History – Graphic Novels

Focus on: Graphic Novels
Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story
by Peter Bagge

In this “modern masterpiece” (Publishers Weekly), cartoon artist Peter Bagge vividly portrays contraception pioneer Margaret Sanger, presenting her in lively fashion rather than as a remote historical figure. Bagge’s compelling text and drawings relate Sanger’s life from her childhood through her career as a feminist health advocate and “Woman Rebel” (the title of the journal she published). If you’re interested in the history of women’s health or curious about Sanger’s life, be sure to check out this biographical study. Extensive notes and an afterword reveal the depth of Bagge’s research.

The Photographer
by Emmanuel Guibert and Didier Lefèvre; design by Frédéric Lemercier; translated by Alexis Siegel

In a riveting compilation of photographs by Didier Lefèvre and illustrations by Emmanuel Guibert, The Photographer recounts Lefèvre’s dangerous 1986 round trip between Normandy and Afghanistan as a documentary photographer for Doctors Without Borders. Lefèvre’s photographs provide most of the storytelling, while his text and Guibert’s drawings fill in context, supply information where relevant photographs are unavailable, and transport readers to the middle of Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation. The French-language edition of this account of life in a war zone won a Bédélys Prize in Canada and was a European bestseller.

The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation
by Jonathan Hennessey and Aaron McConnell

This graphic novel adaptation of Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” offers more than an illustrated version of the speech. Author Jonathan Hennessey breaks the text down into phrases and connects them to the Battle of Gettysburg and to the historic political and social issues of the Civil War. Through this analytical presentation and Aaron McConnell’s illustrations, readers can appreciate the impact of the battle and the significance of this speech in the context of American history. For another revelatory graphic presentation of a historic American document, read the authors’ The United States Constitution.

Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me
by Harvey Pekar and J.T. Waldman

Harvey Pekar, widely acclaimed for using the graphic novel format for biography and history, grew up in parallel with the creation and development of the State of Israel. This posthumous memoir depicts Pekar and artist J.T. Waldman exploring the history of Israel from biblical times to the present. Though Pekar’s parents were strong Zionists, he disagreed with Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and its relationships with neighboring Arab nations. Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me intertwines Pekar’s life story, Israeli history, and conversations between Pekar and Waldman. Booklist calls this a “canny treatment” of the controversy over Israeli policies.

Footnotes in Gaza
by Joe Sacco

In Footnotes in Gaza, award-winning comics journalist Joe Sacco relates how he sought out refugees who witnessed the 1956 massacres of Palestinians in the Sinai villages of Rafah and Khan Younis. Interweaving the survivors’ accounts with his depiction of life in Gaza in 2003, he also vividly portrays the risks he took to collect the interviews. Sacco’s photo-like exterior details and cartoon-style renditions of people and interiors add visual impact this gripping account, which presents the first full report on the events of 1956 and brings home to readers the realities of life in contemporary Gaza.

List created 3/8/16 – James Hartmann
Adapted from Nextreads.

Posted in Adult Staff Picks, Reading Lists and tagged , , , .