run - john lewis.jpeg

After many delays, Run, the sequel to Rep. John Lewis’s civil rights memoir March, will be coming out on August 3, publisher Abrams announced this morning. 

Run is cowritten by the late Lewis and Andrew Aydin, with art by newcomer L. Fury and a cover and additional material by March artist Nate Powell.

Following up on the events of March, which details how the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed, Run chronicles the continuing struggle against Jim Crow laws, and voter suppression.

It’s a shockingly timely story in 2021, as once again, voting rights are under attack in at least 43 states, with more than over 250 bills introduced restricting voting rights. 

According to the publisher blurbs:

To John Lewis, the civil rights movement came to an end with the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. But that was after more than five years as one of the preeminent figures of the movement, leading sit–in protests and fighting segregation on interstate busways as an original Freedom Rider. It was after becoming chairman of SNCC (the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and being the youngest speaker at the March on Washington. It was after helping organize the Mississippi Freedom Summer and the ensuing delegate challenge at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. And after coleading the march from Selma to Montgomery on what became known as “Bloody Sunday.” All too often, the depiction of history ends with a great victory. But John Lewis knew that victories are just the beginning. In Run: Book One, John Lewis and longtime collaborator Andrew Aydin reteam with Nate Powell—the award–winning illustrator of the March trilogy—and are joined by L. Fury—making an astonishing graphic novel debut—to tell this often overlooked chapter of civil rights history.

More details about the book are in a piece by Michael Cavna at the Washington Post:

The “March” books received critical acclaim — including the first National Book Award for a comic book — while also popularizing and contextualizing a favorite Lewis phrase to urge nonviolent civil disobedience: “Make good trouble.”

“I think the congressman, particularly in the last four of five years, had his eye on how we can inspire and motivate this new generation to participate in the democratic process not just as voters, but as public servants,” says Aydin, who also worked as Lewis’s digital communications director. As he speaks Friday, the hashtag #GoodTrouble is trending on social media, in response to a sweeping new elections law signed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and lambasted by the White House. Some critics say the law could disproportionately affect Black voters.

WaPo has some art by Fury who is making her graphic novel debut:

run-fury1.jpg

March, the graphic novel trilogy about Lewis’s early days fighting for civil rights, has become a classic text, teaching contemporary readers about the history of Martin Luther King, the Freedom Riders, and police violence at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL It won a National Book Award, an Eisner award, a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and was named a Coretta Scott King Honor Book.

Run is available for preorder at Bookshop.org and on the publisher website. The book was originally announced with Afua Richardson as the artist, but she has long since left the project.

Leave a Reply