9-11: Artists Respond, Vol. 1

9-119-11: Artists Respond, Volume 1 Will Eisner
Published: 2002
Pages: 196

This is probably not a book I would have picked up on my own accord – or rather, it’s not one that I would have gone looking for, but I was talking to my friend Denise, a fellow 00English teacher, about how she would like to use some of the images in the classroom and I was intrigued.

I’m not terribly (okay at all) politically minded and was a little concerned that the collection of comics contained within this volume would be more politically charged than I was prepared to deal with (particularly since this was on the top of the pile for my holiday reading). I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that the large majority of the comics and images – in fact nearly all of them, focused on the stories of individuals and their experiences. There were quite a few images that had me transfixed – by both the beautiful imagery and the message it contained, and there were even those that had me in tears.

The artistic style employed throughout this collection was extremely diverse, and I would have to say this was a large part of its appeal and, what’s more, one of its biggest strengths. With its large number of contributing artists, many of the submissions are shorter, one page images or strips being the norm and the occasional double or three page spread appearing throughout. I can certainly see what my friend was talking about regarding using it in the classroom, but it made for an intriguing personal read also. I highly recommend it, and will be tackling the second volume next.

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