If you haven’t yet grabbed the March trilogy of graphic novels, you seriously need to go do that right now. We’ll wait. Really. Go buy them. I don’t often use the word important when talking about graphic novels, but the March books are more than important–they really should be required reading.
The official synopsis of the books so spot-on that I’m not even going to try rewriting it:
March portrays the surpassing courage, sacrifice, and revolutionary nonviolence that transformed American society in the 1960s, narrated firsthand by one of the key figures of the Civil Rights Movement.
That figure is none other than Representative John Lewis, who also happens to be a national treasure. The March books tell the story of the Civil Rights Movement through Lewis’s eyes and experiences. We see Lewis as a young man in rural Alabama, at the Nashville sit-ins, as a member of the Freedom Riders, as he becomes chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and one of the central figures of the Civil Rights Movement, at the 1963 March on Washington, and on the Selma to Montgomery marches with Martin Luther King, Jr.
The books have won practically every major award there is, and it was recently longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
There are so few truly amazing lives in American politics in 2016. John Lewis lays claim to the most important and inspiring life working in Washington today.
On this episode, we talk to (illustrator) Nate Powell and (coauthor) Andrew Aydin–the creative forces behind March—about the books, working with Lewis, the research they each did to prepare, the pressure associated with creating books that are immediately being taught in schools across the country, and their careers away from March.
Nate started drawing and self-publishing at the ripe age of 14 and has since published an extensive catalog of graphic novels. Andrew works as a policy advisor in Lewis’s office and has since begun writing and contributing to other comics, including The X-Files and Bitch Planet.
- Nate Powell is on Twitter here.
- Andrew Aydin is on Twitter here.
- The show is on Twitter here and Facebook here.
- Jamie is on Twitter and Instagram as @theroarbots.
- Justin is on Twitter and Instagram as @140JustinC.