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The Silence of Our Friendsby Mark Long
Synopses & Reviews
As the civil rights struggle heats up in Texas, two families—one white, one black—find common ground.
This semi-autobiographical tale is set in 1967 Texas, against the backdrop of the fight for civil rights. A white family from a notoriously racist neighborhood in the suburbs and a black family from its poorest ward cross Houstons color line, overcoming humiliation, degradation, and violence to win the freedom of five black college students unjustly charged with the murder of a policeman.
The Silence of Our Friends follows events through the point of view of young Mark Long, whose father is a reporter covering the story. Semi-fictionalized, this story has its roots solidly in very real events. With art from the brilliant Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole) bringing the tale to heart-wrenching life, The Silence of Our Friends is a new and important entry in the body of civil rights literature for older teens and adults.
"From the opening scene, this graphic novel written by Long and Demonakos is compelling. Set in Houston in 1968, it tells the story of two families — one black and one white — who are witness to and participants in events that shaped the South in the late 1960s. The novel is a loosely autobiographical account of the Long family, who moved from San Antonio to Houston in 1966, and experienced the protests, violence, and struggle for freedom that characterized the Third and Fifth Wards. Long's father had moved to Houston to take a job as a local television reporter, and there he met Larry Thomas, the editor of an antipoverty weekly. This graphic novel presents an engrossing narrative about race in America, while honestly dealing with a host of other real-world issues, including familial relationships, friendship, dependency, 'other'-ness, and perhaps most importantly, the search for common ground. Powell — an award-winning cartoonist in his own right for Swallow Me Whole — tells a story in pictures that is just as compelling as what Long and Demonakos tell in words. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Mark Long is a video game designer and producer living in Seattle. The Silence of Our Friends is based on Longs childhood experiences with the civil rights movement in suburban Houston, Texas.
Jim Demonakos founded Seattles annual Emerald City Comicon, as well as The Comic Stop chain of retail stores. He has written, edited, and promoted a variety of books for different publishers throughout his career. He lives in the Seattle area.
Nate Powell is the author and illustrator of the graphic novel Swallow Me Whole (an LA Times Book Prize finalist, the 2009 Eisner Award winner for Best Graphic Novel, and an Ignatz Award winner). He is currently working on an illustrated novel for Roaring Brook Press, with author Cecil Castellucci. Nate lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with his wife.
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