John Lewis: Good Trouble, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dawn Porter, chronicles the life and career of the legendary civil rights activist and Democratic Representative from Georgia. Using interviews and rare archival footage, John Lewis: Good Trouble chronicles John Robert Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform, and immigration. Using present-day interviews with Lewis, now 80 years old, Porter explores his childhood experiences, his inspiring family, and his fateful meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957. In addition to her interviews with Lewis and his family, Porter’s primarily cinéma verité film also includes interviews with political leaders, Congressional colleagues, and other people who figure prominently in his life.
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On October 7, Congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis and co-author Andrew Aydin discussed their graphic novel March Book One as part of Vermont Humanities Council’s Vermont Reads choice for 2019.
The event is presented by the Vermont Humanities Council and sponsored by the University of Vermont and Middlebury College.
You can watch the presentation courtesy of Vermont PBS.
Congressman John Lewis is a Civil Rights legend, Congressman, and award-winning comic book writer. In a Time exclusive, the Congressman will again visit his past in a new graphic novel, Run. The graphic novel will pick where where March left off. Lewis is reuniting will co-writer Andrew Aydin and will be joined by artist Afua Richardson (who created the art in this article) as well as Nate Powell who handled the art for the original trilogy. Powell’s contribution will be a transition sequence that links to the two graphic novel series. Run will be published by Abrams ComicArts, March was published by Top Shelf.
March was a three volume series that explored Lewis’ early life and his time during the Civil Rights using the election of President Obama as framing. All were bestsellers and award winners. March: Book Three was the first graphic novel to win the Nation Book Award.
Run: Book One will tell how Lewis led the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the time period that followed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Time called the organization the “most militant of all U.S. civil rights organizations.” The first graphic novel will explore the group’s history as it struggled with lost support at being a nonviolent organization during the time period.
Run: Book One will be published on August 14, 2018.
This May in New York City The Cooper Union is holding a lecture series called “Drawing Lines: The Black American Experience.”
The series features Juliana “Jewels” Smith, the creator and writer of (H)Afrocentric, artists and curators William Villalongo and Mark Thomas Gibson who curated the exhibition Black Pulp! and Congressman John Lewis.
Black Pulp! examines the evolving perspectives of Black identity in American culture and history from 1912 to 2016 through rare historical printed media shown — like the first black comic — in dialogue with contemporary works of art. The exhibition showcases the unique power of pulp and printed matter to contest dominant cultural narratives. It has been shown at Yale University and the International Print Center New York with upcoming dates at the University of South Florida and Wesleyan University.
I discuss March: Book One which tells the story of the civil rights movement and John Lewis for Black History Month.
A dark cloud looms over the United States…. so we’ll do our best to ignore that with some comic news and reviews from around the web.
Around the Tubes
The Beat – Comic book store provides safe space for DC inauguration protesters – Head here if you need to during this coming weekend!
The Carolinian – Comic Books are for Everyone – Yes, yes they are.
Charleston City Paper – The real heroes aren’t in comic books – A really interesting reflection on Cong. John Lewis’ March.
DailyKos – Rep. John Lewis’ graphic novel sees 106,700% jump in Amazon sales after Trump’s Twitter attacks – That’s impressive.
CBLDF – March Book 3 Wins Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature – Congrats to all involved!
CBR – Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam Will Star In His Own Solo Film – Interesting move.
ICv2 – Dan Buckley Promoted to President of Marvel Entertainment – Setting things up for the future?
Around the Tubes Reviews
Talking Comics – Batman #15
Tomorrow is new comic book day! What’s everyone excited for? What do you plan on getting? Sound off in the comments below!
Around the Tubes
Gizmodo – Rep. John Lewis’ Graphic Novel Skyrockets After Trump Twitter Storm – Good.
Comics Alliance – Michael Keaton’s Batsuit and George Reeves’ Superman Suit Going to Auction – We’re checking our couch for change to bid.
The Beat – A year of free comics: Martin Luther King and The Montgomery Story – This is absolutely one to check out.
Around the Tubes Reviews
Talking Comics – The Few #1
The Beat – Frontier #14
The three-volume graphic novel series March chronicles Rep. John Lewis‘ experiences during the Civil Rights Movement. All three volumes have been released and you can read my review of the first volume and the second volume and third volume. Short version, they’re amazing.
Reception has been so good IDW Publishing and Top Shelf have released a collection of all three volumes in a special slipcase not to mention the numerous awards the graphic novel has received including a history-making National Book Award.
The three-volume graphic novel recounts Lewis’ experiences during the Civil Rights Movement, but it also reminds us to experience freedom we have to be willing to risk everything, including our lives and fight for it.
The graphic novels perfectly bookend history by focusing not just on his experiences in the Civil Rights Movement but reflecting them against his being a Congressman about to witness the inauguration of the country’s first Black President, the graphic novels are history in its raw unflinching form. There’s good. There’s bad. There’s honesty. There’s truth.
And 50 years later Cong. Lewis is still fighting speaking up against our incoming President that he views as illegitimate and who will likely set this country back in too many ways to fully comprehend. It’ll also remind you the reader the need to stand up and fight, especially in these coming trying years.
