Mexican Comic Books Focus of New Exhibit

A new exhibit at The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries Special Collections offers a rare look inside the rise of comic books in 20th century Mexico, their literary, cultural and entertainment value, and influence by the Mexican government.

A few images of Mexican comic book covers featured in the new exhibit, ¡Viva México! A Comic Book History of Mexico, at the UT Arlington Library.

More than 75 comic books from the 1940s to the 1960s are represented in “¡Viva México! A Comic Book History of Mexico.” The exhibit is free to the public and runs March 16 through August at the UT Arlington Central Library, 702 Planetarium Place.

The Golden Age of the Mexican comic book, known in Spanish as historietas, began in the 1930s with the publication of comic book digests that serialized U.S. strips like Superman, Dick Tracy and Betty Boop, combining them with strips by Mexican creators.

“This exhibit will celebrate facets of Mexico’s colorful history that are rarely seen or understood in modern American culture,” said Christopher Conway, associate professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Modern Languages. “What is especially extraordinary about the comic books is how tremendously they impacted people of all classes in Mexico. In fact, the comic books were at one point, more widely read in Mexico than any other form of print.”

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(SOURCE: Bridget Lewis/UTA Media Relations)

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