Cuba My Revolution and Dark Rain are two upcoming Vertigo graphic novels that I read a few weeks ago (preview copies) and am just now getting around to writing about. Dark Rain comes out later this month and Cuba My Revolution arrives in September. Following is my spoiler free impressions of these books:
Cuba My Revolution is written by Inverna Lockpez and illustrated by Dean Haspiel (who illustrated Harvey Pekar's The Quitter and The Alcoholic, written by Jonathan Ames). Cuba My Revolution is set in the late 1950's when Fidel Castro began his rule / reign of Cuba. Essentially, Cuba My Revolution is a thinly veiled semi-autobiography of the writer, Inverna Lockpez, who grew up in Cuba and left in the late 1960's. The characters in Cuba My Revolution have a great intensity that matches the intensity of the political climate of that country and in addition to being a gripping story, is a great primer for what people who lived there during that period had to endure.
Dark Rain A New Orleans Story, written by Mat Johnson and drawn by Simon Gane, is a crime fiction story about a bank heist that takes place amidst Hurricane Katrina. While Dark Rain is a work of fiction, the characters and most of the scenarios seem to capture what I've read and heard about the desperation of New Orleans and the people that lived (and died) during Hurricane Katrina.
Both Cuba My Revolution and Dark Rain are great graphic novel examples of the different kinds of stories that this medium can tell and although the environments these stories take place in are volatile and desperate and maybe not for people that look for their comic book entertainment as escapes from the world's realities, they are also examples of what people are capable of when they are confronted with dire circumstances.
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