Thoughts of the Graphic Sort

A place where I can discuss my addiction to graphic novels.

Posts Tagged ‘Satrapi

Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi

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Satrapi returns to her graphic novel memoir with a tour de force of sex, drugs, teenage rebellion, and identity crises.  Marjane is now a teenager and in Vienna to attend high school.  Although she has left the horrors of revolution behind in Iran, she now has the horrors of adolescence to deal with.  Feeling like an outsider no matter where she goes, Marjane attempts to fit in only to feel like she is betraying her heritage, her religion, and her mother.  Heavy stuff for a teenager alone in a foreign land.

I loved teenage Marjane.  She is troubled, misunderstood, wanting to do the right thing but also wanting to fit in (rarely are these two wants the same when you are a teenager), and lonely.  She is exactly like every other teenager in the world and that is Satrapi’s gift.  She has created a complex, emotional bildungsroman that everyone can relate to and yet still find Marjane’s journey into adulthood interesting and unique.

For me, Persepolis 2 surpasses volume 1 in terms of story telling and narrative arc.  Instead of experiencing the world through the stories of those around her, Marjane is thrust out into the world on her own and she has to find something to hold onto to survive.  As she slowly becomes accustomed to certain aspects of Western culture, she realizes she is an outsider at home and abroad.

The novel follows Marjane for a decade as she progresses from adolescence to adulthood.  Through it all, she continues to struggle with being part of a culture that refuses to acknowledge her basic human rights simply because she is a woman.  But in the end, Marjane stays true to herself and becomes and inspiration for girls everywhere.


Written by JP Weezey

March 19, 2012 at 8:00 am

Posted in Review

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Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

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Precocious children walk a fine line between endearing and annoying.  That precocious boy from Jerry McGuire?  Annoying.  Hit-Girl from the graphic novel Kick-Ass and movie of the same name?  All kinds of awesome.  But Hit-Girl is one of only a few precocious children who didn’t make me cringe after every sentence she uttered.

The annoyingness level of precociousness is subjective, and I admit I have a low-tolerance for precocious children, but I was completely annoyed by the child Marjane.  I felt Satrapi tried too hard to make her quirky and she just ended up being irritating.

But that’s not to say I didn’t like Persepolis.  In fact, I rather enjoyed the novel, and once the story moved from Marjane and began focusing more on the world and lives of those around her, I was really drawn in.  Satrapi’s skill lies in explaining complex histories succinctly without making it feel like you’re reading a history book.  Marjane grows up amidst a revolution and turmoils that have been brewing for decades, and we learn about what’s going on in Iran through conversations with her family, friends, and constant protests in the streets.

Check out the artwork:

I love how she uses the monochrome palette to her advantage by effectively filling panels with deep blacks and stark whites.  She has a simple, clean drawing style which really keeps the story flowing.

Persepolis took a while to grow on me but when it did, I was glad I stuck with it.  Satrapi does a great job of bringing a land in the midst of a revolution to life for those who live in a world where torture and bombings are just vague ideas.

Written by JP Weezey

March 16, 2012 at 8:00 am

Posted in Review

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