King: A Comics Biography by Ho Che Anderson

King. Um, I guess I can see why some people would dislike King. If you’re a graphic novel (GN) fan, you probably would pick the book up with certain expectations that might not be met upon reading it. For example, a friend of mine who stopped reading it after the first 3 chapters, thought it would be more fictionalized and filled with images of King’s enemies plotting against him in preparation for attacks on his character and his person. In actuality, the GN focuses pretty much on what we already know about King and the historical events that surrounded him.

The other reader who might be disappointed is the person who cherishes an iconic image of Dr. King. That person might close the book within the first few pages when they eavesdrop, looking over Dr. King’s shoulder as he talks to Coretta in one panel and then in another he turns around and is greeted affectionately by a woman who isn’t his wife. Anderson disrupts the national narrative about Dr. King and challenges readers to look at a larger version of the man, complete with flaws. Though targeted to young adults, I’d recommend that teachers think about Kolhberg’s levels of moral development before recommending (or teaching) this book.