Recently, someone suggested I take a look at Chris Claremont and Brent Eric Anderson’s X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills (1982). After reading, I came away noting the number of similarities between the 36 year old graphic novel and the present moment. In an interview on the 35th anniversary of its publication, Claremont and Anderson, along with interviewer Alex Abad-Santos, talk about the correlations between God Loves, Man Kills and the present moment. Today, I want to look at the book and pull out some specific scenes that, sadly, still feel very much relevant to our current cultural moment.
Kevin Sacco’s Josephine (2017) is poignant and moving. Told only through sepia colored panels, without words, the semi-autobiographical Josephine centers on a seven year-old protagonist as he navigates Manhattan’s Upper West Side in the 1960s, guided in part by his Black caretaker, Josephine. Josephine is, as Sacco notes, a melding together “of my caretakers. . . Leonora, Cleo, Mildred, Louise, and Josephine.” Through Josephine, Sacco’s tale explores familial relationships and racial relations in America, specifically New York, during the 1950s and 1960s.
In his preface to the graphic novel Nat Turner, Kyle Baker talks about his reasons for wanting to tell Turner’s story through the medium of comics. He states hat “[c]omic books/graphic novels are a visual medium, so it’s important to choose a subject with opportunities for compelling graphics.” The story of Nat Turner’s rebellion in 1831 provides just that opportunity. More importantly, Baker wanted to fill in the historical gaps that appear about Turner, specifically imagining the historical incidents that led him to lead the rebellion. Baker, in this manner, seeks to do what multiple authors work to do, fill in the gaps. He begins his preface by noting the seemingly lack of information about Turner in history books, typically a paragraph, yet the continued reference to Turner as an inspiration and influence of activists such as Frederick Douglass, Maclom X, and Harriett Tubman.