Thursday, October 02, 2008

Graphic Bio of J. Edgar Hoover

This is one of those moments when I feel like my grandmother, shaking my head and muttering, "What will they think of next?"

Graphic biographies. Their time has come.

Not talking about bios with graphic violence, but about the graphic novel. Publishers Weekly has reviewed Rick Geary's 112-page graphic bio of J. Edgar Hoover on its blog "THE BEAT", which is all about comics. I guess I just never thought of J. Edgar Hoover's life as lending itself to comics or graphic novels . . . nor of a psychological bio (according to reviews) that is largely presented in pictures.

The Biographer's Craft points out that " Of course, Geary is not the first to come out with a graphic biography. Capstone Press has a whole line of them. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux has published graphic biographies on Malcolm X and Ronald Reagan, both by Andrew Helfer (with different illustrators). On the whole, however, these works have been intended for young audiences. "

This cover image is from Amazon, and you can see a large version here. I wonder if artistic renderings are subject to the same laws and nonfiction text would be? Just musing here, but the idea that a picture might misrepresent something--could the illustrator be sued, as a writer might be?

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