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Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Reader's Diary #2153 - Vivek Shraya (story), Ness Lee (art): Death Threat

 

Vivek Shraya's graphic memoir, Death Threat details her  ordeal with a series of emails from a deranged and hateful individual named Nain who took issue with her existence as a trans-gendered woman

Nain's exchanges are inconsistent, often incoherent, and out of touch with reality. Clearly not everyone with mental illness is dangerous, but when it's combined with such a level of hatred, Vivek's fear is certainly understandable. Worst than that, it takes a toll on her physically and emotionally. She has trouble sleeping, she begins to doubt her parents and friends. 

Before too long, fortunately, she had the idea to turn the experience into a comic book nad this not only proved cathartic but also took her power back. This seemed to let the wind out of Nain's proverbial sails and the emails stopped. (At least by the end of this book, I'm curious if there's been any word since.) The book therefore is mercifully short, but it's nonetheless powerful and I don't think anyone would be left with the impression that every transgendered individual stops violence against themselves that easily. 

Adding to Vivek's story is Ness Lee's highly creative and stylized art which takes a lot of figurative risks that pay off and enhance the emotion. 

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