Just in time for Election Day, Plough Publishing has released Mandela and the General, a new graphic novel about the first post apartheid electionsin 1994. With well-armed white militias fearing reprisals, Nelson Mandela must team up with former general Constand Viljoen, the former leader of the apartheid-era army and leader of the militias.
Mandela knows that he can’t avert a bloodbath on his own. He will have to count on his arch-enemy. Throughout those historic months, the two men meet in secret. Can they trust each other? Can they keep their followers and radical fringe elements from acts of violence? The mettle of these two men will determine the future of a nation.
The book is written by veteran British journalist John Carlin, who also wrote the non0-fiction Invictus, which was turned into a movie starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. Carlin collaborated with Catalan artist Oriol Malet for a historical story with obvious relevance to today’s polarized politics.
Plough is a faith based publisher that is stepping in to the graphic novel business. Their first release was a graphic biography of Martin Luther, which won two book awards. Future projects include a graphic novel about the White Rose student resistance to Hitler, and one about social radicals during the Reformation.
“The book is about a specific recent historical moment—the triumph of the nonviolent struggle against structural racism in South Africa—but the imagery makes a clear connection to Black Lives Matter and the crisis in our own cities today,” said PLough’s Sam Hine in a statement. “It’s a true story about the power of diplomacy—how understanding your enemies, appealing to their humanity, and winning their respect and trust is always more effective than partisan bluster. In today’s political climate, what could be more timely?”
A reminder of how people who disagree can still treat each other with respect for the greatert good (memba that?) Mandela and the General; has a new trailer which you can view above.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.