Comic

Throughout 2017 and 2018 I investigated how low-income Puerto Rican families recovered from Hurricane Maria, which devastated the Caribbean island in September 2017. Alongside the brilliant illustrator John Cei Douglas, I turned this ethnographic research into a comic, FREE to download in English and in Spanish. Although the comic tells the story of a fictional family, “After Maria” is based on the experiences that tie together all of the families I spoke to.

Teaching and Workshop Resource

The comic will resonate if you are interested in representations of “developing” country contexts, gender, inequality, resilience, poverty, vulnerabilities, disasters and identities. Readers can use their wider understanding of these concepts to unpack the stories images, dialogue, and narratives. There are also discussion points.

You’ll discover the subtle social, cultural, economic and psychological impacts of disasters that go under the radar of the international news media; and why people experience disasters differently – based on gender, age, and race. The story highlights what recovery means for disaster-affected people – is it simply repairing a damaged roof, or does it also include recovering a person’s sense of home and identity?

I AM HAPPY TO SEND FREE PACKS OF HARD COPIES: CONTACT ME

Done footage of Ingenio, three weeks after Hurricane Maria
Inside a damaged Ingenio house, three weeks after Hurricane Maria

Contact John Cei Douglas

John is a freelance illustrator based in London. Check out his website and instagram.

Further information

The University of Manchester landing page.

Featured in Illustrating Anthropology.Exhibition. Royal Anthropological Institute, U.K. 2020;

Sou, G. Four reasons to graphically illustrate your research. London School of Economics, Impact Blog, 2019.

Featured in the Guardian UK Newspaper, 2019.

Sou, G., and Webber, R. Disruption and recovery of intangible resources during environmental crises: Longitudinal research on ‘home’ in post-disaster Puerto Rico. Geoforum. 106, 182-192. 2019.

Featured at Bluedot Music Festival, Manchester, U.K; “After Maria” (graphic novella) Interactive Multimedia display.2019.

Featured in ‘Broken Frontier: Exploring the Comics Universe’, After Maria – Putting the GRAPHIC in ETHNOGRAPHIC, London, U.K. 2019;

Spotlight in The University of Manchester Magazine. “After Maria“, 2019.

%d bloggers like this: