Tag Archives: john lewis

Dragon Con 2016: One Last Time with Team “March”

For the third year in a row, the team behind the critically acclaimed and award winning March trilogy came to Dragon Con to discuss the book and the real life inspirations behind it. This year was particularly auspicious since not only was it following the release of the third and final volume, but it was also artist Nate Powell’s first ever Dragon Con. A drop in the bucket compared to co-writer Andrew Aydin’s nineteen, but it was still a welcome sight to see the entire team Aydin, Powell and Representative John Lewis together at the con for the very first time.

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A big theme at the start of the panel was happiness and relief. The series has been in the works since about 2009 and to have all three volumes out and to be so well received has been nothing short of “euphoric” according to Aydin. There was a great amount of pressure the two felt to get not just the story of Lewis right, but of everyone else involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Powell especially talked about the devil of the details in some of the more extremely well documented events such as the March on Washington and the Selma to Montgomery marches and how doing right by the people who were there means getting the details of what they were wearing that day right.

As for Lewis, he is extremely happy with having the third book finally be out and was practically kissing it when it was in hand. He credits Aydin and Powell so much with getting the story out there into the world, calling them his “young brothers” and praising their ability to “make the words dance and sing.”

A lot of what has come up for March in these panels over the past three years is how resonant the story still is in our current social and political climate. That was purposeful according to the team, with the idea that the book would not only tell a story that Lewis feels responsible to tell as the last living member of the Big Six, but as a guide for the future of the movement. Lewis still absolutely believes in nonviolence and that if it can be done right in America, maybe we can be a model for the rest of the world. As for Aydin’s view on tackling the weight of that history, it boils down to seven words: “Follow your heart, and follow John Lewis.”

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With the story of March expanding past Lewis’ life in later volumes, the team took a focus on bringing up two major parts that don’t get brought up in history books a lot: the political maneuvering that happened behind the scenes and the importance of the women who were on the front lines. The political maneuvering was something of a challenge for Aydin and Powell, who were trying to effectively portray it in a graphic format. It did lead to particular artistic choices though, with Powell taking pride in a panel in Book Three where he drew the cords of the phones spoken on during the Mississippi Freedom Summer as a twisted spider-web of maneuvering and intrigue.

When it comes to the women, Book Three focuses particularly on activists Annie Cooper, Amelia Boynton and Fannie Lou Hamer, who Lewis names as “the soul of the Mississippi movement” in the book and whose televised testimony at the Convention’s Credentials Committee in 1964 was famously cut off by an emergency press conference by President Johnson specifically to divert the press away from her words. When asked about writing about Hamer and the other women involved during the movement, Lewis was point blank on the why. “Women did a lot of the dirty work and never get the credit.”

As the panel came to a conclusion, Lewis did a lot to emphasize his faith in today’s youth for carrying the movement forward in ways they weren’t able to back then and even giving credit to his younger colleagues in the House for being able to use Periscope and Twitter to broadcast their gun violence sit in earlier this year when the CSPAN cameras were cut off. Towards the end, he told the story of going to another convention where a second-grade girl asked him a very simple question: “Representative Lewis, how are you so awesome?”

By the end of the panel, I was asking myself the same question.

March Takes the Top Three Spots on New York Times Bestseller List

March: Book Three has been selling out all over and the demand is so high the printing facility for it ran out of paper! It should be no surprise then that the biographical trilogy by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell has taken the top three spots on The New York Times paperback graphic novel bestseller list.

March: Book Three debuted in the top spot followed by March: Book One which has spent an entire year on the list. March: Book Two was third and has been on the list for 13 weeks.

Congrats to everyone!

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Review: March Trilogy

March-cover-100dpi.105340When I first heard that Congressman John Lewis was working on a set of graphic novels that encompassed his experiences during the civil rights movement, I was excited to see how this part of history would be translated into comic form. As certainly in recent comics history there have been biographical comics written about Martin Luther king and Malcolm X, but both graphic novelizations lacked the personal perspective, that one would have love to see in nonfiction comics. That is why my skepticism leaked into reading this trio of books, but when I heard that they were being implemented into schools, I had a feeling that they were more than just the typical nonfiction comic book. These were more like time capsules, of a time and place not long ago, as it shows progress have truly not happened, as was seen in the movie, Selma.

In Book One, we meet the young John Lewis as he is part of the first march across the Edmund Pettis Bridge, in Selma Alabama, as he ponders on whether he can swim, if needs to, just in case, as we find an unsure young man, who has doubts not only of himself and his purpose, but also of the civil rights movement. The reader gets a first row seat into a world where discrimination and inequity was much more in the open and the reader sees exactly what the Freedom Riders and the many lunch counter sit-ins all encompassed. In Book Two, the price of protest, is even more evident in this part of the story, as he gets arrested and the response to the movement’s commitment to nonviolence becomes increasingly difficult to uphold. In this book, his personal life and his life as part of the movement clash in the most unexpected ways.

