I’ve been a fan of Nate Powell for a long time.
I first encountered his work more than a decade ago when I worked as an assistant editor at Dark Horse Comics. Nate sent in samples of his work to see if we’d publish him, and I championed his intense, beautifully-drawn comics. Nothing came of that, unfortunately, but it didn’t seem to hurt Nate too badly. He went on to receive a grant from Shakespeare and company Books to self-publish his first comics series, Walkie-Talkie. Tiny Giants and the Ignatz-Award-winning Swallow Me Whole came followed from Soft Skull Press and Top Shelf respectively. So, yeah, he dealt with the rejection well.
Now Nate is involved in a book that’s garnering a lot of well-deserved attention. March (Top Shelf Productions) is co-written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, and drawn by Nate Powell. The book tells the story of John Lewis’s life. Lewis, a congressman from Georgia, was instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement – he served as the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He grew up the son of a sharecropper and worked alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. The book tells the story of a turbulent and important time in American history.
As well as being reviewed by a number of newspapers, March has also been featured on NPR. (http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/08/31/216884526/graphic-novel-depicts-john-lewis-march-toward-justice) Follow that link for a sample of Nate’s art.
March is the first of three volumes that, when completed, will tell one of the most important stories ever attempted by the comics medium. It’s a book I planned to read anyway, but I’m especially excited because it includes the contribution of someone I’ve watched for so long.