I just wanted to welcome Jeremiah McNichols of Z Recommends as a regular contributor to Sandbox World. It is with pleasure that we include him in our stable. Please check out his site Z Recommends, it’s a great site for young kids and parents alike.
In Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, comic artist Marjane Satrapi chronicled growing up in a liberal family in Islamic Iran in a way that captured the attention and interest of American readers. The simple black-and-white illustrations focused reader attention on a compelling but familiar narrative, while the details of life under the religious government brought home the fear and confusion that impact family life and personal development in repressive societies. Satrapi’s childhood embrace of artifacts of Western culture as symbols of freedom (rebellious music, self-expression through dress, and everything else American teenagers use to declare their inner turmoil) make Persepolis the perfect candidate for an animated film, so it will be interesting to see how Persepolis goes over when it debuts at the Cannes Film Festival next week.
Voice acted by Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni, the film will expose huge new audiences who don’t typically read comics to Satrapi’s work (she followed up Persepolis with Persepolis II: The Story of a Return, which documents her schooling in Vienna, her fall from grace, and her return to live in Iran after experiencing Western freedoms firsthand). Given the political climate and the issues at stake, Satrapi’s story, her straightforward drawing style and her books’ focus on their central narrative, could easily make the comic artist the next Art Spiegelman, a presence who helps convince new audiences of comics’ storytelling power. Persepolis has been celebrated as an excellent story for young adults, and won the 2004 List of Best Books for Young Adults from the Young Adult Library Services.
The two volumes are also available in a box set. – Jeremiah McNichols