Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis is a graphic novel/comic that was adapted into a movie. The novel is an autobiography with true events that happened in the late 1900’s. The black and white panels of the novel can effortlessly grab the attention of any reader and make it entertaining.

Persepolis follows a young girl named Marjane who lives through the revolutionary changes in her home country of Iran during the Islamic Revolution. The most interesting part is that the ongoing crisis and corruption is viewed from a child’s perspective despite how complex it is. In a way, the reader grows and learns more about the government and cultural contexts along with the maturing Marjane.

Satrapi does not fail in grasping the reader’s attention and making them feel the rollercoaster of emotions along with the main characters. The series visits very critical and mature topics during the late 1900s that the Iranians/Marjane face. Thus, more mature readers should be able to handle these topics. 

Satrapi’s series is emotional and very moving. The oppression and government conflicts can be seen as a parallel to our world today. Just like Marjane who speaks up against the corruption of her government to maintain her rights, many of us participate in rallies or protests to uphold our values. 

Similar to Marjane who is facing a revolutionary change in her nation, many of us are currently facing a new change in our nation as well. Before Marjane knew it herself, her world changed for the better! Thus, just like Marjane, we must find the will to stay strong, inspire others, and survive. 

Ultimately, Marjane’s spirit and growing perspective of the world around her is inspiring. This series is not only a best-seller but also studied in academic literature courses all over the world as a work in translation. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who is struggling to pick up a book during quarantine or in their free time (ahem, I know that’s some of us). It also opens up your ideas of Iranian culture and Islamic politics during the 1900s. 

I also recommend it for anyone who wants to try a new format of reading: comic-style. The panels are very easy to read and the black and white colors are used in such a captivating way. In fact, I read this entire novel in one sitting. I definitely hope others feel the same way as well. 

-Zohal N. 

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Graphic Novel Review: The Walking Dead, vol. 1, by Robert Kirkman & Tony Moore

walkingdead1This has to be one of the best comics I have ever read, just based on the fact that it’s such a good story. I should say I am a huge fan of the Walking Dead TV series, so finally reading the first comic in the series that started it all made me really excited. I was not disappointed, except for two major story parts: (SPOILERS!) Shane’s death and how it happens, and Laurie’s past before rick comes back.

The story is a very interesting kind of zombie story; a really good way is to call it a soap opera with zombies. The characters work in new ways and show emotion, stress and how life can be in a zombie apocalypse world when you’re not a total commando using every gun possible and ripping through zombies. Part of what got me into The Walking Dead is that they never heard of zombies before this. They are entirely new to this scenario. The title even has one of the biggest changes to the idea of zombies; instead of zombies, they are called walkers, dead heads or biters. Tons of variety and it ads that aspect of confusion and truly can show how little these characters know.

The Walking Dead comic is vastly different than the show, do not expect the same thing from the show because it changes drastically. They didn’t just make a show based on the comic, they took the basic ideas of everything and they changed how it works and added new events along with taking some out. Overall, I think the comic is happier than the show so far.

I love The Walking Dead and in my mind, this lived up to the hype big-time. I give it a 9/10. If you have ever heard your friends talking about it or you ever thought, :Hey that looks cool,” go read it. It will be totally worth it, and frankly I think they are going to keep making this for a long time. So check it out now before it gets to book number 600.

-Cameron S., 12th grade