Political reality inserted itself into the blissfully insulated of . The Trump baby balloon bounced across the street from the convention center in s Gaslamp district. The Magicians or Jade Tlor wore a Close the Camps shirt during her son 5 panel. Sen. Cory cruised through and AOC comics were for sale.

Yet, seching the sprawling convention floor, d be hd-pressed to find ry more politicy relevantor subversivethan the nine-foot-high poster for LaGuardia, a graphic novel from African futurism Nnedi Okorafor. A pregnant n-n woman in a bright blue dress, fist rsed and flowing like a ner, leads a bridge-closing shoulder-to-tentacle with etraterrestrial beings. Their picket signs demand for , both and of off- origin.

After a single-issue run, Dk Horse Comics released the final, collected volume during last weeks . LaGudia depicts an alternative present, w cont with is made in Lagos in 2010. The protagonist Future Nwafor Chukwuebuka is ed both in eance and biography after the herself. After living for several yes in , Future returns to the to illegy a plant-based alien escaping civil w through s LaGudia rport. Once in the , she reconnects with her grandm, an for of planety origins. Before too , the announces a .

have a w have come, and theyre not trying to kill us and eat us and take our resources. Theyve become Ethlings, Okofor says. Some beings re wonderfully to it, or some beings just e cool with it, and then s cant deal with it. And then we have the becoming more because of it.

Its not unusual for to anticipate reality, but its remkable how every p of LaGudia seems only 30 seconds a of the horrors playing out in the lines, from testing and media vetting at the nations entry points to the chant of send her back at the prents recent North Colina ry. LaGudia eplores the concept of -only at hospitals; meanwhile, Democratic prential candidates discussed ce for in their televised .

Its disturbing, but at the same , it feels , because I feel like Ive ted into the pulse of something, Okorafor says.

Yet this is a that she has been ing on for yes.

Issues of , issues of identity, these , theyre not , and theyve been t for a , she says.

Okorafor talks and writes from eperience. The graphic novel introduces Future through an etended scene at LaGudia, w she queues up for ing a with of shapes and sizes, as well as a little white who yanks on her . At the checkpoint, she is pulled a for a second ing by a security gud who asks invasive questions about whether the baby in her belly is . The confrontation is ripped strght from an incident in 2009, when a TSA at LaGudia took Okorafor to a private room to squeeze each of her four-and-a-half-foot for hidden contrad. Preocied with her , the missed the bottle of pepper spray that Okorafor had forgotten to remove from her bag. In LaGudia, that misdirection ows the cher to cry the alien through, undetected.

As an , Okorafor s a lot, and its become cle to her that rport and border crossings e more about control than ty.

Its the between, a place of ion, a place of displacement, a place of fe, a place of identity, she says. Its w become very awe of the that e and what they mean, in the contet of w e. And depending on who e, that place can feel very hot or it can feel very chill.

can also be such a , w creators contemplate who they e and w they e in their ceers. In elier chapters of her , Okorafor was a semi-pro and later ened a PhD from the University of , , before becoming an awd-collecting . Okorafor has been attending on-and-off since 2010, wheb she was a speaker on The Panel, a forum for rsing the profile of . This ye was her returning as a comic-book .

In addition to writing LaGudia for Dk Horses imprint Berger Books, Okorafor was ted by Mvel to write Black Panther: Long Live the King and a spin-off about the Wakandan princess Shuri. In coming s, she be back with even more prominent projects: shes adapting Octavia Butlers for and is developing her novel Who Fes , with as a .

in chaos, organized chaos, wonderful, glorious, organized chaos, Okorafor says.

One could draw a strght line from Okorafor and LaGudia to comics pioneer Eisner (after whom s awds e named) and his 1978 medium-defining graphic novel, A Contr with . Okorafor pulled the book off a university libry shelf at random, without king it was a graphic novel, and was immediately transed by the blending of prose and s.

But also it was telling this immigrant , especiy about Jews, Okorafor says of A Contract with God, and coming from a of immigrants, my pents being immigrants, I could relate so well to that. And so this was a book that I read over and over and over agn for yes.

Thats how Ken Berger, the who oversees Dk Horses Berger Book imprint, remembers Okorafor pitching the project: A Contr with , but with in an African n community. In Bergers mind, Eisner rsed the b by writing for adults based on his own eperiences as the of immigrants.

The best s e when have a personal connection, and ts something about a s past, or the s personality, the s passions in the cher they write about, Berger says. As a piece of immigrant , LaGudia rey fills that .

LaGudia is also about resistance, in its forms, whether it be ing, legal , or holding the line within the sy.

T e many ways of fighting the battle and battles hen on multiple fronts, at the same , Okorafor says. This ye, became one of them.

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