Carnahan and Rick O’Connell. If you see any golden bugs, leave them where they are!
This episode we had a great discussion with the editors of the Eisner Award winning anthology, Puerto Rico Strong: Desiree Rodriguez, Marco Lopez, Derek Ruiz, and Neil Schwartz. We spoke about PR Strong, Anime, and much more!
The Chat is Back! Tony Snark, the red lion of the crew held it down at New York Comic Con. Check out his interviews with David Walker and Sanford Greene of the exciting Image Comic, Bitter Root, Desiree Rodriguez of Lion Forge Comics, and Jay Rosario of Unstoppable Comics!
Keith and Desiree discuss the work that went into turning a massive project like this around in a matter of months, and why it’s important that the book be seen as an educational tool for readers to understand the history, culture, and people of Puerto Rico. They also go on a brief tangent about the business of the direct market and the comic book retail industry.
DISCUSSING PUERTO RICO STRONG, THE COMIC ANTHOLOGY TO BENEFIT PUERTO RICO. LISTEN ON DEMAND by Graphic Policy Radio
Puerto Rico Strong is a comics anthology that explores what it means to be Puerto Rican and the diversity that exists within that concept, from today’s most exciting Puerto Rican comics creators. All profits will go to towards Disaster Relief and Recovery Programs to Support Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico Strong is available in comic shops: March 14, 2018 and bookstores March 27th. Pre-orders are still open via Amazon, and the anthology will be available digitally as well as in the UK.
Joining us on Graphic Policy Radio to discuss this exciting comic anthology is two of the individuals behind it, Marco Lopez and Desiree Rodriguez.
CATALYST PRIME & COMICS DIVERSITY WITH GUESTS CHRISTOPHER PRIEST, JOE ILLIDGE, & DESIREE RODRIGUEZ by Graphic Policy Radio
“Diversity” has turned into a marketing buzzword in comics and few deliver that behind and on the page. Lion Forge Comics‘ new Catalyst Prime universe of comics is actually delivering that in every sense with new characters we’ve never seen and a group of creators who bring varied perspectives to the page. Talking about this exciting new universe are guests Christopher Priest, Joe Illidge, and Desiree Rodriguez.
THE WONDER WOMAN MOVIE: SEX, RACE AND WALKING AWAY FROM EXPLOSIONS LIKE A BADASS. LISTEN ON DEMAND. by Graphic Policy Radio
The Wonder Woman movie smashed expectations to become a huge hit. Graphic Policy discusses the blockbuster including it’s portrayal of sexuality, race, world history and badass swords.
LISTEN TO THE STATE OF LGBTQ COMICS: A ROUNDTABLE ON DEMAND on Graphic Policy Radio
June is Pride Month so Graphic Policy Radio is talking with some of our favorite LGBTQ comics critics about the current state of LGBTQ people in comics: on and off the page.
We Need #WonderWomanTAS on Hard NOC Life
As Wonder Woman continues to break box office records, there still isn’t enough content featuring everyone’s favorite Amazon. That’s why artists Jermaine Dickersonand Taylor Cordingley have each been championing for a Wonder Woman animated series.
Both artists stop by Hard NOC Life, along with Keith’s DCTV Classics’ co-host Desiree Rodriguez, to talk about how an animated Wonder Woman can finally be the intersectional, feminist, and diverse series we’ve all been waiting for!
#BeingLatinx on Supergirl on Hard NOC Life
“On the most recent episode of Supergirl, the producers doubled down on Maggie Sawyer’s problematic Latinx identity.
To discuss the show’s mishandling of this latest storyline, its whitewashed casting, and the Latinx community’s history of under representation in Hollywood, Hard NOC Life brings back Desiree Rodrguez, and welcomes Latinx Geeks founder Alexis Sanchez, and writer Anthony Otero.”
Invisible Latinx Panel — with Gabby Rivera, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, LatinxGeeks, Leo Fairman, and Anthony Otero
Wonder Women Behind LGBTQ Characters – with Jennie Wood, Vita Ayala, Amy Reeder, Jude Biersdorfer, Tee Franklin, and Gail Simone
Building Resistance in Fandom – with Vishavjit Singh, Keith Chow, William Evans, and Jamie Broadnax
Kicking Ass, Taking Names: Women of Color in Comics – with Vita Ayala, Amy Chu, Dr. Sheena Howard, Janice Chiang
Podcasts (as a host or co-host)
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