An image from "March," the graphic novel by Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia).
ATLANTA, GA-- With nearly a half century of hindsight, the images are very familiar: The 1965 Selma, Alabama march known as Bloody Sunday was a civil rights movement turning point.
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One of its leaders, John Lewis, became a politician, then an elder statesman. And the story, though still relevant, often seemed as dated as that grainy black and white film of marchers on the Edmund Pettus bridge.
So Rep. Lewis (D-Georgia) has freshened up the images and the story. The result is a graphic novel, called March. Andrew Aydin, a Lovett School graduate who now works on Lewis's staff, is a co-author. Lewis credits Aydin with hatching the idea.
"We have told the story in many ways to many different audiences," Lewis said. "But this is an attempt to reach hundreds, thousands, and millions of young people. And people not so young."
The graphic novel starts with Bloody Sunday -- with images of Lewis and Hosea Williams facing a phalanx of troopers, ordered by Alabama Gov. George Wallace to stop the march.
Lewis was beaten unconscious and 17 marchers were hospitalized according to Wikipedia. The story, Lewis told us while en route to San Diego ComicCon, lends itself to a medium that thrives on graphic images and action.
"It's not just words. It's illustrations. It's drawings. It's action. It's drama," Lewis said. "And we hope that young people will be able, by reading this book, will be able to feel, to almost taste what happened."
Though it starts with Bloody Sunday, Lewis's graphic novel spans the story of the civil rights movement-- and his own service in Congress. Lewis is due to speak at ComicCon Saturday, and will sign copies of March there through Sunday. March goes on sale in August.