Soda Pop Anthology is a collection of comics illustrated and written by Puerto Rican women and published independently by a studio of female comics writers, Soda Pop Comics.
Created as a vehicle to document this growing and vastly under represented community of artists its purpose is to establish greater visibility and acceptance for its female creators. Beyond the world of comics, few volumes published on the island of Puerto Rico share such a noble (and difficult) task. As such, it is important to address the “Soda Pop Anthology” as the beginning.
Soda Pop Comics was founded in 2007 by Rosa Colón and Carla Rodríguez in an effort to push other women to create their own comics. These initial efforts resulted in six collections of work under the stamp of “Anthology,” and gave way to four additional editions that were digitally distributed in 2013. The Soda Pop Anthology, gathers the best material from last year in 152 color pages and includes stories created specifically for this print edition.
A total of 26 artists have participated in the effort, from beginners to more established and experienced voices, offering a fairly comprehensive and complete panorama of the current comic’s production on the island. Beyond the central concept — Puerto Rican women creating comics — there is no forced narrative nor theme that structures the collection.
Each pair of pages takes the reader down a different path — from Rosaura Rodríguez’s semantic games in watercolor to Mónica Parada’s raw absurdity, from the light and playful spirit that characterizes Soda Pop’s work, to Ivia E. Pantoja’s sci-fi imagination with a Japanese influence. Each are complimented with articles on the history of comics and tutorials.
The Soda Pop Anthology is an essential publication for collectors of Puerto Rican comics and the hope is that it results in a greater appreciation of the medium. Those who know Soda Pop Comics’ work know the anthology is a link in a grand chain of initiatives — between exhibits, art classes, festivals, scholarship opportunities, and other social activities — aimed at promoting the production of comics on the island of Puerto Rico. Its importance shines through because of its introduction of new artists — and an invitation to join and participate.