Review: Box of Bones Chapter One The Troubles I’ve Seen
When I was a teenager in high school I delved into “knowledge of self.” I wanted to learn more than what I learned in school. One of my uncles stoked that fire in me, when he gifted me a copy of The Autobiography of Malcolm X for my birthday. Before I read that book, I only knew of Malcolm X from what the media said about him decades after his death. They always portrayed his ideals as incendiary compared to Martin Luther King Jr.
This lead to my reading even more books and my being exposed to the evils of colonialism, the marginalization of indigenous peoples, and misleading values of assimilation. Which is also why when I watched Haile Gerima’s Sankofa, it made me look at how if we don’t know our own history we are doomed to repeat it.
In Ayize Jama-Everett and John Jennings’ Box Of Bones, a young graduate student discovers a box that is more trouble than she expected.
We meet Lyndsey, a grad student who is getting her degree in African American Studies. She does her dissertation on the Night Doctors, a set of demonic creatures from Afrika folklore. They’ve been seen in certain key moments in history and through a mysterious box. As she begins her research, the people she interviews are distraught with the memories the box brings with. Strange things start occurring everywhere. The first one being her grandfather who tells her about when a gang raped his sister and beat him half dead which prompted them to use the box of bones on the people who attacked them. But as is expected in this type of stroy, the use of the box comes with a cost, more than they could have bargained for. It’s a story that shows the evils of racism in the Antebellum South mixed with a tinge of the supernatural.
The story by Jama-Everett is smart, captivating, and unnerving. The art by Jennings is alluring. It is both scary and intriguing. The comic is a frighteningly penetrating story that gets the reader at their core leaving you in pieces.
Story: Ayize Jama-Everett Art: John Jennings
Story: 10 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy