Readers Place: Graphic novels
Not for reluctant readers only, good graphic novels add drama and poignancy to a narrative. Here’s a selection worth looking into.
Josephine Baker by Catel & Bocquet, 2017.
Most of us know Josephine Baker as a daring exotic dancer in 1920’s Paris and the adoptive mother of several children from varying countries. Here we learn that she protested the Batista dictatorship in Cuba alongside a young Fidel Castro. She spoke at the March on Washington in 1968, just before Martin Luther King. From her impoverished beginnings, through her sexual exploits, and her triumphs, an outsize lust for life jumps off the pages.
The Arab of the future 2: a childhood in the Middle East, 1984-1985 Raid Sattouf, 2015.
The continuation of The Arab of the future part 1 follows the author’s childhood spent in his father’s Syrian village while spending vacations in his mother’s native France. The comical drawings contrast with the brutal realities of an honor killing perpetrated within the boy’s own extended family, virulent anti-Semitism, and the corruption and dysfunction of Assad’s Syria.
Imagine wanting only this Kristen Radtke, 2017. The author and artist grew up in a small Wisconsin town and was drawn to once-busy, now deserted places in the Midwest as well as overseas. A beloved uncle with a hereditary heart defect dies prematurely, prompting Radtke to mull over the impermanence of human endeavor.
Compiled by Ina Rimpau