#1Writer1Artist - Elvira and Ronnie Dukes

Elvira and Ronnie Dukes are the creative force behind DUKEScomics, an independent comic books publisher. Elvira is a writer. Ronnie is an artist. The duo first met in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Elvira is from New Mexico and Ronnie from Chicago. They've been married for over 15 years. Their first graphic novel "A.W.O.L." was published in English in 2016 and premiered at El Paso Comic Con. The Japanese edition of "A.W.O.L." was published in 2018 and premiered the same year at Tokyo Comic Con in Japan. The Spanish edition of "A.W.O.L." came out in 2020 and premiered at virtual MexAmeriCon. Elvira and Ronnie are working on their second graphic novel with a different title coming soon in 2022.



Dr. Dukes (a.k.a. Elvira Carrizal-Dukes) is an educator at The University of Texas at El Paso, where she earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Rhetoric and Composition. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film from Columbia University in the City of New York and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in Journalism and Chicano Studies and a minor in Theatre Arts.

Dr. Dukes teaches Chicana/o Cinema and Theatre, American Cinema of the US-Mexico Border, The Roots of Latina/o Hip Hop, and Chicano/Latino Music in the U.S. She has garnered several awards for her work as an early career digital scholar, educator, and writing artist such as the Knight Fellowship for the PhDigital Bootcamp at the Media Innovation Lab at Texas State University, a Cindy and Dickie Selfe Fellowship for The Digital Media and Composition Institute at The Ohio State University, and a National Consortium of Environmental Rhetoric & Writing Writer-in-Residence Fellowship in New Mexico. Her academic and creative writing and digital projects center the lives of women and racially and economically disadvantaged communities.

Dr. Dukes’ work “Chicanx Filmmaking: Producing the Next Generation of Resilient Cinema” appears in Reflections: A Journal of Community-Engaged Writing and Rhetoric. She also contributed to the inaugural issue of Latinx Writing and Rhetoric Studies (LWRS) with “El Paso Strong: Interview with mural artist Gabe Vasquez,” which also illustrates her own anxiety and PTSD on August 3, 2019, the day of a mass shooting by a white supremacist targeting Mexican-origin people in El Paso, Texas. Previously, she contributed as a co-author for “La salud en mis manos: Localizing Health and Wellness Literacies in Transnational Communities through Participatory Mindfulness and Art-Based Projects” a peer-reviewed article for Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society.

She is a filmmaker and the writer, director, and producer of Mariposa (2006) and The Weeping Pimp (2015). Dr. Dukes is the author of the play Father’s Shadow / Sombra del Padre (Dramatic Publishing, 2001) winner of the Kennedy Center/ American College Theatre Festival Sí TV Playwriting Award and the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Fellowship. Other produced plays written by Dr. Dukes include Escaping Juarez, P.I.G. (Pimps, Illegals, Gangsters), Silencio No Mas, and Border Ballad Twinkle Toe Patrol: A Chicanx Musical.

Together with her husband Ronnie Dukes, they started DUKEScomics.com, an independent comic book publisher whose mission is to create a positive vision for the future of Black and Brown people.

Dr. Dukes is the author of the graphic novel A.W.O.L. about a Xicana soldier who leaves the military without permission to find her brother who has been kidnapped. A.W.O.L. made its international world premiere at Tokyo Comic Con in 2018 and is available in English, Japanese, and Spanish.

Dr. Dukes proudly serves as a Board Member for Equal Footing, a nonprofit whose mission is to empower women to tell their stories. To support this initiative, visit: https://www.equalfootingcharity.org/


Ronnie Dukes was born on the south side of Chicago and is a comic book creator. Raised in South Shore, Ronnie Dukes had his first professional artist position at Gallery 37 while in high school. He went on to earn his degree in computer animation in Minneapolis before relocating to Harlem, Manhattan where he began to paint and exhibit work throughout the city including multiple solo exhibitions at Columbia University as well as group shows at the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, the Harlem Arts Alliance “Community Artists Ahead of Their Time” exhibit at Columbia University, the Abrons Art Center, and at Keyspan Energy Headquarters in downtown Brooklyn. In El Paso, Texas, Ronnie Dukes had two separate solo exhibits at the El Paso Public Library Main Branch, which included over two-dozen paintings for his exhibits called “Quills” and “Blaxican Soul.” He also had a solo exhibit at El Paso Community College for the BorderSenses book release event for their publication “Memorias del Silencio.” Ronnie’s past work also includes a coloring book on diversity for the city of Minneapolis and multiple children’s books. Ronnie created his publishing company DUKEScomics with his wife, partner Elvira Carrizal-Dukes, featuring their first major print project A.W.O.L., a full -color graphic novel available in English, Japanese and Spanish. Ronnie recently partnered with the Department of Tribal Empowerment Ysleta del Sur Pueblo to publish Let's Talk Covid-19; 2020 Pueblo Youth Guide.
Ronnie and Elvira have also been collaborating with the Alzheimer's Association West Texas Chapter to provide multiple free, four week-long series: Journal Writing and Doodles for Stress Reduction and Relaxation. The next sessions, which are open to the public, will be in the spring of 2021. To see more about Ronnie Dukes’ past and upcoming work, register with DUKEScomics.com on our CONTACT US page.