John Lewis’s Sequel to His Award-Profitable Graphic Memoir, ‘March’

John Lewis’s Sequel to His Award-Profitable Graphic Memoir, ‘March’

Guide One
By John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
Illustrated by L. Fury with Nate Powell

If this have been a graphic e-book evaluate it might begin out with a drawing of me on a lounge chair holding Congressman John Lewis’s newest graphic memoir, “Run: Guide One.” There could be a skeptical look on my face. “Voter suppression in comics?” I might ask whereas mulling how sketches and snippets of dialogue and made-up phrases like WHEEEOOOOWWWWWWWW may presumably seize such a sinister and sophisticated interval of our historical past.

By the top, you’d see me in the identical spot, a chalice to my lips and a faraway look in my eyes. The skepticism could be gone. I would say one thing like MMHMM.

Anybody aware of Lewis’s celebrated “March” trilogy (whose last e-book remains to be the one comedian to win a Nationwide Guide Award) is aware of that graphic novels can deal with nuance fairly adeptly. This work, most of which was accomplished by Lewis and his crew of collaborators earlier than he died in the summertime of 2020, picks up the place “March” left off, with the civil rights motion profitable essential legislative positive aspects within the Sixties however nonetheless very a lot unfinished in its goals. There’s a timeliness to “Run,” a reminder that the efforts to maintain potential voters from casting their ballots which might be a lot within the headlines as of late are nothing new.

It seems the animus that drives a lot of our nation’s historical past is properly suited to this type. One encounters within the arresting art work of “Run” beady eyes, indignant grimaces, seems to be of anguish and defiance. “Now git!” says the finger-pointing, scowling white man who emerges from a whites-only church within the opening pages to inform a younger Lewis to finish his protest of the segregated providers inside. No must go on and on about his disdain for these born with extra melanin of their pores and skin or his hypocrisy in praying to the Lord whereas appearing devilish.

That free-form phrase cited above with all of the W’s is the sound of a police siren as baton-wielding troopers race to the church protest in Americus, Ga., to cuff Lewis for the umpteenth time. We learn the identical phrase once more when the police pull over a younger Black man in Watts. After which a FFWACK as he’s struck with an officer’s firearm and a KFFUD as a rock is hurled onto the hood of the police automotive. Very quickly, Watts is aflame. As one flips the pages, there are THUMPs, POWs, DINGs and, as Lewis is ousted as chairman of the Scholar Nonviolent Coordinating Committee by a extra radical ingredient of the motion led by Stokely Carmichael, cries on the streets of BLACK POWER!

Black Individuals have by no means been a monolith, regardless of frequent efforts to painting us as such. Lewis presents a fair-minded account of how his turn-the-other-cheek philosophy clashed with the frustrations of the motion again then. At age 26, he discovered himself broke, jobless and now not its chosen one.

Guide One finishes earlier than Lewis discovered his subsequent act. However we all know his trajectory properly: how he was elected to Congress and over three many years changed into an icon once more. Lewis lived lengthy sufficient to witness the killing of George Floyd by an officer who knelt on his neck and ignored his cries of I CAN’T BREATHE! This can be a story, lamentably, with out an finish.

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