Last year, comics went to college. This year, Falvey Memorial Library, in partnership with the Villanova University Writing Center, invites you to discuss superheroes and scholars at our Second Annual Graphic Novel Event, on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010 at 3:00 p.m. in the first floor lounge.
Graphic novel writer and Philadelphia resident John Arcudi will give the keynote address. He is best known for developing The Mask for Dark Horse Comics, and his work served as the basis for the 1994 film starring Jim Carey. He has also written for both DC and Marvel Comics, taking on superheroes like Superman, the Flash and Wonder Woman.
Arcudi recently tackled the superhero genre from a more cynical perspective in his original graphic novel, A God Somewhere (Wildstorm, 2010). The story charts the loss of faith and reason in Eric, an everyman who emerges from a deadly accident with superpowers. Publishers Weekly calls the graphic novel “harrowing,” and USA Today says it is “a bold and risky book that dares to offer a challenging new take on what it would be like to be a super-man.”
But that’s not all! Falvey offers an abundance of graphic novels — too many, in fact, to cover in a single event. So for the next two weeks, we’ll share some of our staff members’ favorites from the stacks.
For our inaugural review, Communication & Publications librarian Judith Olsen shares why she enjoyed reading Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.
Persepolis was one of the first graphic novels I read, and, in fact, read it because my book group selected it. Based loosely on Satrapi’s own life, the adolescent heroine Marji struggles to grow up in the midst of revolutionary and post revolutionary times in Iran. Satrapi chose to illustrate her story in stark black and white frames, suggesting the absolute nature of the Iranian society.
Yet the narrative has its humorous moments as well. Marji wears a veil but also a Michael Jackson pin, which results in her being stopped by the religious police. Trying to rebel within her narrow world, she sneaks cigarettes and listens to Iron Maiden. With the graphic novel format, we see the vivid expressions on her family’s faces as they experience trauma: being arrested, imprisoned and finally separated, as her family decides to send their young daughter abroad to save her from Iran’s tyranny.
A very accessible read.
Next time: reviews of Fun Home, Berlin, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Event logo by Joanne Quinn