Just in time for Black History Month, Top Shelf Productions has announced a project of truly historical proportions. In 2012, the indie comic book publisher will be publishing “March,” a graphic novel memoir penned by U.S. Representative John Lewis of Georgia. The partnership marks the first time that a sitting member of the House of Representatives has penned a comic book. It’s the best news for fans of comic book/government crossovers since Senator Patrick Leahy’s introduction for the “Green Arrow: Archer’s Quest” collection.
Cowritten with Andrew Aydin, “March” will explore the Civil Rights Movement in America through the lens of Lewis’ firsthand experiences. As Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1963 to 1966, Lewis was front-and-center during one of the most turbulent times in America’s history. In a statement, Congressman Lewis said:
“I am very pleased to be participating in this effort. This is something I really wanted to do some years ago and there is no better time to do it than now. It is not just a story of struggle; it is a story of involvement. It shows the ups, the downs, the ins and the outs of a movement."
The news comes at an interesting time for Top Shelf, which has recently been named the only comic book publisher to be certified by the House Committee on Standards. Publisher Chris Staros said of the collaboration, “As a proud resident of Georgia, and a long-time fan of the honorable Congressman, this is truly a deep honor. To bring, not only his life’s story, but that of the Civil Rights Movement to the comics medium is truly exciting.”