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I am Gandhi: A Graphic Biography of a Hero

Review

I am Gandhi: A Graphic Biography of a Hero

written by Brad Meltzer with illustrations by David Mack, John Cassaday, Nate Powell, Bryan Hitch

I AM GANDHI is a recent retelling of Mohatma Gandhi’s life written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by 25 different popular artists. Now is a fantastic time for this book, both in respect to current events and acknowledging that we have not seen Gandhi in popular media for many years. Persons in their early and mid-teens may never have even come across Gandhi and the historical context of his life, yet.

The art in the book is fantastic. There are 25 artists, including many household names such as Bryan Hitch, Alex Maleev, Nate Powell and Amanda Conner among others. Each of the 25 artists does one or two pages of a script that continues throughout all the different pages. While it’s amazing to get such a star studded cast to visualize the book, it can get a bit jarring seeing an ENTIRELY different style on every…single…page.

"I AM GANDHI is a great introduction into the life of one of the most import men of the 20th century. It’s a beautiful book that gives us a succinct understanding of Gandhi’s life and his message."

Firstly, the art is gorgeous. Meltzer does a fantastic job of getting well-known talent in this book. That said, changing the artist every one or two pages can be difficult to follow. The upside to having so much great talent is that to book looks great, but the downside is every page is wildly different. However, reading the afterword reveals that each artist donated their work with proceeds going to “Seeds of Peace, an organization that embodies Gandhi’s mission.” With that knowledge, the drastic art changes become a lot more palatable.

Meltzer does a good job with hitting the broad strokes of Gandhi’s life. Each page or couple of pages from a particular artist lines up with a beat from Gandhi’s life. This format, however, makes sure we never get too deep into historical events, which can be a little disappointing. Meltzer’s prose can also seem a bit more juvenile than necessary at times with a few catch phrases being thrown around. The timeline at the end provides extra clarity about events and the sources pages suggests other media where a curious reader can find more information.

I AM GANDHI is a great introduction into the life of one of the most import men of the 20th century. It’s a beautiful book that gives us a succinct understanding of Gandhi’s life and his message. It is also a great way to whet the appetite of anyone interested in doing further research.

Reviewed by Michael Lee Harris on May 29, 2018

I am Gandhi: A Graphic Biography of a Hero
written by Brad Meltzer with illustrations by David Mack, John Cassaday, Nate Powell, Bryan Hitch