Exploring diversity in comics

 This month I made a conscious effort to read stories told from outside my own frame of reference, from authors of various ethnic cultures.  I love exploring and learning and with comics, you get the added benefit of art as well.  Here are my 3 titles, and spoiler alert...they are all awesome!

The story begins when the avatar of Death is fired and sent to Earth because a human has found the secret to immortality; so Death is irrelevant.  Death finds the body of Laila Starr and takes it over so that she can find and kill the human who has made her job unnecessary.....but when she finds him as a baby she finds that she cannot kill him.  So, the story continues with her continuing to look for the man, and each time being unable to kill him....but also each time learning more about what it means to be human.  She is slowly learning about life and death and feelings and isn't sure what to do with all of it.  

This book is a remarkable look at life and death through the eyes of someone outside humanity.....someone who is learning what being human means.   

Made in Korea is a SF story which cuts to the heart of being human.  A scientist finds the "missing element" which can give true sentience to AI.  In this unnamed future, fertility is an issue and many parents simply buy artificial children to fill the void.....Jesse, when she arrives though is definitely not like other artificial children.  Unfortunately, even with a brilliant brain, her sentience is still very trusting and naive...which leads to problems.  The programmer takes her back and tries to fix the problem, but the corporation who built her (and employed him) are very interested in figuring out this new development.

This book explores humanity and what it means to be a human as well as how important choice and ownership of one's self is.  Not for young teens as a lot is discussed and happens; but highly recommended to older teens and adults.

Thunderous is a sweet and well told tale featuring a Lakota girl who has moved outside of the reservation.  She is determined to "be like everyone else" and has decided that means leaving her native heritage behind (or at least hiding it).  When an incident on a school trip sends her on a quest through the afterlife, she begins to realize that the teachings from her family and her heritage do have meaning.....and that she really is better off being herself.

This is a simplistic story, but so very well told and sharing some of the mythology of the Lakota.  

Saleena Longmuir, reader/librarian


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