When news of the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border came to light in 2018, the disclosure sent Julio Anta reeling.

“I’m not usually surprised by the way that this government treats Latinx people or immigrants of any kind,” says Anta by phone from his home in New York, “but family separation felt different to me. I was shocked by it, like a lot of people were. It made me really angry and it made me really sad and I didn’t know how to deal with that.”

The film “Black Panther” had recently been released and Anta, a longtime comic book reader who is of Cuban and Colombian heritage, thought about how little representation there is for Latinx people in the comic book world. When those two trains of thought converged, Anta dreamt up a comic of his own. “Then, I taught myself how to write comics,” he says. “At that point, I had never written anything other than music reviews online.”

In “Home,” a five-part series for Image Comics that begins its run on April 14, a young boy named Juan travels with his mother from Guatemala to the U.S. The plan is to seek asylum, but that changes when the two are separated. While detained, Juan inadvertently discovers that he has a supernatural power, which enables his escape but also leads to complications in reuniting with his mom.

“In hindsight, I think about it as a way to cope with what I was feeling and my thoughts on what it means to be Latinx in this country, what it means to be the child of immigrants,” says Anta of the story.

For Anta, there was a learning curve in telling the story. His background was in music — he ran an indie record label called The Native Sound for several years — not comics.

The series brings together an international group of collaborators. Artist Anna Wieszczyk is Polish, while color artist Bryan Valenza is based in the Philippines and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou is in the U.K.

Early on, Anta heeded advice from comic book writer Ed Brisson, who has worked on “Predator” and “Ghost Rider” comics. “This was a general thing that he was posting about on Twitter for new comic book creators, and it was to focus on short stories, rather than whatever your big opus is,” he recalls. With that in mind, Anta wrote five comics, each between four and 10 pages, releasing them online for free. Through that, he was able to engage with a comic book community that became crucial to developing his career. It was via this community that he was able to connect with Image and find his agent.

Anta connected with the artist Wieszczyk on Reddit. “If you’re talking to comic book artists, that’s not a common thing at all,” he says.

However, when Anta posted his initial call for an artist on Reddit, it drew comments from people angered by the subject matter. “It was, SJW [Social Justice Warrior] this and liberal that,” Anta recalls.

“I think that there’s a part of me that naively wants to make the better argument and convince people that way,” says Anta. “I do want people to read this and potentially change their minds. I know that’s not the most likely scenario of who my readers are going to be. My readers are probably going to be people who are already like-minded.”

“Home” draws a healthy dose of inspiration from superhero comics. Juan must learn to control his powers, while also adjusting to his new surroundings and missing his family. He’s not that different from Superman, a character whose stories have often been interpreted as analogous to the immigration experience.

“I came into telling this story with a very clear intent, which is I wanted to talk about immigration,” says Anta. “I wanted to talk about the way this country treats Latinx people and I wanted to have that conversation with comic book readers.” That’s one reason why “Home” is released as a comic book series instead of a stand-alone graphic novel. It’s also why Anta adopted some of the conventions of the superhero genre in telling the story.

Still, Anta notes that this isn’t a traditional superhero comic. “This is really a book about survival and trying to learn to control these powers that are tied to his trauma of what’s happened to him,” he says.

There are five issues scheduled for “Home,” all of which were written before the 2020 presidential elections. While Anta confirms that this miniseries will tell a complete story, he notes that, should it be a success, he would like to continue it. “With Trump, we obviously saw much more cruelty and cruelty for the sake of deterrence, but we’re still seeing horrible treatment at the border today with the new administration,” says Anta. “I don’t think that things are going to change from one administration to another in a way that we don’t have to pay attention to the border anymore, in a way that the problem is resolved.”

Anta also has a graphic novel scheduled for release in 2023, via Harper Collins, called “Frontera,” which will touch on the Bracero Program of the mid-20th century.

“It’s not so much about the current events, even though that does play a part obviously with child separation. But it’s more so about the experience as a whole,” says Anta. “There’s always cruelty, and it’s something that is systemic.”