Maus: A Survivor’s Tale
This Pulitzer winning graphic memoir is one of the most recommended and critically acclaimed graphic novels in the world. The incredible combination of words and pictures which were novel to the readers at the time of its first release in the 1980s forever altered the way serious readers think of graphic narratives. It was originally published as specially bound installments in an art magazine ‘Raw’ from 1980. Maus recounts the chilling experiences of Spiegelman’s father during Holocaust. He picturizes Jews as white mice, Nazis as cats, Poles as pigs and wartime Europe as a gigantic mousetrap. This true life account from a Holocaust survivor is a story that slides into reader’s veins while they read it. Spiegelman himself explained in the introduction of the book that he wanted to bring back meaning to the holocaust stories that had lost its horror due to their notoriety and with a stunning visual style, he has been successful in doing that.
March is a graphic novel trilogy vividly elucidating the lifelong struggle of American Congressman John Lewis, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement in America. He elegantly used the graphic medium to share his remarkable story with new generations in a graphic memoir trilogy in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell. Book one features his youth in Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King and their later protests through non-violent means leading to an appealing climax on the steps of City Hall. Book two narrates the story of Lewis getting into the national spotlight and one of the ‘Big Six’ leaders of the national movement. Third part set the stage for a historic showdown of the civil rights movement. This series illustrated in expressive and dramatic black-and-gray wash is a political gem.
The Complete Persepolis
Persepolis is a humorous and a haunting memoir of a young girl in Iran narrating her coming of age during the Islamic Revolution in the country. Marjane Satrapi has written the text in a childish manner and has drawn very simple images which essentially great depth of emotions and graphic weight. The apparent contrast between light and dark which effectively communicates meanings, a great deal of symbolism in the graphic panels and the book dealing with a very mature subject matter makes this a must-read for ardent readers. The book was adapted into an animation film of the same name in 2009.