HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez is the creator of the critically acclaimed series of graphic novels La Borinquena, which centers around an Afro-Puerto Rican superhero. Miranda-Rodriguez was in Holyoke to meet with community members and discuss his work.

“I created La Borinquena more as an opportunity to engage readers and audiences in an actual discourse about what’s actually happening in Puerto Rico,” said graphic novelist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez.

Nueva Esperanza is the Holyoke non-profit that coordinated Miranda-Rodriguez’s visit to the city, not only to celebrate his work, “.but also inspire our students, our youth, our elders – everybody to see themselves in an art form and also hear stories and learn more,” said Cynthia Espinosa-Marrero, executive director of Nueva Esperanza.

While in Holyoke, Miranda-Rodriguez visited middle schools to discuss his work and the culture.

“I feel that he is bringing a culture to life. I feel that he is giving the people, the Puerto Rican people, a voice,” said Juan Anderson-Burgos, Holyoke City Councilor.

Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez is also a philanthropist, dedicating part of the proceeds from this series to Puerto Rico. He emphasizes that although the books embrace the Puerto Rican culture, La Borinquena as a superhero can appeal universally and can remind everyone that we all have the potential to be a superhero even if we don’t have a cape.