March is an amazing graphic novel. Not only does it entertain, but it brings real history to life recounting the amazing experiences of Congressman Lewis and everything he fought for. I can’t stress enough how good it is. You can pick up a copy of the first volume here, the second volume here, and third volume.
When it comes to suggesting comics for individuals to check out, it’s often good to start with what they like in other media like television, movies, books, or video games. Enter If/Then, where we’ll throw out suggestions for you to check out! First up, the film Hidden Figures which opens in wide release this coming weekend!
Hidden Figures is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)-brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.
If you enjoyed the film, or interested by the subject matter, here’s five comics for you to check out and why!
March – The celebrated and award-winning graphic novel by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell recounts Cong. Lewis’ experiences during the Civil Rights Movement. A first-hand account of pivotal history brought to life through graphic art, the graphic novels consist of three volumes taking you through the turbulent times and delivering an educational and emotional read.
Each volume seems to improve on the next not just taking you through history, but is presented in such a fashion that’ll leave you speechless as you ride through the emotional roller coaster within.
This is a prime example of the power of comics and graphic novels in helping preserve and teach history.
CBLDF Presents: She Changed Comics – If you want to learn some history about women in comics, check out CBLDF Presents: She Changed Comics which was put together by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
She Changed Comics is the definitive history of the women who changed free expression in comics, with profiles of more than 60 groundbreaking female professionals and interviews with the women who are changing today’s medium, including Raina Telgemeier, Noelle Stevenson, G. Willow Wilson, and more! She Changed Comics also examines the plights of women imprisoned and threatened for making comics and explores the work of women whose work is being banned here in the United States.
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has also put together a web page as a resource where you can find out more about women in the comic book history.
The Unstoppable Wasp #1 – A superhero comic might feel like an odd choice for this one, but hear me out as to why. Written by Jeremy Whitley with art by Elsa Charretier, the comic features the newest Wasp, Nadia Pym, as she attempts to find her way in the superhero world.
What makes this comic make the list is the focus on STEM, women in science, and smashing the patriarchy. The comic has Nadia finding her role and throws it out there that until recently the Marvel Universe was dominated by men (and mostly white men) until recently and it’s time to get some women recognized when it comes to the smartest people in the Marvel Universe.
What’s also great is each issue will feature real women who work in STEM fields in real life through a Q&A. The comic not only entertains but also hopefully will encourage more women to enter this world for a career.
Captain Marvel Vol. 1: In Pursuit of Flight – Ace pilot. Legendary Avenger. One hundred percent pure bad-^&*. Carol Danvers has a new name, a new mission – and all the power she needs to make her own life a living hell. As the new Captain Marvel, Carol is forging from a challenge from her past! It’s a firefight in the sky as the Banshee Squadron debut – but who are the Prowlers, and where has Carol seen them before? And how does secret NASA training program Mercury 13 fit in? Witness Captain Marvel in blazing battlefield action that just may change the course of history! Avengers Time Travel Protocols: engage!
Written by Kelly Sue Deconnick with art by Dexter Soy and Emma Rios, the story is fun action, but also explores the little known history of the women who attempted to join the Apollo program.
Laika – Laika was the abandoned puppy destined to become Earth’s first space traveler. This is her journey.
Nick Abadzis masterfully blends fiction and fact in the intertwined stories of three compelling lives. Along with Laika, there is Korolev, once a political prisoner, now a driven engineer at the top of the Soviet space program, and Yelena, the lab technician responsible for Laika’s health and life. This intense triangle is rendered with the pitch-perfect emotionality of classics like Because of Winn Dixie, Shiloh, and Old Yeller.
Abadzis gives life to a pivotal moment in modern history, casting light on the hidden moments of deep humanity behind history.
While the graphic novel isn’t perfect when it comes to the history it’s a great introduction to this part of history of space flight and great for kids who may be interested in learning about it and being entertained.
What did we miss in our suggestions? What would you suggest? Add yours in the comments!
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Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell received an unprecedented honor last night, as their book March: Book Three became the first graphic novel to ever receive the National Book Award.
The March trilogy, published by Top Shelf Productions/IDW Publishing, depicts Lewis’s firsthand account of the Civil Rights Movement, reflecting on the role of young people in the “nonviolent revolution” of the 1960s and its direct legacy in the modern day. Its previous honors include the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, the Eisner Award, two Harvey Awards, and a Coretta Scott King Author Honor. March is rapidly being adopted by universities and public school systems from New York to San Francisco, and recently spent six continuous weeks holding the top 3 spots on the New York Times Bestseller List.
After receiving the award from Katherine Paterson, chair of the Young People’s Literature award jury, Congressman Lewis said:
This is unbelievable. His voice shook with obvious emotion as he recalled a childhood visit to the public library in rural Alabama, where we were told that the library was for whites only and not for coloreds. Now, to come here and receive this award, with these two… it’s too much.
Nate Powell dedicated the award to his children “and their generation that will inherit this earth,” as well as to the incoming president of the United States, expressing a wish that it might transform his heart.
Andrew Aydin said:
There are two important lessons from this. One is that the story of the Movement must be told. We all must know it, if we are to understand the politics of today. And two: let the prejudice against comic books be buried once and for all.
You can watch the archived video of the ceremony’s livestream:
The three volumes of March are available wherever books are sold, separately as well as together in a slipcase set.