A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge (Josh Neufeld)
Apparently I’m on a graphic novel kick. I was in a bookstore browsing the comics section when I stumbled across A.D. I actually picked it up with a friend of mine in mind (she’s writing her dissertation on Hurrican Katrina narratives), and after texting her and finding out she’s already planning a chapter on the book, I realized I wanted to read it myself.
Even though I was an adult when Hurricane Katrina hit, I’ll admit to being embarrassingly unaware of the events that transpired after the initial disaster. Since I was in California at the time and didn’t have any connections to people even remotely near New Orleans, I think I probably swallowed more of the media’s bs about the aftermath than I’m comfortably admitting. While I’ve tried to be more thorough in my understanding of the situation in recent years, I think this comic is a really great place for anyone to start.
Since the characters in it are not fictional, it’s quite enlightening. It’s also heartwrenching for the same reason — I don’t want you to mistake me and think I’m saying it’s a great thing to analyze without considering the very real lives that are represented by these images and words. Like I said, I think it’s a great place to start if you’re looking to get a more diverse perspective on the events that transpired (and continue to transpire…or not to, as the case may be with the cleanup and revival of the city — and the people who are still left without so many things).
Since it’s a graphic novel, I feel I should also say something about the images themselves. The colors change in each section, which I think is a really interesting technique (especially when you get to the more glaring colors…like the fuscia that dominates the pages at the end) and which I’m sure I could say something intelligent (or at least mildly interesting) about if I studied the text for long enough. In any case, you should give this one a whirl if you have a chance. I’ll be returning my copy to the library soon, even though I just picked it up a couple of hours ago….