August 1, 2015

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Graphic Nonfiction: Kendra Josie Kirkpatrick Unearths Truths About Egypt

A tip of the cap to comics creator and anthologist Spike Trotman, who brought this wonderful gem to my attention last week. After a few repeats from some of my favorite creators working in nonfiction, I'm delighted to be discovering someone new to me, Kendra Josie Kirkpatrick.

I inherited my mother's love for Egyptology, so anytime there's a chance to talk about Ancient Egypt and its amazing run as one of the most dominant civilizations, I'm so there. Here, Kirkpatrick peels away some of the myths particularly involving a certain popular ex-Ruler:



(It's a great day when you get to use that clip in an article, let me tell you.)*

Seriously, though, Kirkpatrick's comics are great. I'm sure Kate Beaton was an inspiration here (she's clearly the premiere name in comedic looks at true history), but Kirckpatrick's linework is very different. She uses more shading and smaller, denser panels, that give the work a controlled look. There's also a bit more detail in the costumes and a focus on the character's heads rather than a more medium view of the action. We also get narration, making sure that readers understand that what people think about when they think Ancient Egypt is often just plain wrong, no matter how awesome it was as a powerful civilization.**

Here's a sample of Kirkpatrick's comic:



You can read the rest here. I'm really looking forward to more from her, and I highly recommend you check out her main website as well.


*Look carefully and you'll spot a famous bandleader on keyboards.

**True fact: Most people don't understand that the rulers who end up getting played by Hollywood's leading men and women were anything but in terms of looks.