King Volume II

Overview

Ho Che Anderson's controversial second graphic novel based on the life of the revered civil rights leader. The long-awaited sequel to the graphic novel biography of the life and career of civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., which will ultimately trace the life of the late civil rights leader from his birth to assassination. Winner of a 1995 Parents' Choice Award, yet decidedly controversial, speculative and intended for adults, King Volume I garnered extensive press coverage and was ...

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Overview

Ho Che Anderson's controversial second graphic novel based on the life of the revered civil rights leader. The long-awaited sequel to the graphic novel biography of the life and career of civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., which will ultimately trace the life of the late civil rights leader from his birth to assassination. Winner of a 1995 Parents' Choice Award, yet decidedly controversial, speculative and intended for adults, King Volume I garnered extensive press coverage and was Fantagraphics' best-selling book in the company's history when published in 1992. King Volume II picks up where King Volume I left off, probing King's life story with an unflinchingly critical eye, casting King as an ambitious, dichotomous figure deserving of his place in history but not above moral sacrifice to get there. Anderson's expressionistic visual style is wrought with dramatic energy; panels evoke a painterly attention to detail but juxtapose with one another in such a way as to propel King's story with cinematic momentum. Anderson's successful use of the graphic novel to tell a major work of nonfiction has drawn favorable comparisons to Art Spiegelman's Maus: A Survivor's Tale and Joe Sacco's Safe Area Gorazde: The War In Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995.

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Editorial Reviews

Montreal Vice
“His mastery of multi-media techniques is so subtle that readers are inexorably drawn in...”
Vibe
“Anderson uses a film noir style, with a Wellesian mastery of shadows and moods.”
Gordon Flagg - Booklist
“[...] The straightforwardness of Anderson's treatment also gives this comics-format account an integrity and a verisimilitude greater than any filmed docudrama could hope to achieve.”
Vibe
Anderson uses a film noir style, with a Wellesian mastery of shadows and moods.
Montreal Vice
His mastery of multi-media techniques is so subtle that readers are inexorably drawn in...
Publishers Weekly
It's been nearly 10 years since the enormously talented Anderson published the first of a projected three-volume interpretive (and often speculative) comics biography of Martin Luther King Jr., but the second volume is well worth the wait. Anderson picks up where he left off. It's 1958, and King awakes in Harlem Hospital after being stabbed by a deranged black woman. Anderson quickly delves into the contentious debates between the elder SCLC organizers and the impatient young SNCC activists. In graphically expressionistic b&w vignettes, Anderson offers a powerful recreation of the Civil Rights movement's seminal events and King's role in them. From 1961's interracial bus rides to the 1963 march on Birmingham and King's now-legendary speech at the Lincoln Memorial, each historic moment is captured through Anderson's terse, confrontational dialogue constructed to both identify the incident and capture its emotional toll and his brittle graphic virtuosity. He's dramatized the Civil Rights movement though its failings and factional disputes as much as through its mythlike social triumphs. He presents JFK's as well as ordinary black people's reservations about King and uses King's personal failings his womanizing and domestic conflicts with Coretta to provide a study of a magnificent social movement through a candid portrait of its greatest symbolic figure. As in volume one, Anderson combines illustrations and photocopy collage in a rugged chiaroscuro comics style. Without quite achieving the visual brilliance of the first volume, in which every panel seemed designed to graphic and narrative perfection, Anderson's illustrational powers remain eye-poppingly formidable in this new work. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Basing his graphic-novel biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., on a combination of primary-source research and editorial reflection, Anderson takes up the narrative in 1959 and carries it through the 1963 March on Washington. King's womanizing, President Kennedy's lukewarm support of civil-rights activism, Bull Connor's storied racial hatred, J. Edgar Hoover's political corruption, and the united protest efforts of college students and working-class African-American Southerners all appear on these pages. Each topic is given a scope that balances the portrait of King as both admirably brave and brilliant as well as human and single-minded. The glossy paper carries Anderson's scratchboard-influenced, black-and-white illustrations with little dimensional detail. Color appears rarely and with great significance: most dramatic is the realistic full-color spread accompanying the delivery of King's "I Have a Dream" speech that closes this volume. As with the previous one (1993), readers need to have some working knowledge of American history of the period to appreciate both foreground and background narrative and images here. However, Anderson's interpretation gives readers a compelling focal point for reviewing King as both man and as legend.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560974963
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2002
  • Pages: 69
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Ho Che Anderson lives in Toronto, Canada. His books include King, Scream Queen, and Sand and Fury.

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