Quince review: The empowerment we have been hoping for

Review by Nika Yaya

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Written by: Kit Steinkellner
Illustrated by: Emma Steinkellner
Created by: Sebastian Kadlecik
Translated by: Valeria Tranier

Thanks to Fanbase Press for providing us a review copy!

About: Quince follows a year in the life of Lupe, a 15-year-old girl who discovers that her quinceañera brings with it a super cool party… and superpowers. Her quince powers only last as long as she’s fifteen, so over the course of this rollercoaster year, we follow the adventures of Lupe as she figures out what it really means to be a hero. Emphasizing diversity, family, and female empowerment. 

Thoughts: I have to begin by admitting I am not a comic book reader. The fact that I have been asked to review comic books at all is more a demonstration of my ability to be unbiased and the fact that the art being presented is geared towards people like myself. People who have long glazed over certain subcultures because we didn’t connect to those worlds. With Quince it not only invites us in, it creates a seat at the head of the table for us to sit down and read. The writers demonstrated inclusion in an effortless way, allowing the focus to remain on the idea of a new 15 year old discovering her superpowers. Fat shaming culture, nerd based exclusion, and cultural acceptance were easily deflected, creating a storyline that easily reached into the simplified teenage angst that is a truth across most of American culture. Even a storyline that veered towards the blame of mental illness rooted in school bullying, a concerning excuse used as a cultural apology, was morphed into a lesson in empathy and the strength in vulnerability. It’s apparent over and over in Quince that the true superpower in this saga is Lupe’s discovery of the strength she always had, her true understanding of her impact on those around her. 

Worth It? Yes, Yes, Yes. I was so excited after reading this book that I immediately began looking for a retailer just so I could purchase a copy for my daughter and son. While the storyline empowers Latinx women, it’s base easily translates to much of the lessons kids are facing today. The influx of youth that grew up on comics, are now adults who are taking advantage of telling their own stories, is something a comic novice like me is grateful for. For the biggest lesson I took personally from Quince was, you are never to old to start enjoying comic books. 

Quince is now available both digitally and in print.

Quince: The Definitive Bilingual Edition, an oversized hardcover collecting the full English and Spanish editions of the Eisner-nominated bilingual comic book series, Quince will be available on January 15, 2020 but can be pre-ordered now.

The hardcover will also feature:

  • a foreword by Gloria Calderón Kellett (Executive Producer/Showrunner/Director/Actor, One Day at a Time)
  • a foreword by Peter Murrieta (Executive Producer/Showrunner/Writer, Mr. Igleasias)
  • an academic essay by Frederick Luis Aldama (Distinguished University Professor and Eisner Award-winning author of Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics)
  • a study guide by Dr. Theresa Rojas (Professor, Modesto Junior College)
  • an art gallery by artists/cartoonists Javier Hernandez (El Muerto), Sabrina Cintron (The Witches’ Grimoire, La Borinqueña), Malena Bonilla (Twitter: @Malbondesigns, Instagram: @malbondesigns), and Jose Cabrera
  • a heartfelt letter to the reader by creator Sebastian Kadlecik

Have you read the title? What are your thoughts? Want to talk to me about this title? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!

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