Louis Riel, A Comic Strip Biography

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louis_riel.jpgAlthough this Canadian graphic novel has been in print for several years, it is now more easily available through a US distributor and so I want to bring it to the attention of The ircle’s readers. I happen to love graphic novels. If you aren’t yet convinced they are a tremendous art form, this is the one o begin with!

This biography does the trick of sorting out the historical complexity of Riel’s actions and those of his compatriots. Chester Brown’s drawings are dramatic, lively, sometimes droll, sometimes heart wrenching. He does a good job of bringing out parts of the Louis Riel story that are murky and mysterious (his mental state, his fatal sense of fair play when fighting a ruthless enemy). This is a great read for any age, but especially for young people who don’t know how really

fascinating this piece of Native history is, and might not read Strange Empire, for instance, by Joseph Kinsey Howard. This book is a gift. It is a serious history that goes down easy. It is so complicated, yet so engaging that you will want to read it again and again. – Review by Louise Erdrich