Tag Archives: justin eisinger

Review: They Called Us Enemy

They Called Us Enemy

When it comes to how the world treats people of color, every country has a long resume of sins that they’d rather hide. America, most of all has a list that it likes to downplay no matter how serious the crime.

There are the crimes done to our own citizens, starting with the country’s original peoples, the Native Americans, and their eradication through the establishment of reservations and the Trail Of Tears. What is and still is one of the worst acts by the United States was the establishment of the Japanese Internment camps. Scars of that time stay with us even more now as we repeat the sins of the past with modern-day detainment camps holding refugees. George Takei, with a supremely talented team of contributors, has put together a penetrating narrative of that time and his experiences in They Called Us Enemy.

We meet George and his brother, as they are awakened by their father to get dressed. Soldiers soon show, rattling Executive Order 9066, sending thousands of Japanese Americans into internment camps. The heartbreak that comes across his mother’ face, becomes a memory of that day that he will never forget. Takei gives us his family history, how his parents met, and the discrimination they faced soon after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, similar to the harassment many Muslim Americans faced after 9/11. As after the order was executed, many Japanese American families were forced to sell many of their possessions for pennies on the dollar, as their properties were seized and bank accounts frozen leaving many of them still destitute.

Takei’s family were sent to a converted racetrack in Santa Anita, California, where the smell of manure still permeated the stalls. Eventually, his family would be moved another internment site, Camp Rowher, in Arkansas, far from everything his family knew and loved. He would get to know the other families that lived in his block of the camp, all from different backgrounds, jobs, and situations, but all were Japanese Americans. As their block needed a leader, his father stepped up, eventually finding common ground amongst the different leaders on the camp.

In January of 1943, their loyalty was challenged, as questionnaires were circulated, leaving many enraged. While some joined the Army with the 442nd Battalion, others were conscientious objectors and sent to Leavenworth. Due to his parents’ answers to the questionnaire, they were relocated to an even harsher internment camp in Tule Lake, California. Tensions between the guards and the internees increased daily.

The graphic novel explores his memories of these times and the impact upon not only himself, but the hate he witnesses, and the discovery of his identity.

Overall, the graphic novel is a sobering and relatable memoir of an American family, and the tragedy Japanese Americans faced during that time. The story by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, and Steven Scott is heartfelt, melancholic, and true to life. The art by Harmony Becker is gorgeous. Altogether, a story you will not soon forget nor should ever.

Story: George Takei, Justin Eisinger, and Steven Scott
Art: Harmony Becker
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: They Called Us Enemy

They Called Us Enemy

George Takei, Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott (w) • Harmony Becker (a & c)

George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father’s—and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future.

In a stunning graphic memoir, Takei revisits his haunting childhood in American concentration camps, as one of over 100,000 Japanese Americans imprisoned by the U.S. government during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon—and America itself—in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.

TPB • B&W • $19.99 • 192 pages • 6” x 8-1/2” • ISBN: 978-1-60309-450-4

They Called Us Enemy

Preview: My Little Pony: To Where and Back Again

My Little Pony: To Where and Back Again

Justin Eisinger (w) • Various (a & c)

My Little Pony comes to bookshelves! Revisit the inhabitants of Equestria and learn about the magic that friendship brings in this adaptation of the television series’ sixth season finale! This volume adapts the two-part “To Where and Back Again” into an original graphic novel.

TPB • FC • $7.99 • 144 pages • 5” x 7” • ISBN: 978-1-68405-419-0

My Little Pony: To Where and Back Again

Preview: My Little Pony: The Crystalling

My Little Pony: The Crystalling

Justin Eisinger (w) • Various (a & c)

My Little Pony comes to bookshelves! Revisit the inhabitants of Equestria and learn about the magic that friendship brings in this adaptation of the television series’ sixth season premiere! This volume adapts the two-part “The Crystalling” into an original graphic novel that sees former villains Starlight Glimmer become Twilight’s pupil in the study of friendship, and Twilight’s niece, Flurryheart, is born!

TPB • FC • $7.99 • 144 pages • 5” x 7” • ISBN: 978-1-68405-307-0

My Little Pony: The Crystalling

Grow Some Pot with An Illustrated Guide Now on Kickstarter

Available now to reserve your copy on Kickstarter, Grow Some Pot! provides readers with simple and easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions on how to get started cultivating your own crop of cannabis plants. This artfully designed and beautifully illustrated graphic novel will help a budding grower navigate the many decisions and best practices for a fun, successful cultivation cycle while learning about the history of the plant itself.

With North America’s rapidly evolving attitudes towards cannabis, for curious cultivators in many states and across Canada, there’s never been a better time to find out what it’s like to grow marijuana. Whether you’re a casual cannabis enthusiast or a hardcore pot connoisseur this book will tell you everything you need to know before you grow. And that’s just for starters!

