Rep. John Lewis was on “The Colbert Report” last night to talk about “March,” his new autobiographical graphic novel co-written by Andrew Aydin and drawn by Arkansas’s own Nate Powell. See the interview on the jump.
The book, and especially Powell’s art, is already getting really high praise.
Judging by “March: Book One” (the kickoff of a planned trilogy), it pays to heed Lewis’s powers of premonition. His graphic novel is rich in gifted foreshadowing. And he was perceptive, too, in choosing the Eisner Award-winning Powell; the artist is a master of shadows and space and sense of frame — from long, flat Alabama vistas to bustling, bright cityscapes, his exquisite camera movement is never less than interesting and always in sync with the story.
“March” is so good, in fact, that not only is it guaranteed to reap its share of awards, Lewis’s gripping memoir should also be stocked in every school and shelved at every library. Like the upcoming film “Lee Daniels’ the Butler,” the arts are finding new ways to tell the fuller story of civil rights through the prism of deeply personal stories.
For younger generations, March will be revelatory. So far, it’s had enviable pre-publication buzz, and Lewis got a rock star’s reception at the recent San Diego comic convention, Comic-Con. He’s not just the first congressional member to pen a graphic novel, but perhaps even a real life superhero and role model for the young — and maybe the jaded.
New York Times best-selling comic-book artist and writer Nate Powell deploys his expressive and dramatic black-and-gray wash, praised in previous works like 2012’s civil rights-themed The Silence of Our Friends. Powell’s faithful representation of known historical characters and immersive creation of the time period stands out. His sense of pace and his affecting ability to tease out silent, intimate moments also set the book apart from traditional, text-heavy historical graphic storytelling. One senses, when reading this first volume, that its power, accessibility and artistry destine it for awards, and a well-deserved place at the pinnacle of the comics canon.