Back in May at BookExpo, Chuck (the editor monkey) was able to pick up a copy of Strange Fruit for me, signed no less! I have been remiss in sharing my great love and admiration for this book. I have said before that to some extent the idea of African-American or Black History is a misnomer as it is really our shared American history. Unfortunately until we pay more attention to that shared history in all the history books there will be a need for wonderful books like this one. In Strange Fruit writer and artist Joel Gill tells the stories of lesser known Black Americans so that we can understand heroes are found everywhere.
The vignettes are fairly short and done in an engaging comic style. This is a perfect book for tweens but those younger and older can appreciate it as well. I know when I finished it I had to go google some of the fascinating people Gill introduced me to. I wanted to know more about them. That is the true gift of this book. It doesn’t try to be complete or all encompassing, all it does is perform some introductions to people you should meet. He gives you just enough about them to make you look elsewhere for more. To me that is the ultimate goal in educational entertainment. This is a must for all libraries, classrooms and homes. It is the perfect way for all of us to start exploring that shared history we have, in new and different ways.
Joel Gill is going to touring this Fall in support of the book. Here are the details of that announcement:
ANNOUNCING FALL 2014 TOUR:
Join graphic novel author and illustrator JOEL GILL on his fall tour in promotion of STRANGE FRUIT: UNCELEBRATED NARRATIVES FROM BLACK HISTORY, VOL. 1
“Strange Fruit is black history as you’ve never seen it before. Working with a striking palette of ruby reds, rich browns, bleached-out blues and deep piney greens, author/artist Joel Christian Gill conjures up forgotten firsts and impassioned everymen in a cartoon style that’s at once cheeky and epic, naive and majestic.” — The Chicago Tribune
– Saturday, 9/27, 9 pm
MADNESS at The Seminary Co-op Bookstore
, 5751 S. Woodlawn Ave. An evening with Ted Rall and Joel Christian Gill. Free and open to the public.
– Monday, 9/29, 6 pm
: Book talk, Q&A, and book signing at A Room of One’s Own
, 315 W. Gorham St. Free and open to the public.
University of Wisconsin – La Crosse – Tuesday, 9/30, 11:30 am, book talk with University students.
– Wednesday, 10/1
– Thursday, 10/2
: Heartland Fall Forum
, the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association & the Great Lakes Independent Bookseller Association’s annual tradeshow.Wednesday
– Authors Luncheon Feast , Thursday
– Fulcrum in-booth signing at 2:30 pm
Digital review copies and hard copies available upon request
How to purchase Strange Fruit: Visit your local independent bookstore, Barnes & Noble, or any online book retailer.
How to order for your bookstore, library or school: contact Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, 800-283-3572
Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History, Volume 1
Words and pictures by Joel Christian Gill
Foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
176 pp, full color, 8 x 10