Sunday, April 17, 2011

Enthusiasm for John Lewis's civil rights graphic novel

I'm a little behind on updating for the graphic novel, but here's an update for page 45. To read more of the scene, of course, you can just follow this link.

I had a helluva time trying to draw that airplane. They're tricky to draw well - and you could certainly argue that I didn't draw it well even after all the time I put into it. I had some fun with this scene on the airplane, too. There's a joke coming up in a few scenes where it'll probably pay off a little better.

But, a few passengers on the plane may resemble characters from Lost (to the best of my ability). You can really only see the Iraqi assassin in this image, but by eventually there will be more of an opportunity to see the other characters. Just an Easter egg, I suppose. (PLUS, it's almost Easter!)

Graphic novel news
In Daytripper's review, we'll find out what Kenny McCormack from South Park does when he grows up and get's a job as an obit writer in Brazil. Rep. John Lewis commissions a graphic novel about his "involvement" with civil rights, specifically on being beaten as a young man by state troopers in Ala. And I've drummed up an enthusiastic Lewis fan who'll buy the comic no matter what. Enjoy.

Daytripper: wrenching existential graphic novel
Cory Doctorow

Daytripper collects the full run of award-winning Brazilian comic-creating twins Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon's acclaimed graphic novel. Daytripper is the story of Bras de Oliva Domingos, the son of one of Brazil's most treasured writers. Bras aspires to write novels, too, though the closest he manages for some time is a job writing obits for a daily newspaper.

Daytripper tells Bras's life story through a series of vignettes, and at the end of each one, Bras dies, usually in some horrible, tragic fashion. And then the next installment begins, and Bras is alive again, and his terminal accident never happened, and his life proceeds.

With each iteration, Bras has the chance to come closer to doing the right thing -- for himself, for his lovers and friends, for his family, for his son -- and with each turn on the wheel, Bras learns something new.

This existential device works extraordinarily well, making for a story that grows progressively more moving with each chapter. Somehow, the impacts of the inevitable deaths are never diminished through repetition, but rather increase in their tragedy.
Click to read more.

Rep. John Lewis to write graphic novel on civil rights
By Catalina Camia,

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., center, will write a novel about his experiences in the civil rights movement.

As a young man, Lewis was beaten in Selma, Ala., on the day in 1965 that has become known as Bloody Sunday. Marchers were on their way from Selma to Montgomery when Lewis and others were beaten by Alabama state troopers on the Edmund Pettus bridge.

Top Shelf Productions will publish the novel, called March, in 2012. Top Shelf, a graphic novel and comics publisher, said the agreement with Lewis is a first for a sitting member of Congress.

"It is not just a story of struggle; it is a story of involvement," Lewis said in a statement posted on Top Shelf's website. "It shows the ups, the downs, the ins and the outs of a movement."

Putting Lewis' story in the form of a comic book will help educate a new generation about the struggle for civil rights, said publisher Chris Staros.

Lewis, 70, was first elected to Congress in 1986. Later this month, he is slated to receive a Medal of Freedom -- the nation's highest civilian honor -- from President Obama.
Click to read more.

My Head May Explode From the Sheer Awesomeness of This
Stephen Saperstein Frug

John Lewis -- former head of SNCC, participant in the Freedom Rides, and, for the past twenty-five years, a member of Congress (from Georgia) -- is one of the few people I can think of in American life that I would unhesitatingly and unabashedly label a hero.

For those of you who don't know, he was at the center of the Civil Rights Movement in its key years in the early 1960's -- a participant at the lunch counter sit-ins in the early 60's, a freedom rider, head of SNCC, (and) a speaker at the 1963 March on Washington where King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Now, I will admit that my confidence that it will be good is very low. Lewis is a fine writer of prose, but writing prose is a very different task than writing comics -- and most writers of prose who try to make the transition do a poor job of it. Writing a comics script is as different from writing prose as writing a play or a film script is: it requires a real understanding of the medium. If you just think that you've written books, you can write a graphic novel, well, you're wrong. It's not just like writing a book with pictures.*

Nor am I encouraged by the fact that Lewis's co-author, Andrew Aydin, is a member of his staff -- that is, someone who is primarily engaged in politics. Presumably Lewis can tell his own story, after all; what he needs for this project is someone who can help him tell it in the medium of comics.

[...] even if it doesn't work, y'know what? I'm there. I'm reading it. Because even if it isn't a fabulous artistic production, I'm sure it will be very interesting, and have some insights into a key period of history.

And besides, John Lewis -- John !!@#$%ing Lewis -- is writing a !@#$% graphic novel. It's had to get more awesome than that. In this matter, quality is would be just a bonus.
Click to read more.

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Hey there, I am glad you have taken the time to leave a comment. Thanks - I am looking forward to reading it.