‘The Vanni’ by Benjamin Dix

‘The Vanni’ is a graphic novel set in Sri Lanka, India and the UK and follows the story of a fictional Tamil family living in a fishing village in Sri Lanka. The story starts in 2004 following the Tsunami and takes us through to the following conflict and then life for the family surviving as refugees.

The concept comes from Bejamin Dix, a former UN staff member who spent 4 years living in Sri Lanka until 2008 when all NGO’s were asked to leave Sri Lanka. He has teamed up with illustrator Lindsay Pollack. The story and images are based on his real life experiences of living and working with communities after the Tsunami and as refugees.

The graphic novel is still in production, but you can see an interactive preview on their website.

http://www.thevanni.co.uk/

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‘Are You My Mother’ by Alison Bechdel

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In this reflective, self-referential lesson in psychoanalysis, Bechdel sketches out every inch of her conscious and subconscious. She includes immaculately drawn extracts from Winnicot, Freud and Virginia Woolf, cross referencing and applying them to some complicated relationships with the women in her life.  It is impossible not to relate to this brutally honest memoir. It is even more impossible not to devour it in one sitting.

If you’re a graphic novel novice like I was, reading this will have you forever veering towards the comics section of your bookshop.
There are freshly signed copies at Gosh Comics, Soho, London.

See all things Alison Bechdel at http://dykestowatchoutfor.com/

Article on ‘Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes’ by Mary Talbot, illustrated by Bryan Talbot

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Happy New Year Readers! We have a new category for the blog featuring graphic novels and comics – all exploring real life stories or subjects. Our first post is about the award winning autobiographical graphic novel written and illustrated by a husband and wife team. Article  below:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jan/02/costa-awards-graphic-novel-biography

‘Wham! Bam! Islam!’ by Isaac Solotaroff

A live action documentary which follows the creation of Muslim comic book heroes and uses animated sequences to bring the characters to life.

“WHAM! BAM! ISLAM! tells the story of Naif Al-Mutawa and his venture to create the first team of superheroes from the Muslim world called THE 99. Following the tumultuous journey of THE 99 from concept to reality, from acclaim to censure, from the edge of bankruptcy to a multi-million dollar animation series, Al-Mutawa dodges cultural minefields and confronts the harsh realities of the global marketplace in pursuit of his vision to bring new heroes to children around the world.”

You can watch clips on the film’ website: http://whambamislam.com and download the film from iTunes’ US store here.

‘Persepolis’ by Marjane Satrapi

Here at animated documentary.com we were debating if Persepolis is an animated documentary or not  …what are your thoughts?

Persepolis is the poignant story of a young girl in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is through the eyes of precocious and outspoken nine year old Marjane that we see a people’s hopes dashed as fundamentalists take power – forcing the veil on women and imprisoning thousands. Clever and fearless, she outsmarts the “social guardians” and discovers punk, ABBA and Iron Maiden. Yet when her uncle is senselessly executed and as bombs fall around Tehran in the Iran/Iraq war, the daily fear that permeates life in Iran is palpable.

Trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ22VyjJ6n8

Badger animated documentary

Filmmakers Annie Kwan and Helen Omand have been working on a short animated documentary about the work of Howard Hardiman and his self published series of comics –  the world of Badger. The project is a work in progress you can find out more and watch the trailer here:

http://forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/2012/badger-animated-documentary/