IGN announced AMERICAN VAMPIRE: Survival of the Fittest as the Best Mini Series of 2011 and Scott Snyder as Best Writer of 2011. THE TORONTO STAR includes JOE THE BARBARIAN in their list of Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2011 and they ran a rave review of MARZI calling it “a series of elegant vignettes that beautifully blend many familiar childhood moments with scenes of a maturing nation. Author Marzena Sowa, along with her partner, artist Sylvain Savoia, perfectly captures the emotion of this pivotal time in world history through the eyes of a child in a story that is deeply affecting.” VILLAGE VOICE picked SPACEMAN as one of 2011’s Best Comics and Graphic Novels. LARGEHEARTED BOY posted artist Rebecca Guay’s Book Notes playlist for A FLIGHT OF ANGELS. And CBR/Robot 6, EATER.com and FOODBEAST picked up the cover of GET JIRO! by Langdon Foss, which you can see below.
MARZI: A Memoir arrived in comic book stores today. Check out the exclusive previews at TODAY.COM, USA TODAY/Pop Candy and THE LOS ANGELES TIMES/Hero Complex who also spoke with writer Marzena Sowa about what it was like to write a graphic novel about her life growing up in Communist Poland..
I landed in the world of comics somewhat by chance.
I had studied literature, and I always dreamed of writing, but I never imagined I’d become a comic book author. It’s all thanks to Sylvain. Before meeting him, I didn’t really read comics (I must have read Tarzan when I was 13, and my next comic book was Blue Pills by Frederik Peeters when I was 23).
Stupidly, I believed that comics were for children, for men who refused to grow up or for people who didn’t like to read very much. In Poland, where I was born, no one tried to change my mind. There, during my childhood, comics were a marginal art form. Thanks to Sylvain, I plunged into comics not only as a reader but almost simultaneously as an author. The MARZI adventure started in 2005.
In the beginning, I struggled with my role. I was always hiding behind Sylvain who had an established career as a comics artist. He’s the one who carried MARZI on his shoulders for several years. But little by little, with the publication of each new volume, I learned (and I’m still learning) to better manage my work as scriptwriter, and my place in this world became more stable. I began to understand the importance of my work. It wasn’t by chance. Not anymore. And I didn’t want to be the author of only one comic book.
One day, I met a Polish illustrator: Krzysztof Gawronkiewicz. I liked his drawings a lot, and I wanted to work with him. At the time, I was in the midst of reading the poems of a Polish poet who wrote about the war. A few of them referenced the Warsaw Uprising in 1944.
This uprising is often confused with the uprising of the Warsaw ghetto in 1943. It was the last hope, the last attempt—powerful and at the same time desperate—of the Polish people to regain their freedom from the Nazis. It was expected to last 4 or 5 days, but it ended after 63 days. It was a true death knell to Warsaw. The Red Army had arrived on the outskirts of the city, and halted near the Vistula River, waiting for the Germans and the Poles to kill each other. Then, they arrived as the victor in the lifeless capital, and established communism. The Russians, thanks to their non-intervention, kept that historic event in the shadows (and made sure it stayed there) which is why it barely exists in Western minds.
The uprising isn’t an easy topic. It’s vast and has always stirred up a number of controversies about its meaning. But it’s a real-life story that needs to be told, and it will be the subject of my next comic, working with Kryzsztof. It’s a huge job for us and a terrific challenge that we have thrown ourselves into with great enthusiasm.
I don’t know if, working on another project that once again takes the history of Poland as its subject, I run the risk of being categorized as a Polish author, but at the same time, I know I have many other stories in my bottom drawer that aren’t necessarily about Poland, but in which no doubt my Polish sensibility, my Polishness, shines through. It’s something I’ll never escape, but I also don’t want to escape it. It’s where I find my strength. And for me, for now, it feels vital to write about my country.
--Marzena Sowa, writer of MARZI: A Memoir on sale this October
Vertigo has lots of wonderful graphic novels slated for 2011 and we're going to make some publishing news today. We've got the announcement of a memoir, the unveiling of a terrific blurb and an exclusive first look at an interior piece of art from one. Enjoy.
So you’ve read Persepolis, Palestine, and CUBA: My Revolution among others. What’s next to curb your appetite for smart, personal, and poignant graphic novels? Well, we’ve got it. Get ready for MARZI to be published this Fall.
Told from a young girl’s perspective of innocence and curiosity, MARZI is Marzena Sowa’s account of growing up in 1980s Communist Poland. Sowa weaves stories of her childhood shaped by politics to form a compelling and powerful narrative. Drawn by Sylvain Savoia, MARZI is an incredibly fresh and honest portrait of growing up behind the Iron Curtain.
MARZI could not be more different than AARON & AHMED, the eagerly awaited graphic novel by McArthur Prize Fellow and novelist Jay Cantor and acclaimed artist James Romberger. We've just got the first blurb in for the book, from acclaimed novelist Darin Strauss. Check it out:.
“AARON & AHMED is our smartest writer's most deeply-felt, fun book. What's important here isn't that Jay Cantor somehow concocted a story that digs into 9/11, Gitmo, radical Islamism, meme theory, and American political smarm; it's that he taps depths of feeling not often encountered outside Melville, Drieser, or Shakespeare. Rich in emotional truths, timely, poignant, acute, a real thrill, even funny -- what a read!” –Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng
We'll have lots more about AARON & AHMED on GRAPHIC CONTENT in coming months, so for now we'll leave you with that blurb and the promise of more to come...
Meanwhile this May, get ready to celebrate with DELIRIUM’S PARTY: A LITTLE ENDLESS STORYBOOK. The diminutive versions of the Endless, from Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN mythos, join together to rid Despair of her unhappiness and the festivities turn as outrageous and unpredictable as Little Delirium's haircolor.
Brought to life through whimsical prose and watercolors as vibrant and unforgettable as its author/artist, Jill Thompson, how can you resist?
We can’t wait for you to read them and the many other terrific books we’ll be publishing this year. Each book is distinctive and bold and could not be anymore different from the other. It's just a taste of what Vertigo has to offer this year.