A.Y. Jalisco (Chicanos)

Created by Carlos Trillo & Eduardo Risso

“There is something worse than gringos… and that is rich Mexicans who look at you as if you were garbage.”

Chicanos follows the misadventures (it’s hard to call them “cases”) of ALEJANDRINA “A.Y.” JALISCO, a short, stout, top-heavy (and, we’re constantly reminded, unattractive) Mexican woman who follows her dream of becoming a private eye in the U.S., all while trying to stay one step ahead of immigration–and the astonishingly bad luck which seems to dog her.

Now calling New York City home, A.Y.’s beat is far from the gleaming spires of Manhattan, but then so is A.Y.  In fact, it’s her conspicuous lack of glamour that helps her pass through much of life without drawing attention either personally or professionally, with one of her favourite disguises being that of a cleaning lady. Because, after all, who notices them?

Not that A.Y. is necessarily moving on up in the world. Mostly she works out of her one-room apartment, and hangs out at Mommies Bar, a local hangout (where her bad luck iand disastrous love life s an ongoing source of amusement and pity among the regulars), and drives borrowed cars.

Alternately dark, humorous and occasionally pointedly political about the American immigration experience, this black-and-white title was the work of the longtime creative Argentinian duo of Carlos (The Big Hoax) Trillo and Eduardo (100 Bullets) Risso, and was written and drawn in decidedly broad strokes. They may have overdone the “unattractiveness” schtick occasionally, A.Y’s “bad luck” sometimes came off as just mean-spirited (does every boyfriend have to be such an asshole–or worse?), and there was a faint glaze of misogyny about some of the crap they put her through.

Still, wouldn’t it be nice if American comics tolerated more female leads who are something other than ersatz Penthouse pets in spandex, push-up bras and fuck-me heels?

COMICS

  • CHICANOS
    (1993-94)
    Black & white
    16 issues
    32 pages
    Written by Carlos Trillo
    Art by Eduardo Risso
    First published in Italian and French
  • CHICANOS
    (2006-06)
    Black & white
    16 issues
    32 pages
    Written by Carlos Trillo
    Art by Eduardo Risso
    Translated into English by Gretzel Rivero Ivanek.

COLLECTIONS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

  • CHICANOS: VOLUME 1 | Buy this book
    (2006, IDW)
    B&W
    192 pages
    Written by Carlos Trillo
    Art by Eduardo Risso
    Translated into English by Gretzel Rivero Ivanek
    Collects first eight issues.
  • CHICANOS: VOLUME 2 | Buy this book
    (2006, IDW)
    B&W
    192 pages
    Written by Carlos Trillo
    Art by Eduardo Risso
    Translated into English by Gretzel Rivero Ivanek
    Collects issues 9-16.

RELATED LINKS

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

 

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