Beyond the instructional graphic novel, there’s a chance to get your hands on some sweet Grow Some Pot! gear and extras. This includes:

  • Brief History of Pot! – First Stretch Goal is a 16-page Comic Book History on the Plant
  • Limited Edition 11” x 17” Grow Some Pot! Wall Calendar
  • T-shirt with Original Graphic Design by GSP! Artist Cryssy Chueng
  • Set of Exclusive Grow Some Pot! Sticker Packs
  • Limited Edition Signature Plate Signed by the Creative Team
  • Help Fund a Brand New Custom Strain…and Try It Yourself!
  • More!

But they can’t do it without you. In fact, they’re running this campaign so they can share Grow Some Pot! with as many 420-friendly folks as possible.

To find out more about this highly anticipated book and how to reserve your copy, head over to the Grow Some Pot! Kickstarter page now to preview some sample pages and get an early glimpse into the finished product. While you’re there, check out a series of Stretch Goals to help the GSP! team deliver an even more top shelf product and enhance everyone’s reading (or growing) experience.

Written by Justin Eisinger with illustrations by Cryssy Cheung, this handy guide is expected to deliver to Kickstarter backers by April 2019.

The Kickstarter campaign for Grow Some Pot!: An Illustrated Guide to Growing Your Own Supply is active until January 02, 2019 at 8:00 AM PST.

George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy Will Be Released in 2019, Focusing on Immigration, Incarceration, and Family Separation

As nations around the globe confront new versions of old debates about immigration, incarceration, and family separation, actor/author/activist George Takei is preparing a beautiful and powerfully resonant graphic memoir of his own direct experience with American xenophobia.

In summer 2019, Top Shelf Productions will publish Takei’s They Called Us Enemy, created in collaboration with co-writers Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker. George Takei revisits his haunting childhood in American concentration camps, as one of 120,000 Japanese Americans imprisoned by the U.S. government during World War II. Readers will experience the forces that shaped an American icon — and America itself — in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.

In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten “relocation centers,” hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard.

They Called Us Enemy is Takei’s firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the terrors and small joys of childhood in the shadow of legalized racism, his mother’s hard choices, his father’s tested faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future.

What does it mean to be American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do?

Preview: My Little Pony: The Cutie Re-Mark

My Little Pony: The Cutie Re-Mark

Justin Eisinger (w) • Various (a)

The celebrated animated series comes to book shelves! Revisit the inhabitants of Equestria and learn about the magic that friendship brings in this adaptation of the television series’ fifth season finale! This volume adapts the two-part episode “The Cutie Re-Mark” in an original graphic novel.

TPB • FC • $7.99 • 144 pages • 5” x 7” • ISBN: 978-1-68405-306-3

George Takei To Tell The True Story of the Japanese American Internment Camps

Pop culture icon and man of the people, George Takei, has signed a book publishing deal with IDW Publishing. Together, they will produce a graphic novel, developed under Takei’s guidance, re-examining the Japanese American internment camps during WWII through his family’s firsthand experience.

Perhaps best known for his beloved role as Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek television and movie series, Takei was only five years old when President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, authorizing the internment of Japanese Americans. As a result, 120,000 innocent citizens, including Takei and his family, were rounded up without any charges or due process—they were guilty of nothing but looking like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor. This graphic novel will explore these events through the eyes of young George, and how this shaped him to become the humanitarian he is today; a proud American and a vocal activist against intolerance in all its forms, lending his influential voice to the voiceless.

In the announcement Takei said:

I have spoken publicly on numerous occasions during my life on the unjust internment of Japanese Americans in my ongoing mission of spreading awareness of this disgraceful chapter of American history. I do this, and will continue to do so, in the hope that my personal experience can serve as a cautionary reminder of our past leaders’ mistakes, and that as a society, we can learn from those transgressions and not repeat them. When the opportunity to tell my story in the form of a graphic novel presented itself, I recognized the value in making it easily accessible for our youth to discover and digest the material, bringing attention to an important and relevant issue, while preserving it for generations to come. We live in uncertain times, and if stories such as mine can inspire us to do better and encourage positive change, I want to share it with as many people as possible, no matter who they are, or where they come from.

Acting as narrator, Takei guides readers through memories of his family’s confinement within the internment camps, the aftermath of starting over with nothing after their release, his rise to stardom as helmsman of the USS Enterprise on Star Trek, and how these life-changing events led him down his chosen path of activism and championing human rights.

Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott (IDW’s Senior Book Editor and PR Manager, respectively) will handle scripting duties with an artist to be named at a later date. The as-of-yet untitled graphic novel will be released in 2018.