Persepolis is a fairly recent graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi. It's actually an autobiography about her childhood growing up in Iran. The author is in her thirties now, and living in France, so the book comes out of the French/Belgian bande dessinée tradition that Tintin was born from. The "clear line" style is slightly apparent, but what stands out most of all is the european comics continuing tradition of creating comics that go beyond the stereotypes and fandom that usually go along with the art form, and create distinctly powerful stories. The perspective througout the book is revealing and fascinating. In a time where the middle east is constantly on the mind, Persepolis takes you into the head of a girl growing up in that culture during the Islamic Revolution; surrounded by torture, war, and "purges", but most of the time just trying to find ways to smuggle tapes of American rock into her room. The ordinariness of the situation is wonderful, in how it humanizes the Muslim population, and contrasts more strongly with the real moments of terror. There are some intense and mature themes in the book, so I wouldn't recomend it for young kids, but adults would most likely get alot out of it. She has written a sequel, about how her escape to France, but I didn't kind it nearly as interesting. What really captured my attention lately, was that Sony Pictures is developing the first book into a movie, apparently using an animation process that mimics the books stark illustrations. I always get excited when people experiment with animation, so I'll be keeping my eye on it.


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