Stephen J. C. Andes



Stephen J. C. Andes is an associate professor of history at Louisiana State University. He is the author of three books of nonfiction, including his most recent, Zorro’s Shadow: How a Mexican Legend Became America’s First Superhero. It was named among the Best Non-Western and POC Fantasy Books of 2020 (Den of Geek) and included in The Chicago Tribune’s 12 Must-Reads of Fall 2020. He lives with his wife and three kids in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

Receive 20% off all featured festival titles at Cavalier House Books using code LABOOKFEST through December 31, 2021.


Pop Culture: From Zorro to Speedy Gonzales and Beyond!
with Stephen J. C. Andes and Rodneyna M. O. Hart (moderator)


Zorro's Shadow: How a Mexican Legend Became America's First Superhero

“SADDLE UP! Andes takes us on an exhilarating, dust-kicking ride through the actual origins and history of the first hemispheric Latinx superhero: Zorro.” —Frederick Luis Aldama, editor of Tales from la Vida: A Latinx

Zorro’s Shadow explores the masked character's Latinx origins and his impact on pop culture—the inspiration for the most iconic superheroes we know today.

Long before Superman or Batman made their first appearances, there was Zorro. Born on the pages of the pulps in 1919, Zorro fenced his way through the American popular imagination, carving his signature letter Z into the flesh of evildoers in Old Spanish California.

Zorro is the original caped crusader, the first masked avenger, and the character who laid the blueprint for the modern American superhero.

Historian and Latin American studies expert Stephen J. C. Andes unmasks the legends behind Zorro, showing that the origins of America’s first superhero lie in Latinx history and experience.

Revealing the length of Zorro’s shadow over the superhero genre is a reclamation of the legend of Zorro for a multiethnic and multicultural America.


Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.

Read More


Follow on Twitter

We are social
Quick Email