Bob Marley in Comics, written by Gaet’s with art by Sophie Blitman, is the newest addition to NBM’s biographical graphic novel series. Similar to their previous publication, The Rolling Stones in Comics, Gaet’s details the life and death of the Jamaican musician and his impact in the world of music and world peace. Along with the singer’s biography, short comics depict important moments in Marley’s life, adding visuals to his story.
Born in Jamaica to an English army captain and a black woman; Robert Nesta Marley found music as an escape from the poor neighborhood he lived in. He found friendship with other musical youths, writing music and practicing different beats until his group was finally discovered. As the years go by, Marley finds success the world over with his rebellious, yet peaceful lyrics, his Rastafarian lifestyle, his messages of freedom, and his sexual exploits. For each moment of his life there is a short comic that accompanies it. In addition, readers are treated to a short introduction on the Rastafarian movement and the politics of Jamaica during the 1970s. The book ends with a listing of his studio albums and additional resources for the reader to explore.
This book is not just for Bob Marley fans, but for anyone who want to know more about the musician. Gaet’s and Blitman take readers into Jamaican society, from the slums in Kingston to the birth of reggae, and it’s impact Marley’s life. A variety of comic book artists (including Clement Baloup, Simon Leturgie, Domas, Sarah Williamson, and others) give life to these musical moments, adding visuals with their own comic techniques and color palates. Thanks to artist Efix, readers are introduced to the Rastafarian movement with a ganja smoking Rasta, who speaks directly to the audience while pencil drawn pictures of political figures and the Jamaican landscape are shown in the background. The attempted assassination of Marley, which is illustrated by Moh, is shown using alternating scenes between the attempt and a possible prophetic dream that one band member may have had. Towards the end, readers are given a chance to witness his state funeral, possession and all, with Gil’s soft colors and expansive scenes of mourners. All together the book celebrates Marley’s career, from his humble beginnings to his untimely death.
Bob Marley in Comics will be enjoyed by older music fans and those who have enjoyed the book series “in comics”, from the publishing company NBM Graphic Novels. The variety of artwork will intrigue readers and give them a glimpse into his life and career. It is a great addition to any public library’s graphic novel and biography collection.
Bob Marley in Comics
Art by Sophie Blitman
NBM Graphic Novels, 2019
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NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+)
Character Traits: Multiracial