Tag Archives: graphic novels

March: Book One by John Lewis

Georgia Congressman John Lewis is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis‘ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Book One spans John Lewis‘ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.

Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book “Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story.” Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks

The Harlem Hellfighters
by Max Brooks (Author), Caanan White (Illustrator)

Broadway Books, April 1, 2014, Paperback

From bestselling author Max Brooks, the riveting story of the highly decorated, barrier-breaking, historic black regiment — the Harlem Hellfighters

In 1919, the 369th infantry regiment marched home triumphantly from World War I. They had spent more time in combat than any other American unit, never losing a foot of ground to the enemy, or a man to capture, and winning countless decorations. Though they returned as heroes, this African American unit faced tremendous discrimination, even from their own government. The Harlem Hellfighters, as the Germans called them, fought courageously on — and off — the battlefield to make Europe, and America, safe for democracy.

In THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS, bestselling author Max Brooks and acclaimed illustrator Caanan White bring this history to life. From the enlistment lines in Harlem to the training camp at Spartanburg, South Carolina, to the trenches in France, they tell the heroic story of the 369th in an action-packed and powerful tale of honor and heart.

The Zabime Sisters by Aristophane

On the first day of summer vacation, teenaged sisters M’Rose, Elle, and Celina step out into the tropical heat of their island home and continue their headlong tumble toward adulthood. Boys, schoolyard fights, petty thievery, and even illicit alcohol make for a heady mix, as The Zabime Sisters indulge in a little summertime freedom. The dramatic backdrop of a Caribbean island provides a study of contrasts — a world that is both lush and wild, yet strangely small and intimate — which echoes the contrasts of the sisters themselves, who are at once worldly and wonderfully naive.

Master storyteller Aristophane’s The Zabime Sisters takes a keen look at some of the universal experiences of children on the cusp of growing up, in the fascinating setting of Guadeloupe. Aristophane‘s bold, graphic brushwork weaves a wild texture through this gentle, clear-eyed tale.

First Second
Available October 26, 2010 in Paperback

King: The Special Edition by Ho Che Anderson

Fantagraphics Books
Available 02/28/10 in Hardcover

A special expanded edition of a Fantagraphics classic.

Ho Che Anderson has spent over 10 years researching, writing, and drawing King, a monumental graphic biography that liberates Martin Luther King Jr. from the saintly, one-dimensional, hagiographic image so prevalent in pop culture. Here is King — father, husband, politician, deal broker, idealist, pragmatist, inspiration to millions — brought to vivid, flesh-and-blood life.

Out of print since 2006, King is Fantagraphics’ most-requested reprint. In recognition of the advances made in American social equality that has made it possible to elect America’s first black President, Fantagraphics Books is publishing King: The Special Edition, a newly designed volume that includes the original 240-page graphic biography, as well as nearly a hundred additional pages of “extras,” including:
Black Dogs” is a 14-page prelude to King, a dialogue between a young black couple expecting a child, living in LA in the aftermath of the Rodney King upheaval, a raw and inflected conversation between husband and wife and their racial attitudes in a post-King world;
Excerpts from the diary and notebook the author kept when researching and writing King, with interstitial notes written specifically for this volume commenting on the method he used to conceived and execute the book;
Preparatory sketches, discarded images and pages, an interview conducted at the time of the third volume’s publication, and excerpts from the draft of the script;
An epilogue titled “Assassin,” written and drawn for this new edition, in which Anderson explores the question of whether James Earl Ray actually shot King. Caroline Longstreet, one of the observers who comments on King’s life throughout the book, is obsessed with the assassination, won’t let it rest, and pursues her own private investigation and ultimately confronts the reasons why it’s held her in its grip so long.

Anderson’s biography traces King’s life from his childhood in Atlanta and his education at Booker T. Washington High School, and his subsequent centrality to the civil rights movement when, in 1955, he organized the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott; his founding of the Southern Christian leadership Conference in 1957; his Nobel Prize in 1964; his help in organizing the 1966 March on Washington and his “I Have a Dream” speech; and the tragic moment on April 4, 1968 when he was shot dead on the balcony of the Loraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee.

Anderson’s expressionistic visual style is wrought with dramatic energy; panels evoke a painterly attention to detail but whose juxtapositions propel King’s story with cinematic momentum. Anderson’s successful use of the comics form to tell a major work of nonfiction has drawn favorable comparisons to Art Spiegelman’s Maus: A Survivor’s Tale and Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Gorazde: The War In Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995. King won a 1995 Parents’ Choice Award. Full-color throughout.

Holy Black History Month!: 23 Graphic Novels Featuring African Americans

By Martha Cornog, Philadelphia — Library Journal, 2/12/2009 1:12:00 PM

African American history turned a corner in January when Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. From Washington, DC, Obamamania swept through the recent New York Comic-Con, where exhibitors sold Alex Ross’s striking Superman Obama print as well as T-shirts proclaiming “Obama is my homeboy.” Obama comics are also jumping out of stores, and several more are in production.

Because our new president is a poster honcho for literacy as well as a comics-friendly icon, I hope we will soon see more graphic novels for children and tweens featuring black people as major characters. Luckily, there are many existing works that offer distinctive and often powerful portrayals of African Americans famous and unknown, real and fictional. Limited to teen through adult readers, the titles below are recommended for public and school libraries, and many would be welcome in academic collections. Display away, librarians!

libraryjournal.com

Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans

Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans
by by Roland Laird (Author), Taneshia Nash Laird (Author), Charles Johnson (Foreword), Elihu “Adofo” Bey (Illustrator)

Available 02/03/09

Still I Rise is a critically acclaimed work with an impressive scope: the entire history of Black America, told in an accessible graphic-novel form. Updated from its original version – which ended with the Million Man March – it now extends from the early days of colonial slavery right through to Barack Obama’s groundbreaking presidential campaign. Compared by many to Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Still I Rise is a breathtaking achievement that celebrates the collective African-American memory, imagination, and spirit.

Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow

Satchel Paige

Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow
Author: James Sturm
Illustrator: Rich Tommaso

Baseball Hall-of-Famer Leroy “Satchel” Paige (1905?–1982) changed the face of the game in a career that spanned five decades. Much has been written about this larger-than-life pitcher, but when it comes to Paige, fact does not easily separate from fiction. He made a point of writing his own history . . . and then rewriting it. A tall, lanky fireballer, he was arguably the Negro Leagues’ hardest thrower, most entertaining storyteller, and greatest gate attraction. Now the Center for Cartoon Studies turns a graphic novelist’s eye to Paige’s story. Told from the point of view of a sharecropper, this compelling narrative follows Paige from game to game as he travels throughout the segregated South.

In stark prose and powerful graphics, author and artist share the story of a sports hero, role model, consummate showman, and era-defining American.