Synopses & Reviews
Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper's farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.
Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).
March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.
Book One spans John Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.
Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story." Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.
"The long-overdue move to chronicle American history in graphic novel form takes another great step forward with this first volume of a projected history of the civil rights struggle. Instead of taking an all-inclusive, Eyes on the Prize-style approach (an epic undertaking that hopefully is on another artist's to-do list), March is told from the perspective of Georgia congressman John Lewis. Listed here as coauthor with Andrew Aydin, Lewis frames his story as a flashback told to a few inquisitive visitors in his Washington office as he is getting ready to attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama. It's an occasionally creaky device that slips sometimes into hagiography, but Lewis's tale is a resolutely dramatic one regardless. Highlighted by dark, neo-noirish art from Nate Powell (The Silence of Our Friends), March tracks Lewis from his hardscrabble childhood on a remote Georgia farm to his gradual awakening to the pernicious evil of segregation and his growing leadership role in Martin Luther King Jr.'s nonviolent resistance movement. If the book strays too far from Lewis himself at times, that's because the momentousness of what's happening around him cannot be ignored. Superbly told history." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A riveting and beautiful civil-rights story....Lewis's gripping memoir should be stocked in every school and shelved at every library." The Washington Post
"An astonishingly accomplished graphic memoir that brings to life a vivid portrait of the civil rights era, Lewis' extraordinary history and accomplishments, and the movement he helped lead...its power, accessibility and artistry destine it for awards, and a well-deserved place at the pinnacle of the comics canon." NPR
"March offers a poignant portrait of an iconic figure that both entertains and edifies, and deserves to be placed alongside other historical graphic memoirs like Persepolis and Maus." Entertainment Weekly
"When a graphic novel tries to interest young readers in an important topic, it often feels forced. Not so with the exhilarating March: Book One....Powerful words and pictures." The Boston Globe
"The civil rights movement can seem to some like a distant memory...Rep. John Lewis refreshes our memories in dramatic fashion." The Chicago Tribune
"Dazzling...a grand work." Booklist (starred review)
"A powerful tale of courage and principle igniting sweeping social change, told by a strong-minded, uniquely qualified eyewitness...the heroism of those who sat and marched...comes through with vivid, inspiring clarity." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Lewis's remarkable life has been skillfully translated into graphics....Segregation's insult to personhood comes across here with a visual, visceral punch. This version of Lewis's life story belongs in libraries to teach readers about the heroes of America." Library Journal (starred review)
"This is superb visual storytelling that establishes a convincing, definitive record of a key eyewitness to significant social change, and that leaves readers demanding the second volume." School Library Journal (starred review)
About the Author
John Lewis is Georgia's Fifth Congressional District Representative and an American icon widely known for his role in the Civil Rights Movement. Lewis' 1999 memoir Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement
, called "the definitive account of the civil rights movement" (The Washington Post
), won numerous honors, including the Robert F. Kennedy, Lillian Smith, and Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. His most recent book, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
, received for the NAACP Image Award.
His first graphic novel, March (Book One)
— co-authored with Andrew Aydin — will be published by Top Shelf in August 2013.
Andrew Aydin is the co-author (with Congressman John Lewis) of the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel March: Book One. Hailing from Atlanta, he currently serves in Rep. Lewis' congressional office handling telecommunications and technology policy as well as new media. Previously, he served as communications director and press secretary during Rep. Lewis' 2008 and 2010 re-election campaigns, as District Aide to Rep. John Larson (D-CT), and as Special Assistant to Connecticut Lt. Governor Kevin Sullivan. Andrew is a graduate of the Lovett School in Atlanta, Trinity College in Hartford, and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Nate Powell is a New York Times best-selling graphic novelist born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1978. He began self-publishing at age 14, and graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2000. His work includes the critically acclaimed Any Empire, Swallow Me Whole (winner of the Eisner Award and Ignatz Award, finalist for the LA Times Book Prize), The Year of the Beasts, The Silence of Our Friends, and Sounds of Your Name. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.