Today we’d like to introduce you to Melina Chavarria.
Melina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was in college when I first fell in love with writing. I had just discovered Xicano writers like Luis Rodriguez, Victor Villasenor, and Sandra Cisneros. However, it wasn’t until 15 years later that I made the decision to take a risk on myself and focus on my writing. I started off with blogging about my journey with motherhood and raising children on the Autism spectrum. Over the last few years, I have focused mostly on writing poetry and on a comic book series I co-created, with my partner, Jean Munson, called “The Magic Glasses.”
Currently, I am still focusing on further developing our comic book series, but I am also starting a new zine. I am now working as Editor and Chief for DSTL Arts, on a publication called Aurtistic Zine. Aurtistic Zine is focused on acceptance and showcasing the diverse talents of autistic individuals as well as their family members.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The journey is never linear, and the biggest challenges have been to overcome self-doubt and fear. Most of those fears steam from worrying about how readers will receive my work. Will readers connect with my work? I learned to silence those fears by reminding myself, that although everyone may not become a fan of my writing, I will find people that connect with my work. And even if my stories only connect with a few people, the journey will have been worth it.
In writing my comic book series, I also found it challenging to find the right artist to collaborate with. You hear a lot of things about the comic book industry not being open to women, and you do not see a lot of women of color represented in the industry. So I really wanted to wait to meet and work with someone that shared my values of having more and better representations of women of color in comics. I was fortunate to meet and work with Jean, who is a passionate feminist and leader in the comics industry.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
When we created “The Magic Glasses” comic book series not only did we want to have a better representation of women of color in comics, but we also wanted to share the stories and experiences of the real women from our communities and share some of the things that are actually happening in our communities today.
I would say we are known for being advocates and champions for women of color in the comics industry. What I am most proud of is being able to share stories about the women living in South Central Los Angeles, and I hope to continue to do so in a positive light.
What were you like growing up?
I was a rebellious nerd growing up. I always did very well academically in school and enjoyed reading anything I could get my hands on. But I was always opinionated and strong-willed.
- Our comics are 1 for $7 or 2 for $10
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @the_magic_glasses
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heidysgotmagicglasses