- Reading level: 11+ years
- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: First Second (17 January 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1596436182
- ISBN-13: 978-1596436183
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 1.7 x 21.9 cm
- Customer Reviews: 19 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,85,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Silence of Our Friends Paperback – 17 January 2012
|Paperback, 17 January 2012||
"…convincingly depicts the systemic racism, blatant and subtle, that suffused and corroded everything during [the] period…[Powell's] imagery amplifies the effects of the book's multiple perspectives―the overwhelmed kid's-eye view of uneasy family dynamics and open Texas spaces, the hyperkinetic chaos on campus, the cropped literalism of TV newscasts." ―The New York Times
"...an engrossing narrative about race in America, while honestly dealing with a host of other real-world issues, including familial relationships, friendship, dependency, "other"-ness, and perhaps most importantly, the search for common ground." ―Publishers Weekly
"A moving evocation of a tipping point in our country's regrettable history of race relations, Long and Demonakos's story flows perfectly in Eisner and Ignatz Award winner Powell's graceful and vivid yet unpretty black-and-gray wash." ―School Library Journal
About the Author
Mark Long is a video game designer and producer living in Seattle. The Silence of Our Friends is based on Long's childhood experiences with the civil rights movement in suburban Houston, Texas.
Jim Demonakos founded Seattle's annual Emerald City Comicon, as well as The Comic Stop chain of retail stores. He has written, edited, and promoted a variety of books for different publishers throughout his career. He lives in the Seattle area.
Nate Powell is an Arkansas native and Eisner Award-winning cartoonist whose works include Swallow Me Whole (an LA Times Book Prize finalist), Any Empire, and (with co-authors Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin) the March trilogy, the final volume of which won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Powell is the first cartoonist to receive this honor. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.
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Top international reviews
I became a resident of Texas some years ago after living much of my life in the Northeast part of the country. This graphic novel is educational and it's entertaining because of the serious and accurate portrayals of society, peer pressure, parental responsibility, and genuine efforts to bridge gaps between people of different ethnicities.
A few things to note about the book: 1 - The overall quality and ending is serious and solemn, but it offers real hope and a resolution that is very satisfying. 2 - The book contains the use of the n-word and some profanity. 3 - The storytelling techniques and the references to Vietnam and the civil rights movement actually make this a story with some layers. It sounds like some reviewers were a little thrown by the subtleties of the story and how it's conveyed in both the words and images. 4 - Also, the size of the paperback is not tiny, but it is of a size that results in a book of artwork that is somewhat compact in terms of individual panels and images. It requires you to occasionally slow down and look closely at the art to understand the details.
I really enjoyed this book, and I hope that many more people who are interested in civil rights, American history, and solid graphic storytelling will discover, read, and share this book. One last thing -- the primary author includes a very nice reflection in prose at the end of the main story. He provides some background on the real events in his life that inspired the story. Great job, Mr. Long, Mr. Powell, and Mr. Demonakos!