When you get a genuine American hero to write a graphic novel about his life, you get a lot of attention. Thus it is that MARCH: BOOK ONE, the story of the civil rights movement as seen through the life of Rep. John Lewis, has been the first graphic novel (it is believed) to get a blurb from a former U.S president. As you can see from the image, President Bill Clinton has written:
“Congressman John Lewis has been a resounding moral voice in the quest for equality for more than 50 years, and I’m so pleased that he is sharing his memories of the Civil Rights Movement with America’s young leaders. In March, he brings a whole new generation with him across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, from a past of clenched fists into a future of outstretched hands.”
— President Bill Clinton
As a young man, Lewis was one of the leaders of the civil rights movement, helping plan the historic march on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his famed “I have a dream speech” and leading various organizations for years afterwards before being elected to Congress. Rep. Lewis still bears the scars of an injury he received from an Alabama state trooper when leading a peaceful march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
If you don’t know about these events, well, then you will after you read MARCH. With art by Eisner-winning Nate Powell, and co-written by Lewis aide Andrew Aydin, it’s a stirring but approachable tale of a vivid page of American history.
MARCH, which will be published by Top Shelf, is getting more publicity for the book: Lewis will appear on The Colbert Report on August 13—also the first time someone has appeared on the show to specifically promote a graphic novel. Lewis has appearances on CNN, Huffington Post, and a Book Expo breakfast slot planned—as well as a trip to Comic-Con in San Diego.
So…you’ll be hearing a lot about this book in the months to come.
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.