Tag Archives: marjane satrapi

Comics Herstory: Marjane Satrapi

PersepolisMarjane Satrapi is one of the few women who has been regularly recognized at the Angoulême festival, and with good reason. Satrapi is an Iranian artist and writer and her debut comic, Persepolis, was originally published in four parts in French. Fifteen years after its initial publication, Persepolis remains one of the most famous examples of graphic memoir, leaving an impact not only on the comic community, but also on American culture.

Satrapi’s art is simple, and her writing is straightforward and humorous. Not only does this make for an incredibly honest story, but it offered a window, a chance for Americans to gain insight into Iranian culture and politics during a time of escalating tensions between America and Iran. Persepolis is the story of a child told with adult wisdom, and part of Satrapi’s great skill lies in her ability to tell her story without losing little Marji’s narrative or the deep, political context of the story.

marjane satrapiSatrapi has also proved herself to be a versatile artist. Shortly after Persepolis was published, she published two biographical stories. The first, Embroideries, is an entertaining look at the sex lives of Iranian women. The second, Chicken With Plums, is based on the last few days in the life of Nasser Ali Khan, who was related to Satrapi. Though she is most known for Persepolis, she has also published two graphic novels aimed toward a younger audience: a children’s book titled Monsters Are Afraid of the Moon and a fairy tale called The Sigh.

Satrapi has also written and co-directed animated films based on Persepolis and Chicken With Plums, and directed Gang of the Jotas (which she also acted in) and The Voices.

Though she has proved herself capable in areas beyond comic writing, Marjane Satrapi’s honest writing and knack for digging into difficult subjects has made quite a mark on the genre. She offers one woman’s perspective, but it is also a bridge.

In Tunisia, Show Persepolis and Get Fined

In early May, a panel of five Tunisian judges Thursday convicted TV magnate Nabil Karoui of “disturbing public order” and “threatening public morals” by broadcasting the French animated movie Persepolis, based on the acclaimed graphic novel Marjane Satrapi.  Karoui was fined $1,600 while two members of his staff were each fined $800.  Prosecutors and lawyers representing Islamist groups felt they should be sentenced up to five years and a few even called for the death penalty.

The verdict was posted on a courtroom wall and the judges felt the case had brought out many to argue over the limits of free speech in a fledgling democracy just 15 months after a revolution.  Some felt the decision was a sign that the country would still limit speech that devout Muslims consider offensive and showed boundaries for the freedom of the press.

The U.S. ambassador to Tunisia, Gordon Gray, issued a statement condemning the decision.

I am concerned and disappointed by this conviction for Nessma television’s broadcast of an animated film previously approved for distribution by the Tunisian government.  His conviction raises serious concerns about tolerance and freedom of expression in the new Tunisia.

Interestingly enough before the revolution, the Tunisian government had issued a certification approving Persepolis for showing in the country.  Clerics felt the movie insulted Muslim values because it shows the face of God during a scene where he talks to the main character in the movie.

Preview – The Sigh


Illustrated Short Story Hardcover
Retail Price: $9.95 U.S.
Page Count: 56 pages
Format: hardcover (paper over board), 6” x 8”, B/W text with color illustrations
Genre: Fantasy
ISBN-13: 978-1-936393-46-6
Written by Marjane Satrapi
Illustrated by Marjane Satrapi
Cover by Marjane Satrapi

Rose is one of three daughters of a rich merchant who always brings gifts for his girls from the market. One day Rose asks for the seed of a blue bean, but he fails to find one for her. She lets out a sigh in resignation, and her sigh attracts the Sigh, a mysterious being that brings the seed she desired to the merchant. But every debt has to be paid, and every gift has a price, and the Sigh returns a year later to take the merchant’s daughter to a secret and distant palace. Written and illustrated by Marjane Satrapi, author of the award-winning Persepolis.

E – EVERYONE (all ages, may contain minimal violence)

Archaia to Publish English-Language Version of Marjane Satrapi’s ‘The Sigh’

Official Press Release

Archaia Entertainment Sets a November Release Date for Marjane Satrapi’s The Sigh

Internationally Praised Fable by the Creator of Persepolis Makes Its Long-Awaited U.S. Debut

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA (September 15, 2011)  – Award-winning graphic novel publisher Archaia Entertainment has set a November release date for the English-language version of The Sigh, a fable from Marjane Satrapi, acclaimed author behind the international bestseller, Persepolis, it was announced today by Mark Smylie, Chief Creative Officer of Archaia Entertainment.

