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Cover image for Malcolm X : a graphic biography
Malcolm X : a graphic biography
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Hill and Wang, 2006.
Physical Description:
102 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Added Author:


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book J 921 X 1 1
Book J 921 X 1 1
Book J 921 X 1 1
Book J GRAPHIC 921 X 1 1

On Order



The age of multitasking needs better narrative history. It must be absolutely factual, immediately accessible, smart, and brilliantly fun. Enter Andrew Helfer, the award-winning graphic-novel editor behind Road to Perdition and The History of Violence , and welcome the launch of a unique line of graphic biographies.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, these graphic biographies qualify as tomes. But if you're among the millions who haven't time for another doorstop of a biography, these books are for you.

With the thoroughly researched and passionately drawn Malcolm X , Helfer and award-winning artist Randy DuBurke capture Malcolm Little's extraordinary transformation from a black youth beaten down by Jim Crow America into Malcolm X, the charismatic, controversial, and doomed national spokesman for the Nation of Islam.

Author Notes

Andrew Helfer , as group editor at DC Comics, launched its Paradox Press imprint and the award-winning Big Books series, and worked on everything from Batman to The History of Violence .

Randy DuBurke 's illustrations have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Mad Magazine, DC and Marvel comics, graphic novels, and science-fiction magazines. He is the winner of the 2004 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award for illustration. He lives in New York.

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 10 Up-This brief novelization opens with a dramatic image of Malcolm posing with a rifle, highlighting the conflict that defined his short life. The story begins shortly before his death, and the sense of tension established by his looming assassination is maintained throughout the book. Those already familiar with Malcolm X's autobiography will find a compelling retelling of his life, and those new to the subject will be introduced to a whirlwind tour of mid-20th-century history through the eyes of an influential figure in the Civil Rights Movement. The defining moments of Malcolm's life are presented here in a condensed format-his upbringing in the Midwest, his rowdy teenage years as a hustler in Boston and Harlem, and his time in prison, leading ultimately to his public life as a member of the Nation of Islam and the Black Muslim movement in the 1960s. The black-and-white illustrations give shape to the figures depicted through the use of shadows and high-contrast silhouettes. Many of the drawings have the quality of photographs that have been repeatedly photocopied until fine details disappear, lending a documentary feel to the imagery.-Heidi Dolamore, San Mateo County Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Helfer and DuBurke tell the story of Malcolm X's short life-his meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the two leaders describing the opposite ideological ends of the fight for civil rights; and his eventual assassination by other members of the Nation of Islam (NOI)-in narration and detailed b&white drawings, sharp as photographs in a newspaper. The portrait is frank and at times unflattering, pointing out the inconsistencies in Malcolm X's own autobiography. From his slow slide into the criminal-moving from hustler to dealer to the head of a ring of thieves for which he was finally sent to prison-to his jailhouse conversion to Islam, Helfer and DuBurke don't shy from any part of their subject's life. Unfortunately, as the story gets into the complicated dynamics within the NOI and Malcolm X's eventual break from the group, the narrative becomes tangled. The same drawings that make Malcolm X's youth so vivid can't portray the political in-fighting with the same clarity, giving instead a glance at the last few years of his life. Nevertheless, Helfer and DuBurke have created an evocative and studied look at not only Malcolm X but the racial conflict that defined and shaped him. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

This stirring graphic-novel-style biography weaves together black history with the personal story of the charismatic leader Malcolm X, whose confrontational approach to white racism was in marked contrast to Martin Luther King's policy of nonviolence. Helfer's text draws heavily on The Autobiography (1965), which Malcolm X wrote with Alex Haley, and DuBurke's realistic art, in black and white, with an average of six frames per page, visualizes the political struggle as well as the inner anger and turmoil. Far from reverential, the account includes chapters on Malcolm X's life as a hustler and his own disturbing racism. Close-up images, all set against a backdrop of the civil rights movement, capture crucial events in Malcolm's life: the teacher who tells him that as a black man he can never be a lawyer, his passionate reading in the prison library, and his conversion to Islam. The book, which is part of the Novel Graphics line, evokes powerful visual drama and brings the big issues close in a way that is sure to interest YAs for biography assignments as well as discussion of the issues. --Hazel Rochman Copyright 2007 Booklist



Malcolm X Text copyright (c) 2006 by Andrew J. Helfer Illustrations copyright (c) 2006 by Randy DuBurke Excerpted from Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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