Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Reader's Diary #1710- Thi Bui: The Best We Could Do

One of the most shocking things about Thi Bui's The Best We Could Do is that is her first graphic novel. It's absolutely beautiful. Stunning. The linework, the watercolours, the unique angles and paneling, the connection to the text. It's flawless. And, as a credit to her respect for the medium, she writes in the preface that she told this story as a comic as she wanted to "present history in a way that is human and relatable and not oversimplified." It's that last one that jumps out at me as many non-comics readers suggest that comics are simpler. That fact that Bui gets it shines through in every page.

Here is a complex story of Vietnamese and familial history, of an immigrant experience, paternal legacies and insecurities, of self-discovery through others. It's touching, frustrating, funny (not hysterical), and enlightening.

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