Books of all kinds in graphic format are becoming more and more popular. The works in this format are not all Japanese Manga and superheroes, though. The non-fiction shelves are scattered with different forms of serious non-fiction graphic works. I thought I’d share a few of these I’ve recently discovered
Autobiographical works represents one of the richest areas in this format. Roz Chast’s scratchy, simplistic drawings help us to laugh at the little neuroses in our lives. Her latest book “Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?” explores her changing relationship to her aging parents.
“The Photographer” documents photo journalist, Didier Lefèvre‘s grueling trek through the mountains of Afghanistan with Doctors without Borders in the late Eighties. In order to avoid Russian Helicopters, they were required to use a pack train and use mujahideen caravans through high mountain passes to get to the field hospital. Each page combines Tintin-esque drawn panels with black and white photographs taken by this photographer and the juxtaposition is really interesting.
Graphic journalist, Joe Sacco focuses his works war-torn regions including Palestine, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Sarajevo. His investigations on the previously untold stories of victims and his pen and ink style produce a work that is gritty and somewhat grim. Being an unorthodox medium for journalism, Sacco uses it as a way to explore the role of journalists in reportage by depicting himself in the drawings in the process of doing his research.
Josh Neufeld created “AD: New Orleans After the Deluge” which chronicles the lives of five different people from various walks of life during and after Hurricane Katrina. The intertwining timelines of each party show the vastly different experiences of people from those trapped at the Superdome to others who’s life was unscathed.