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They Called Us Enemy Gets Two New Editions in 2020

They Called Us Enemy

Since the July release of They Called Us Enemy by actor, author, and activist George Takei, this heartfelt graphic memoir has been met with outstanding success and acclaim: spending over 10 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list; placing on numerous “Best of 2019” lists from Amazon, Forbes, NPR, and Publishers Weekly; winning the 2019 OWL Book Award for Biography; and much more!

Looking ahead to 2020, They Called Us Enemy has also been chosen to reignite the popular community reading program Long Beach Reads One Book, welcoming Takei as a special guest on March 19th. They Called Us Enemy will also be available to Spanish-speaking readers in June with the debut of IDW’s Spanish language program.  It will be the first comprehensive in-house Spanish language program from a major U.S. graphic novel publisher, bringing a wave of translated graphic novels to Spanish-speaking communities. 

A deluxe hardcover edition of They Called Us Enemy, expanded for the first time with 16 pages of bonus material, will also be available in June 2020.

Written by Takei with Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott, drawn by Harmony Becker, and published by IDW’s Top Shelf Productions imprint, They Called Us Enemy is Takei’s firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother’s hard choices, his father’s faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future.

To assist classroom use of They Called Us Enemy, IDW offers a 12-page teacher’s guide developed by the Education Department at the Japanese American National Museum, available at http://idw.pub/TCUEguide.

IDW Publishing Launches a Spanish Language Graphic Novel Program in North America

During a keynote presentation at yesterday’s NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) opening ceremony, author, actor and activist George Takei announced that his New York Times bestselling graphic memoir, They Called Us Enemy will be published in Spanish in North America as part of a new Spanish language initiative from IDW Publishing.

They Called Us Enemy will join SEGA ‘s popular Sonic The Hedgehog and Red Panda & Moon Bear by Cuban American cartoonist Jarod Roselló as the debut wave of translated graphic novel titles, slated for release in June 2020. The first comprehensive in-house Spanish language program from a major American graphic novel publisher, this initiative is especially fitting for IDW Publishing, a company headquartered in San Diego, CA, just miles from the U.S.-Mexico border—a crossroads of nations, languages and cultures.

Nos llamaron Enemigo

Nos llamaron Enemigo (978-1-60309-483-2), the Spanish language translation of They Called Us Enemy, is Takei’s stunning graphic memoir, co-written with Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott and illustrated by Harmony Becker. Revisiting Takei’s haunting childhood as one of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans imprisoned by the U.S. government during World War II, this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love is “a thought-provoking, critical look at the history of racism in American policies and culture” (Booklist). Nos llamaron Enemigo will be released on June 2, 2020.  Nos llamaron Enemigo Nos llamaron Enemigo (978-1-60309-483-2), the Spanish language translation of They Called Us Enemy, is Takei’s stunning graphic memoir, co-written with Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott and illustrated by Harmony Becker. Revisiting Takei’s haunting childhood as one of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans imprisoned by the U.S. government during World War II, this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love is “a thought-provoking, critical look at the history of racism in American policies and culture” (Booklist). Nos llamaron Enemigo will be released on June 2, 2020. 

Sonic the Hedgehog Volumen 1: ¡Consecuencias!

Sonic the Hedgehog Volumen 1: ¡Consecuencias! (978-1-68405-749-8) is the Spanish language adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog Vol. 1: Fallout, the first volume in IDW’s wildly popular series based on SEGA’s global video game phenomenon. Sonic the Hedgehog has long been a favorite in Spanish-speaking communities worldwide, so the debut of the ¡Consecuencias! storyline, written by Ian Flynn and illustrated by Tracy YardleyAdam Bryce ThomasJennifer Hernandez, and Evan Stanley, promises to satisfy an eager Spanish-speaking audience in North America, arriving in stores on June 9, 2020.

Panda Roja y Oso Lunar

Panda Roja y Oso Lunar (978-1-60309-484-9), by Cuban American writer/artist and educational researcher Jarod Roselló, is the Spanish translation of Red Panda & Moon Bear, a whimsical and tender-hearted adventure of two brave siblings who battle supernatural threats to their vibrant Latinx neighborhood with the powers of science, magic, and some very special hoodies. Slated for release on June 16, 2020, Panda Roja y Oso Lunar will be an instant favorite for young readers, packed with Saturday-morning action and practically glowing with Caribbean sunshine. 

IDW Publishing’s Spanish language editions will be released in June 2020 and are now available for pre-order via booksellers and comic book specialty retailers.

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

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?

This Week Sees an Exodus of Comic Publisher Staff

This week has seen a large exodus of high profile staff at various comic publishers.

IDW Publishing‘s Chris Ryall is the highest profile of the bunch. Ryall joined the publisher in June 2004 and decided to leave under his own volition. In a message to staff and the public, he said he was taking a break from the “never-ending-deadline train” and will be seeking new challenges.

Also leaving the company is current public relations manager Steven Scott. Scott said he was leaving the publisher to focus on his comic creation and writing career.

That’s not the only shake-up with the publisher. Co-founder Ted Adams moved from publisher to CEO and Greg Goldstein moved to the publisher position.

Also leaving a comic publisher is Hunter Gorinson, Valiant Entertainment‘s VP of Marketing and Communications. This is the fourth high-profile individual to leave the company after its acquisition by DMG Entertainment in January. Also leaving the company was CCO and CEO Dinesh Shamdasani, Chairmon Peter Cuneo, and CFO Gavin Cuneo.

All of this comes after Axel Alonso was removed from his Editor-in-Chief position at Marvel back in November.

2018 is only three months in and the landscape is shifting a lot. With major announcements such as DC’s DC Zoom and DC Ink and Marvel’s “Fresh Start,” it’s clear 2018 is going to be an interesting year for the industry.

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.

IDW Publishing Hires Steven Scott as PR Manager

Steven ScottIDW Publishing has named Steven Scott as their new PR Manager, who will be responsible for overseeing the company’s public outreach and social media strategies. Scott joins the ranks of IDW after his most recent stint as PR Manager for the San Francisco-based tech startup, Humble Bundle. During that time, Scott led several successful publicity campaigns for a wide variety of digital content bundles for video games, e-books, and digital comics including IDW’s Transformers and My Little Pony series.

In addition to working closely with some of the most universally recognized brands and licenses in pop culture, Scott has taken point on promotions for such renowned creators as Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Stan Lee, Kevin J. Anderson, and Star Trek’s George Takei.

Scott previously served as Director of Publicity and Marketing for Archie Comics from 2012 until 2014. Prior to that, Scott trained at Marvel Comics as an editorial intern and was accepted into Brian Michael Bendis’ graphic novel writing course at Portland State University.