Winning the National Book Award has sent the March trilogy, by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf) zooming on Amazon, jumping from #1,321 to #17.
The individual volumes are all soaring up the sales ranks as well, each leapfrogging over a thousand other titles.
It has also resulted in a glowing NYT book review: “The three volumes of March … aren’t just a record of Lewis’s activism but one of its brilliant examples, designed to help new generations of readers visualize the possibilities of political engagement.”
The review continues, saying the comics are a:
“galvanizing account of [Lewis’s] coming-of-age in the movement, it’s a capsule lesson in courage of conscience, a story that inspires without moralizing or simplifying in hindsight … Emphasizing disruption, decentralization and cooperation over the mythic ascent of heroic leaders, this graphic novel’s presentation of civil rights is startlingly contemporary. Lewis may be one of the “great men” of the movement, but his memoir is humble and generous.”
Collectively the trilogy has received a number of groundbreaking honors:
March: Book One is a Coretta Scott King honor book, a Margaret A. Edwards honor book, an ALA Notable Children’s Book, and is the first graphic novel to win a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. It was also nominated for three Eisner awards.
March: Book Two won the Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work.
March: Book Three won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. This is the first time a graphic novel has been so honored (there have been graphic novel finalists. Raina Telgemeier’s Ghosts, Scholastic/GRAPHIX, was also a finalist this year).
For just a taste of the power of the comics, see our post on the Congressman’s recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.