History Made Accessible: ‘Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story’

Originally published on GoshenCommons.org January 20, 2014

On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I encourage you to read, whether again or for the first time, “March,” written by the Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, and illustrated by Nate Powell. See the November archives for a review.

Within “March,” Lewis mentions a 1957 comic that inspired him and college students across the country to organize the lunch-counter sit-ins that gave the civil rights movement critical momentum.

march-mlk-1958-cover Continue reading “History Made Accessible: ‘Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story’”

A Christmas Throwdown: ‘Radical Jesus’ Meets ‘Punk Rock Jesus’

Originally published on GoshenCommons.org December 24, 2013

At first glance, the books up for review in this holiday week seem to have nothing in common except the word “Jesus” in the title. I’ll let the covers speak for themselves:



Images from comicsalternative.com and geeknewsnetwork.net

Continue reading “A Christmas Throwdown: ‘Radical Jesus’ Meets ‘Punk Rock Jesus’”

Boxers, Saints, and Compassionate History

Originally published on GoshenCommons.org November 25, 2013

Last post I reviewed “March,” a history of the civil rights movement told from the perspective of congressman John Lewis. Most valuable about that book was the specificity of its history—how it re-told a story that most of us thought we knew. Gene Luen Yang’s paired books “Boxers” and “Saints” are also historical fiction, and similarly rewarding, but for slightly different reasons.

Like many North Americans, I’m fuzzy on the history of the Boxer Rebellion, but now that I’ve read these paired books, I can get pictures like these out of my head when I hear the phrase



and replace them with this:


(Thanks espn.com for—well, you can guess which one of the above three photos.) Continue reading “Boxers, Saints, and Compassionate History”