Image: Zeina Abirached, from Le Piano Oriental
This month we're celebrating our tenth annual graphic novel issue by presenting new work by a few of our favorite contributors. You'll find both familiar names and recurring themes, as artists pair words and images to explore immigration, personal identity, and the notion of home. In New York, Japan's Akino Kondoh wrestles with the English language and American customs. Zeina Abirached takes her grandfather's lessons to heart when leaving Beirut for Paris. Mana Neyestani’s application for asylum nearly drives him mad, and Mazen Kerbaj sees the music of nature drowned out by man. Galit Seliktar hears a sound in the night and finds the divine; Jérôme Ruillier follows a desperate refugee as he searches for food, shelter, and acceptance. And as the graphics world continues to reverberate with the scandal of the all-male list of nominees for the Grand Prix at the Angoulême Comics Festival, accomplished French graphic artist Julie Maroh indicts the engrained sexism of the profession. Do join us as we salute this vibrant sector of the international literary community. Also this month, we feature new writing from Austria, introduced and translated by Tess Lewis.
We gratefully acknowledge the Federal Chancellery of Austria for their partial support of this feature.
Graphic Novels at WWB: The First Ten Years
The narrative threads that weave through the last ten years tell a tale in themselves.
On Angoulême and Control
What I’m pointing out here is a typical media phenomenon born of social conditioning.
from Le Piano Oriental
Fifteen years later, I was the one who left.
Noodling in New York
No Japanese person would call a cat Thomas Jefferson.
from A Short Guide to Being the Perfect Political Refugee
This number is your identity.
It parachuted down.
Lots of stranges aren't here legally.
In the sky, never much. In the streets, always too much.
The Sea Girl & the Prince
What! Who could this strange man be?
Our Graphic Archive: Issues 2007–20
Every issue from the last ten years of graphic novels in translation.
Reviewed by Ratik Asokan
In form, Oblivion is like a detective story. This investigation turns frighteningly political, however, when it leads him to Russia’s northern Tundra region, which once housed Stalin’s gulags.