Pia Guerra, a Canadian comic book artist, started her editorial work after the US election 2016. According to her, she “felt a need to do something in the face of this wave of misogyny and racism rearing its head.”
In addition to her comic book work, Guerra said that editorial work has become her “new path.”
“Drawing was a way to be part of the ‘resistance,’” she shared. “It felt really good, especially after blowing up one of my cartoons into a sign for the Women’s March in DC and getting a lot of positive feedback.”
Her previous work caricaturing President Trump has been featured in the New Yorker and the Nib.
She also said that watching current events give her inspiration for her work. “Part of my routine is to sit in front of the TV and an open laptop and absorb a lot of news until an image comes to mind, and then I draw it, submit it and see if it’s accepted.”
That’s exactly what Guerra was doing when the news coverage of the Parkland Florida, school shooting incident was aired.
She said that the tragedy inspired her to draw one cartoon. While waiting for a reply to her submission, she saw another news report about Aaron Feis, a football coach who shielded students from a gunman. He was one of 17 people killed at the Parkland, Florida, campus.
“The story about Aaron Feis came up, and another light bulb went off, one that gave me a huge lump in my throat (usually a good sign that I’m on the right track) so instead of going to bed, I drew that,” she expressed.
Her one cartoon makes people feel broken and gut-punched.
Guerra’s drawing shows Feis being welcomed to heaven by students, teachers, and other victims of previous shootings.
“I wanted to take the standard ‘all these angels are in a better place’ meme and turn it around a little, to show these wonderful, beautiful, brave lives…who should still be here,” she shared. “To both prompt the viewer to ask why they aren’t here while also paying tribute to Mr. Feis’s act of love.”
After posting the cartoon on Twitter, it quickly soon went viral. The heartfelt art moved many people.
Other people also felt inspired.
Guerra said that her cartoon “gets people thinking and talking and that’s good.”
After searching about the number of school shootings they’ve had in Canada since 1975, she found out that there have only been eleven. She thinks that the US needs to make changes to secure the safety and future of children.
“That’s my main source of anger over all this. A country of 35 million people just north of you guys figured out the issue of access to certain guns and how it correlates to these events,” she stated. “Why haven’t you? No, gun control laws won’t absolutely stop these killings…but they will curb them by a significant amount, and create a better society in the process. Please, please consider trying it.”