Monday, February 11, 2013

comics in February...part 2...

*Wandering Son Volume 3 by Takako Shimuri. Oh, I love this series so much. *hugs* Of course, it's harder than ever for me to talk about it as this is volume three. (I talked about the first two volumes here.) The series follows the lives of two now 6th-grade transgendered kids. In this volume, life is in some ways getting harder for them. A special journal that they both wrote in and exchanged was taken by another student and thus many of their personal feelings put on display. Imagine how hard that would be on anyone, let alone two kids working through their gender identities. My heart broke for Takatsuki and Nitori at times. They are both such incredibly lovable characters. But to say that these books focus solely on being transgendered would be a lie. They're about growing up and about friendship and about family. They're about life. And they are exquisitely drawn.

Review of this volume at Experiments in Reading and Ana's review of the first two volumes and Chris's review of the first two volumes

*Sita's Ramayana by Samhita Arni and Moyna Chitrakar. Wow. Yeah, this book is simply amazing. Everything about it. It is a re-telling of the Ramayana, one of India's great epics dating back thousands of years. And as one might guess from the title, Sita's Ramayana is told from Sita's, Rama's husband, perspective. In a short, but very interesting essay at the back of the book, I learned that female re-tellings of the Ramanyana are not at all unusual, some go back hundreds of years, and unsurprisingly have been kept alive through oral stories and folk songs. One of things I loved so much about this use of Sita's perspective was summed up nicely in this afterward by V. Geetha:

And rather than divide the world up into good and bad, right and wrong, Sita's vision encompasses all those who suffer, endure and ultimately bear the consequences of what kings and wars do--and this includes not only women, children and ordinary people, but also animals and birds.

The art in this graphic novel is bold and vivid and powerful. And in another short, very interesting afterward, I learned a little bit about how this book came to be. Patua as an art form goes back centuries in the Bengal region of India. It combines oral storytelling and performance with painted scrolls. The talented artist of Sita's Ramayana, Moyna Chitrakar, comes from the Patua art tradition. It seems both an adventurous and logical leap to transfer her talents to graphic novel form. And she does it beautifully.

Review at Buried in Print and well, that's all I could find.

*Tyranny by Lesley Fairfield. This is a haunting, honest, frightening look at anorexia from from the inside. While this is not a memoir, the author herself battled anorexia and bulimia for many years, so it seems safe to say that her perspective is a knowledgeable one. This book follows Anna through her high school days when her body image ideas start to become skewed. It is shocking to see just how fast her life begins unraveling...and yet I know this really happens. To be perfectly honest, while this book ends on a hopeful note, it ripped my heart out getting to that point. The pain and self-loathing that seems part and parcel with eating disorders is so utterly heartbreaking.

Review at Chick With Books and at Reading Through Life and at Puss Reboots


Chris Howard said...

Yeah…gonna have to get all three of these :p Already planned on getting Wandering Son 3 but sounds like I have to get it right away!! I took an Eastern literature course in college and we read some of The Ramayana and I absolutely LOVED what I read. So really need to get that second one and the third sounds right up my alley too. Damn Debi…I'm trying to SAVE money…you're killing me :p

Ali said...

I missed the review on the first 2 volumes of Wandering to see if my library has them!

Hope you're feeling better today, Debi.

DesLily said...

gotta love Chris blaming you for his obsession! LOL LOL

Kailana said...

I read the first Wandering Son this weekend. :) I want to read more but they are kind of pricey and the library only has Volume 1... I also read Tyranny. Good, but not amazing. I need you and Chris to read more comics. I have read everything I have out from the library and I am separated from my comic collection at the moment.