Published by Bluewater Comics
Writers: Clay & Susan Griffith
Penciler: Pablo Martinena
Colorist: Kirtsy Swan
Letterer: Jaymes Reed
Graphics: Darren G. Davis
The Nelson Mandela tribute is a very good example of how comics can be instrumental in bringing diversity to the classroom. This comic book in particular is the ideal way to motivate students in gaining knowledge about otherwise boring subjects like history.
Here we have a short biography of Nelson Mandela, and what he stood for, narrated from the point of view of his mentors and role models. Some are dead whilst some are alive but the focus is entirely on Mandela and his struggle to give South Africa to the natives. I, myself, only knew quite little about him as a man so I found myself learning a lot from this simple issue. The story is narrated during South Africa’s Inauguration day of 1994. His very first mentor, a Chief of the region starts telling the story of young Mandela from his humble beginnings as a boy living a happy life with many dreams. The story then goes into some details of how South Africa came to be under the British rule. Along the way we meet other important people in Mandela’s life and how they help him become the man he is today.
The story has a natural flow to it that makes the reader sympathies with the hardships Mandel faced during his life. It also makes you understand the unjust treatment of South Africans during the colony periods.
When writing a tribute or a biography, one must present the facts but also keep the reader invested in the narration. Here Clay and Susan Griffith do just that by giving us the perspective of Nelson’s ancestors and mentors whom sometimes give their own opinion about Mandela’s actions. I found the art to be quite pleasing and would like to see more tributes like this.
As I said in the beginning, such titles make important subjects accessible to people especially children who would never dream of reading about it. Titles like these should be made available in schools and libraries or used by educators as tools to further tease the interests of students or even suggest further readings about the matter.