MarchBookThree-CoverIn the final book of the trilogy, Book Three, he catches the reader up to the church bombing that killed those 4 little Girls, in Birmingham,, Alabama. The Civil Right Movement, is picking up momentum and influence, as Lewis officially joins Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ’s  inner circle. The book’s penultimate moment was with the final march from Selma to Montgomery to speak at the state capitol’s steps, and where Dr.King introduces Rosa Parks. The book ends with the Civil Rights of 1965 being enacted into law.

Overall, a strong trilogy, not just in content alone, but also in the way the story is told. This slice of Congressman John Lewis’s life is more than a monument to the Civil Rights Movement, but a beautiful sequential art that illustrates the actual sacrifices that were taken. The art and storytelling, are more than competent, they are as integral as the real story itself. In ending, this trilogy of books deserves every accolade it has received and more, as it not only tells of a time in America but how that time very much reflects right now.

Story: John Lewis and Andrew Aydin Art: Nate Powell
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Top Shelf provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

Review: March: Book Three

MarchBookThree-CoverBy the fall of 1963, the Civil Rights Movement has penetrated deep into the American consciousness, and as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is guiding the tip of the spear. Through relentless direct action, SNCC continues to force the nation to confront its own blatant injustice, but for every step forward, the danger grows more intense: Jim Crow strikes back through legal tricks, intimidation, violence, and death. The only hope for lasting change is to give voice to the millions of Americans silenced by voter suppression: “One Man, One Vote.”

To carry out their nonviolent revolution, Lewis and an army of young activists launch a series of innovative campaigns, including the Freedom Vote, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and an all-out battle for the soul of the Democratic Party waged live on national television.

March: Book Three is the finale of writers Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, and artist Nate Powell‘s trilogy of graphic novels chronicling the early years of Congressman Lewis’ life and his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.

As I read the graphic novel from cover to cover, I found myself filled with emotions, as Lewis’ life was there in print for those to see and read. The story is a complicated one, but it’s presented in a way that feels honest and open, both good and bad. This is an inside look at one of the most important, and turbulent times in American history from not just someone that was there, but a leader of the movement. And that’s a fascinating part of this third book, is its focus on Lewis’ role as a leader.

At 25 years old, John Lewis and his friends were looked at as radicals trying to grasp power from the establishment. The graphic novel chronicles Lewis’ meeting with Malcolm X who advised him and the movement to focus on class, not race. And all of that spoke to me like nothing I’ve read before, because over 50 years later, that exact same conversation is being had. The young radicals within the Democratic party (and politics in general) are being dismissed. The idea of focusing on class instead of race is still debated. For all the victories, what was accomplished, so little has changed. From issues of inequality to Black Lives Matter, the themes and struggle of this third graphic novel echo and repeat to today. While the graphic novel book ends itself with the election of President Obama, the graphic novel forces the reader (whether on purpose or not) to think about what that means in today’s society. Where we are from where we’ve been.

This third chapter to makes the whole stronger and for as much as I thought the second graphic novel was an emotional whirlwind, this third one left me fighting back tears at times. The whole is easily one of the greatest graphic presentations of all time, and absolutely some of the best literature to have been produced in recent years. It may seem like exaggeration but this graphic novel again brings real history “to life” in a way that is educational and entertaining. It accomplishes amazing things and will easily find its way on to book shelves as well as the classroom.

This third volume somehow leapfrogs the other two. Whether it’s due to learning or the material within, something about it created an emotional reaction I haven’t felt by any media in quite some time. And most importantly it got me to think about where we as a people and nation have been, where we are, and where we’re going.

This is easily the best graphic novel of the year so far.

Story: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin Art: Nate Powell
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: March Book 3

March Book 3

Congressman John Lewis & Andrew Aydin (w) • Nate Powell (a & c)

Top Shelf is honored to present the stunning conclusion to the award-winning and best-selling MARCH trilogy.

By Fall 1963, the Civil Rights Movement is an undeniable keystone of the national conversation, and as chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is right in the thick of it. With the stakes continuing to rise, white supremacists intensify their opposition through government obstruction and civilian terrorist attacks, a supportive president is assassinated, and African-Americans across the South are still blatantly prohibited from voting.

To carry out their nonviolent revolution, Lewis and an army of young activists launch a series of innovative projects, including the Freedom Vote, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and a pitched battle for the soul of the Democratic Party waged live on national television. But strategic disputes are deepening within the movement, even as 25-year-old John Lewis heads to Alabama to risk everything in a historic showdown that will shock the world.

