Lizard in a Zoot Suit
Los Angeles, 1943. It's the era of the Zoot Suit Riots, and Flaca and Cuata have a problem. It's bigger than being grounded by their strict mother. It's bigger than tensions with the soldiers stationed nearby. And it's shaped like a five-foot-tall lizard. When a lost member of an unknown underground species needs help, the sisters must scramble to keep their new friend away from a corrupt military scientist--but they'll do it in style. Cartoonist Marco Finnegan presents Lizard in a Zoot Suit, an outrageous, historical, sci-fi graphic novel.
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About the Author
Marco Finnegan is an educator by day and writes and draws comics by night. He lives in Temecula, California.
An entertaining and meaningful story. The bicultural characters and diverse Mexican American setting are a fun entry point into some serious Chicano history, the era of the 1940s Zoot Suit Riots. Put on your tacuche and your tando, and get ready for Lizard in a Zoot Suit!--Lalo Alcaraz, author of Latino USA: A Cartoon History-- "Other Print"
With a dash of mid-20th-century pulp monsters and a backdrop of 1940s Los Angeles, Finnegan mingles humanoid swamp creatures with victory rolls and zoot suits to highlight Mexican American families struggling to hold their own. Cuata is soft, petite, and keen to help others. Her sister, Flaca, on the other hand, is, as her name suggests, tall, lean, and angular with a short temper and a rebellious edge. Though their characters represent, respectively, traditionally feminine norms and those who push against them, all their traits are needed to save a new friend in need. When a night out in downtown LA turns violent amid the clashes of the Zoot Suit Riots, Cuata and Flaca escape with the help of a subterranean creature who is part man and part lizard with echoes of the 'Creature From the Black Lagoon.' The creature follows them home, where Cuata discovers that he has been separated from his family, and the girls must work together to reunite them while evading Navy men and a mysterious man-in-black scientist who want to get to the creature first. Though the adventure is fast-paced and fun, themes of racism, colonialism, counterculture, and family are all explored. Backmatter includes historical context about the zoot suiters and the events that triggered the 1943 riots as well as insight into Finnegan's creative process. Period pop horror that will lure readers in for important history lessons.--Kirkus Reviews-- "Journal"
Lizard in a Zoot Suit is a beautifully rendered, heartbreaking, and insightful graphic adventure that uses the metaphor of the 'monster' to unpack one of the most tragic events in US history. Finnegan deftly uses his mastery of the comics medium to engage with the surreal nature of what it means to be seen as 'other' and how that perspective endangers people of color and our civil liberties. Everyone should read this book!--John Jennings, author Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation-- "Other Print"
This fun, character-driven, all-ages historical sci-fi romp is wacky, out-of-this-world and pure enjoyment. Finnegan pulls out all the stops and crafts a unique adventure that feels fresh and vibrant. --Alex Segura, acclaimed comic book writer of THE BLACK GHOST, THE ARCHIES and more-- "Other Print"