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MOSTH Jose Alaniz webAuthor and cartoonist José Alaniz will present a new prose and comics collection published by FlowerSong Press at 2 p.m. December 10 at the Museum of South Texas History (MOSTH).

The hybrid book features short stories and comics, mostly set in the Rio Grande Valley along the Texas-Mexico border. The stories reflect the author’s upbringing in this region as a second-generation Mexican-American, at times fusing folk beliefs with Bradbury-style science fiction. For example, “Tamales” sets the immigration narrative on Mars in 2063, when a migrant family makes the crossing in search of work via (malfunctioning) rocket.

Other stories, like “Genoveva” and “Where You Stop the Story,” retell painful family episodes going back years and generations. The comics section, “Electric Youth,” recounts incidents from Alaniz’s childhood in South Texas, some of them told in Spanglish. These range from nostalgic (like one showing how common and pleasant it used to be to cross the river to Reynosa, Mexico, for family outings) to funny-gross (the author’s memory of stepping on a nail) to self-flagellating (the reimagining of ethnic self-loathing through a Star Wars metaphor). This collection will appeal to readers with an interest in contemporary Chicano fiction and comics.

Born in Edinburg, Alaniz graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993 with dual degrees in Radio-Television-Film Production and Russian Studies. He worked in Moscow, Russia, as a journalist from 1993-1994. In 2003 he earned a Ph.D. in comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 2003 he has worked as a comics scholar and professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Department of Cinema & Media Studies. He has released three comics-prose collections: “The Phantom Zone and Other Stories” (2020) and “The Compleat Moscow Calling” (2023), both from Amatl Comix, and “Puro Pinche True Fictions” (2023, FlowerSong Press).

Sunday Speaker Series is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of MOSTH are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship and must present their FRIENDship card at the Admissions Desk.

About Museum of South Texas History

The Museum of South Texas History is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It is located in downtown Edinburg at 200 North Closner Boulevard on the Hidalgo County Courthouse square. Founded in 1967 as the Hidalgo County Historical Museum in the 1910 Hidalgo County Jail, the museum has grown over the decades through a series of expansions to occupy a full city block. In 2003, following the completion of a 22,500 square foot expansion, the museum was renamed the Museum of South Texas History to better reflect its regional scope. Today, the museum preserves and presents the borderland heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico through its permanent collection and the Margaret H. McAllen Memorial Archives and exhibits spanning prehistory through the 20th century. For more information about MOSTHistory, including becoming a FRIEND, visit MOSTHistory.org, like on Facebook and Instagram, follow on Twitter, find on YouTube or call (956) 383-6911.