I am Gandhi: A Graphic Biography of a Hero
By Brad Meltzer, Illustrated by 25 Acclaimed Artists
Publisher: Dial Books
64 pages, paperback
$8.99 on Amazon
If you are a regular reader of my book reviews, you know how much I love the Ordinary People Change the World Series. Now author Brad Meltzer along with 25 amazing comic book illustrators have brought us, I am Gandhi: A Graphic Biography of a Hero. Through it's graphic novel form the book tells you the story of Gandhi from childhood to his revolutionary mission of freeing the Indian people from British rule and his mantra of "Satyagraha" (Truth Force) to teach compassion, love and peace to everyone.
One of the reasons I love children's books so much is for the art of it all. I adore children's book illustrations and it's amazing that for this book 25 artists donated their time so that the proceeds from this book will go to Seeds of Peace, an organization that continues Gandhi's mission of teaching new generations of global leaders in communities positive leadership development to create change both personal and wider societal change. It was fun to see various styles of art on each page which surprisingly still allowed the story to flow perfectly. The illustrators for this book are: Art Adams, John Cassaday, Jim Cheung, Amanda Connor, Carlos D'Anda, Michael Gaydos, Gene Ha, Stephanie Hans, Bryan Hitch, Phil Jimenez, Siddharth Kotian, David LaFuente, David Mack, Alex Maleev, Francis Manapul, David Marquez, Steve McNiven, Rags Morales, Saumin Patel, Nate Powell, Stephane Roux, Marco Rudy, Kamome Shirahama, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Abhishek Singh.
Today I am going to spotlight a female comic book artist Amanda Conner (DC Comics bio) who illustrated the page pictured above. I grew up going to comic book stores in Berkeley with my dad on the weekends as a kid. We would be there for hours and I would read anything from Archie and Casper to all the Superhero ones I could get my hands on. I don't think as a young girl I ever realized that a comic book illustrator could be a woman. Conner wears many hats from colorist, penciller, inker to writer. She currently works on the Harley Quinn series by DC Comics and is known for her work on Power Girl. When I read her bio on Wikipedia I found out that she started her career in the late 1980s for Archie Comics. Hello?!! One of my favorite comics as a kid. I couldn't believe it!
I love getting a behind the scenes peek into how people work. Here's an excerpt from interviews on Conner's techniques and materials:
While reading each page of a script, Conner does tiny thumbnail sketches with stick figures corresponding to the story indicated on each page, in order to help her design the page's layout. She then does tighter, more elaborate sketches, though still fairly small compared with the finished artwork, approximately 4" x 6", and then blows those up on a photocopier to the proper original comic art size, which is 10 inches x 15 inches. She then uses "very tight pencils" to light-box it onto Bristol board, if she intends to have it inked by her husband and collaborator, Jimmy Palmiotti, but will do the pencils "lighter and looser" if she intends to ink it herself, as she already knows how she wants the artwork rendered.
Conner has stated that her favorite things to draw are facial expressions and body language.
I am Gandhi: A Graphic Biography of a Hero. is such a special book to read. It is so visually satisfying with the artistry of the 25 featured illustraotrs and the biography of Gandhi's life is truly inspiring. A must read for any kid!
Purchase I am Gandhi: A Graphic Biography of a Hero on Amazon.
Visit the other blogs participating in the I am Gandhi Blog Tour!
April 30 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – Review
May 1 – Pink Polka Dots Books – Child + Adult Review
May 2 – Four Violet Reviews – Creative
May 4 – Gravity Bread – Review + Highlights from different moments in his life.
May 7 – Pirates and Pixie Dust – Book Review
May 8 – InRandom – Review + Moments from the Book
May 9 – How Useful It Is – Review
May 10 – Payne Lover Reviews – Book Spotlight + Important facts about Gandhi’s Life