Back in October, after two years of living in Denver, I finally visited my local library branch. I happened to be at the library, attending a local neighborhood walking event and so I used the opportunity to also get my Denver library card.
The historic Park Hill Library branch is lovely, and although it has since been expanded and renovated, the original building was one of 8 branch libraries Carnegie donated $160,000 to build and furnish, in Denver between 1913 and 1920.
I picked up four graphic novels while there;
- March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
I saw Congressman Lewis do the talkshow rounds (including I believe The Daily Show) when this first came out. Been meaning to read it since.
Although I knew the broad outlines of the story, it was of course inspiring to read the specifics. The fact that it was a graphic novel, definitely made it easier/lighter. Likely wouldn’t have read it otherwise.
- Krishna: Defender of Dharma by Shweta Taneja
It was interesting to read these stories, in a different context/format, so many years after hearing/reading them last. Surprised myself at how much I still remembered.
The drawing/writing style, wasn’t my favorite. Prefer my graphic novels a bit more gritty and adult. However, probably appropriate for the content. A sort of modern update to the classic’s of Amar Chitra Katha.
- Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi
For whatever reason, I didn’t “enjoy” (was a bit more of a slog to get through) this one as much as the first volume.
That being said, this volume still has the excellent black/white graphic style. Also, her personal story is still so unique – from her time as a young student in Vienna, to her return to and life in Iran (post Iran-Iraq war) – at least to this American reader.
- Denver Square: We Need a Bigger House! by Ed Stein
Although not a native to Denver, nor a resident at the time these strips were originally written, the local character resonated with me. Especially with it’s celebration of all things Denver sports, particularly the Broncos. Still such a fact of life, in this town.
It felt (as it should) so of it’s place and time. Yet, reading it I was struck by how many themes; from traffic on I-25, the housing market in Denver and wildfires, are still relevant today.
Other topics; such as Columbine, the 2000 Bush vs. Gore election and 9-11, transported me temporally and led me to reflect on my own experience of these events, as well as the passage of time.