I often trawl through the Graphic Novels section of the bookshops, ignoring the super hero stuff, trying to find an interesting gem. The term ‘novel’ does not fit properly because there are so many non-fiction books in the graphic form. Joe Sacco’s journalism is an excellent example of this.
In my book shop search, I came across this work by Kazuki Ebine. It is a biography in manga form covering his life from a shy young boy to non-violent opponent of the British Empire. The formative years as a law student in London and a lawyer fighting for equality in South Africa are also covered.
As the book is a distillation of a long and complex life, it can only provide snapshots of the important events. For example, his time in London (four years of training) is covered in a few pages. The book made me realise the importance of his South African experience, though, in terms of the training ground it proved for his later fight for independence and in terms of his awakening to issues of race and equality. He passes from suited son of the Empire to dhoti wearing irritant over the course of the book.
This is a good introduction to an important life story.