Saturday, 27 February 2016

Let's read: graphic memoirs

Aren't graphic memoirs great?! At least that's what I've discovered from the two I've just read: Marjane Satrapi's 'Persepolis' and Maggie Thrash's 'Honor Girl'. Both are completely different in context but equally endearing, combining the adventures and in some cases serious aspects of growing up with cute illustrations and lighthearted dialogue. 

Marjane's tale is one of life in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. She takes us on a journey from child to near-adult, adjusting to the vale, having her neighbour's house bombed, attending secret parties because parties were forbidden, being sent to Europe to study, finding her style, finding herself in challenging situations, realising how much she appreciates her family and home in Iran, and always staying true to herself and her beliefs.

Maggie's story is set in an American summer camp and recounts her battle with falling in love. But, unknown to her family and friends back at home, it was a girl she felt affection for. Her name was Erin, a camp Councillor three years older than Maggie and the story contains the familiar references to the class/camp bitches, boy band obsessions and the frustrating transition of figuring out who you are.

Speaking in an interview for MTV online, Maggie said 'I don't have any art experience- I don't have an art background or anything- but I just found it so awkward writing about myself'. With both memoirs, and I guess any graphic memoir, the author's recreating moments from their life in the form an illustrated protagonist. They can be an onlooker too and  reflect on their adventures while we discover them. 
Perhaps the biggest reason for my enthusiasm for these books though comes from how I love drawings and reading the thoughts that go through people's minds. The two merged together was just always going to be great.

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