Following its debut in France and Spain, U.S. fans of Satrapi’s work have waited patiently for The Sigh to arrive in the U.S. The Sigh follows Rose, one of three daughters of a rich merchant who always brings gifts for his girls from the market. One day Rose asks for the seed of a blue bean, but her father fails to find one for her. She lets out a sigh in resignation, and her sigh attracts the Sigh, a mysterious being that brings the seed she desired to the merchant. But every debt has to be paid, and every gift has a price, and the Sigh returns a year later to take the merchant’s daughter to a secret and distant palace.

The Sigh will be presented as a 6” x 8” hardcover, featuring 56 pages of text and beautifully hand-drawn color illustrations. The Sigh will release with a retail price of $10.95.

The Sigh is a timeless fairytale that promises to capture the imaginations of readers both young and old,” said Smylie. “Marjane is one of those rare writers who has the ability to connect with readers on a global scale and we are proud to bring this story to the U.S.”

Following the publication of Persepolis, a dramatic illustrated account of her experiences in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, Marjane Satrapi has captured the hearts of people throughout the world. Along with The Sigh, her other projects include her second feature film Chicken with Plums. Based on her graphic novel of the same name, Chicken with Plums is currently causing a stir with attendees at the Venice Film Festival.

Drawing upon its past success with publishing foreign graphic novels for English-speaking readers, such as The Killer, Okko and The Secret History, Archaia is positioning The Sigh as the vanguard of a new wave of foreign titles it will be publishing in the next several months.

About Archaia Entertainment
Archaia is a multi-award-winning graphic novel publisher with more than 50 renowned publishing brands, including such domestic and international hits as Mouse Guard, Return of the Dapper Men, Gunnerkrigg Court, Awakening, The Killer, Days Missing, Tumor, Syndrome, Artesia, The Engineer, and an entire line of The Jim Henson Company graphic novels. Archaia has built an unparalleled reputation for producing meaningful content that perpetually transforms minds, building one of the industry’s most visually stunning and eclectic slates of graphic novels. Archaia was named Graphic Novel Publisher of the Year according to Ain’t it Cool News, Graphic Policy, and Comic Related, and was honored with nine 2011 Eisner Awards nominations. Archaia has also successfully emerged as a prolific storyteller in all facets of the entertainment industry, extending their popular brands into film, television, gaming, and branded digital media.

The Sigh

Persepolis Review

I finally got to see the wonderful animated film Persepolis about two weeks ago on DVD and have wanted to review it (but health issues held me back from a coherent thought).  So, I finally have a chance to do it.

PlotPersepolis is the true story of Marjane Satrapi in revolutionary Iran, her travels to Europe, and back to post Iran-Iraq war Iran.  It’s an amazing perspective on history, from someone living it first hand.  I’ve enjoyed these types of graphic novels more and more (and those probably merit an entry at some point), and look forward to see how this version of story telling evolves.  The story is very sharp but I felt the movie wasn’t as fleshed out as the graphic novel in this department.  It felt choppy at times and a smoothness seemed lacking (weird saying animation wasn’t as smooth as the printed graphics).

Animation: I’ve never really known French animation and enjoyed it very much.  I think I might to see what else is available.  The style fit the graphic novel’s images very well and did bring it’s very stylized look to life.

Voice Acting:  The voice acting is what really threw me off.  I watched the American dubbed version and was put off by the varied voices that didn’t seem to gel together.  It pulled me out of the story a little.  Maybe with subtitles it’d be better, but something was just, well, off.

Extras:  No idea here, I tend to watch the movie and maybe check out extras, I haven’t yet for this.

Movie vs. Graphic Novel:  As I stated above the movie seems like a condensed version of the graphic novel.  And it really comes down to how much time do you have.  If you like to read, go the graphic novel route, and if you don’t the movie is still excellent and might be better since you don’t know what you’re missing.

Verdict:  An excellent story and you can’t go wrong with watching the movie, reading the graphic novel, or both.