“I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir,” by Malaka Gharib

“I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir,” by Malaka Gharib. Clarkson Potter/Publishers, April 2019. 160 pp. Paperback, $16.99. 13 to adult.

Find or order a copy at Fables Books, 215 South Main Street in downtown Goshen, Indiana.

Writer, artist, and correspondent Malaka Gharib sets up the tension of her story from Chapter One:

That’s a lot of pressure for a kid and her backpack, as that close-up panel in the top right suggests. Gharib’s father was from Egypt, her mother from the Philippines, which meant that after they divorced, Gharib spent summers in Egypt with her dad and the rest of the year with her mom’s family and her extended relatives in Cerritos, California. Continue reading ““I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir,” by Malaka Gharib”

Local Comix: Goshen Graphix II

Here’s a re-post from 2014 about “Goshen Graphix II,” a book that Goshen College students from my Graphic Novel class released on PinchPenny Press, a project of the English Department at GC.

Drawings from some of those students, as well as students in subsequent classes, are included in an essay of mine about teaching comics that just came out in “Lessons Drawn,” a collection of scholarly essays edited by David Seelow.

Also keep an eye out for my co-edited book, with Hussein Rashid, “Ms. Marvel’s America: No Normal,” which just went into production, and should be out on University Press of Mississippi later this year.

If you want to play around with drawing your own comics, there are lots of how-to books around now, but I especially recommend the books of Lynda Barry, one of the masters of demystifying and democratizing comics.

Stay tuned toward the end of May for a review of a new “picture novel,” “Clyde Fans,” from comics master Seth,  just out on the Canadian press Drawn and Quarterly.

Originally published on GoshenCommons.org on April 1, 2014

April has turned out to be a great month for comics in Michiana. First of all, Gene Luen Yang, the creator of “Boxers and Saints,” which I reviewed back in December, will be speaking on Thursday, April 10, at noon at the Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids.

Yang is not only a master of his craft—his book “American Born Chinese” was a finalist for the National Book Award—but also a rare combination of super smart, super successful and super approachable. In other words, this is a presentation not to miss.

If the drive to Grand Rapids is too far, however, you can meet some local comics artists at the release party for “Goshen Graphix II” this Friday at Better World Books at 6 p.m.

GG-Cover Continue reading “Local Comix: Goshen Graphix II”

How to Draw like a Girl: “Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir”

Originally posted November 2014. Thanks to Better World Books, 215 S. Main St. in Goshen, for providing me with books to review. You can find all of these books at the store.

Did anyone actually enjoy middle school? According to my own (extremely) random polling, most people remember middle school not fondly, but as an early exercise in institutionalized torture. Part of the problem was its often baseless, incomprehensible, yet rigid hierarchies, codified here by Liz Prince in her graphic memoir “Tomboy”:

Continue reading “How to Draw like a Girl: “Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir””