Lizard in a Zoot Suit: A Graphic Novel For Our Time

By Megan Ciskowski, Assistant Publicist

Los Angeles, 1943. It’s the era of the Zoot Suit Riots, and Flaca and Cuata have a problem. It’s bigger than being grounded by their strict mother. It’s bigger than tensions with the soldiers stationed nearby. And it’s shaped like a five-foot-tall lizard. When a lost member of an unknown underground species needs help, the sisters must scramble to keep their new friend away from a corrupt military scientist—but they’ll do it in style.

This diverse sci-fi graphic novel reimagines a lesser-known moment in history, and takes young adult readers on the adventure of a lifetime! Discover what others have to say about Lizard in a Zoot Suit and enjoy an excerpt below.

Praise for Lizard in a Zoot Suit

“The mixture of the real history and the sci fi makes an interesting story that will have you angry and hopeful in turns…Absolutely worth your time.”—FANGIRL NATION

“Fast paced and entertaining.”—GEEK DAD

“A new YA graphic novel takes a moment in real world history and turns it into the basis for a thrilling adventure that is never anything less than stylish — but what else could be expected from a book titled Lizard in a Zoot Suit?”—HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“Though the adventure is fast-paced and fun, themes of racism, colonialism, counterculture, and family are all explored. . . . Period pop horror that will lure readers in for important history lessons.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Yellow, black and white artwork give a stark, noir feel to the story, which is both sensitive and funny. Marco Finnegan provides smart commentary on racism, gender roles and the counterculture of the period. Teens will enjoy this sci-fi take on a moment in U.S. history that isn’t discussed enough.”—MOM READ IT

“A unique and effective lens through which fans of historical fiction can view the treatment of the ‘other’ and race issues of the 1940s.”—School Library Journal

Exclusive Interviews with author-illustrator Marco Finnegan

“In this time, countless artists across multiple genres are engaging these feelings and social undercurrents to create art that both speaks to and transcends this dynamic moment in time. For Latinx cartoonist Marco Finnegan, his efforts have found a unique focus: a giant lizard.”—AIPT COMICS

“Finnegan’s graphic novel is steeped in a Los Angeles history which is not often told. A history Finnegan feels is important to not only share but to learn from.”—CAFÉ CON LECHE NERDS

“Excellent.”—COMICS BEAT

“The story deftly weaves history, science fiction, and sociopolitical issues into a story that is not only engaging but propels forward the concepts of representation and inclusivity.”—FANBASE PRESS

“I never saw kids like me having adventures,” Finnegan said. “So many of the stories that feature Chicanos usually are about trauma, or oppression, or gangs, or overcoming something. And I didn’t want to negate or diminish any of that, but I also wanted to say that adventures can happen to kids like us too.”—The LAist

“[A] socially relevant tale of racial tension, family and magical realism.”— SMASH PAGES

“Inspired by Luis Valdez’s Zoot Suit play and the film of LA Confidential, Finnegan adds a science fiction twist when he introduces us to twin sisters Flaca and Cuata and their very big problem: an anthropomorphic lizard named Chulito — who happens to look very dapper in a zoot suit.”—WOMEN WRITE ABOUT COMICS

A Sneak Peek from Lizard in a Zoot Suit

Like what you see? Lizard in a Zoot Suit is now available for purchase on!

More Author and illustrator Spotlights on the blog.

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