TPB • BW • $19.99 • 256 pages • 6.5” x 9.5” • ISBN: 978-1-60309-402-3

MarchBookThree-Cover

Around the Tubes

MarchBookThree-CoverIt’s new comic book day! What are folks excited for? What are you picking up? Sound off in the comments below!

While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

ICv2 – New Graphic Novel Imprint for Tween Girls – Nice to see this.

The Frame – Rep. John Lewis wants his graphic novel, ‘March,’ to inspire young activists – We hope it does!

Gawker – The Philadelphia Pokémon Situation Is Hell – Hard hitting journalism.

Kotaku – Woman Cosplays To Work To Beat Stupid Dress Code – Well played. Well played.

Bandcamp – Jean Grae Premieres “What You Came For” from Marvel’s New “Black Panther” – Cool.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

The Beat – The Incantations Of Daniel Johnston

Comic Attack – Nighthawk #3

Review: March: Book Three

MarchBookThree-CoverBy the fall of 1963, the Civil Rights Movement has penetrated deep into the American consciousness, and as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is guiding the tip of the spear. Through relentless direct action, SNCC continues to force the nation to confront its own blatant injustice, but for every step forward, the danger grows more intense: Jim Crow strikes back through legal tricks, intimidation, violence, and death. The only hope for lasting change is to give voice to the millions of Americans silenced by voter suppression: “One Man, One Vote.”

To carry out their nonviolent revolution, Lewis and an army of young activists launch a series of innovative campaigns, including the Freedom Vote, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and an all-out battle for the soul of the Democratic Party waged live on national television.

March: Book Three is the finale of writers Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, and artist Nate Powell‘s trilogy of graphic novels chronicling the early years of Congressman Lewis’ life and his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.

As I read the graphic novel from cover to cover, I found myself filled with emotions, as Lewis’ life was there in print for those to see and read. The story is a complicated one, but it’s presented in a way that feels honest and open, both good and bad. This is an inside look at one of the most important, and turbulent times in American history from not just someone that was there, but a leader of the movement. And that’s a fascinating part of this third book, is its focus on Lewis’ role as a leader.

At 25 years old, John Lewis and his friends were looked at as radicals trying to grasp power from the establishment. The graphic novel chronicles Lewis’ meeting with Malcolm X who advised him and the movement to focus on class, not race. And all of that spoke to me like nothing I’ve read before, because over 50 years later, that exact same conversation is being had. The young radicals within the Democratic party (and politics in general) are being dismissed. The idea of focusing on class instead of race is still debated. For all the victories, what was accomplished, so little has changed. From issues of inequality to Black Lives Matter, the themes and struggle of this third graphic novel echo and repeat to today. While the graphic novel book ends itself with the election of President Obama, the graphic novel forces the reader (whether on purpose or not) to think about what that means in today’s society. Where we are from where we’ve been.

This third chapter to makes the whole stronger and for as much as I thought the second graphic novel was an emotional whirlwind, this third one left me fighting back tears at times. The whole is easily one of the greatest graphic presentations of all time, and absolutely some of the best literature to have been produced in recent years. It may seem like exaggeration but this graphic novel again brings real history “to life” in a way that is educational and entertaining. It accomplishes amazing things and will easily find its way on to book shelves as well as the classroom.

This third volume somehow leapfrogs the other two. Whether it’s due to learning or the material within, something about it created an emotional reaction I haven’t felt by any media in quite some time. And most importantly it got me to think about where we as a people and nation have been, where we are, and where we’re going.

This is easily the best graphic novel of the year so far.

Story: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin Art: Nate Powell
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Around the Tubes

clintoncashThe weekend is almost here and San Diego Comic-Con inches closer… while we’re not in the corner rocking back and forth, we’ll be prepping for that, but if you’re not, are you going to see Ghostbusters? Sound off in the comments.

While you wait for work to be over and the weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

Heatstreet – Comic Book Veterans Come Together to Expose ‘Clinton Cash’ in Graphic Novel – Well this should be interesting.

CBR – Civil Rights Legend Rep. John Lewis to Lead Children’s March at SDCC – Very cool to see this again.

CBR – Free-to-Play “Batman: Arkham Asylum” Prequel Game Now Available on Mobile – Free is good!

The Beat – Frank Cho quits over his right to draw Wonder Woman’s panties – ….

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

ICv2 – Assassin’s Creed Vol. 1 Trial by Fire

Bam! Smack! Pow! – Civil War II #3

Nothing But Comics – Wonder Woman #2

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