Authors: Kim Hyun Sook, Ryan Estrada
Artist: Hyung-Ju Ko
Publisher: Iron Circus Comics
Released: May 19th, 2020
I received a copy of Banned Book Club in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Banned Book Club is the story of Kim Hyun Sook and her time in college. It’s a story that was brought to life (once again) with the help of Ryan Estrada and Hyung-Ju Ko. This is a powerful read that you’re not going to want to miss out on.
It’s 1983 in South Korea. Kim Hyun Sook has just started college (despite her mother’s hesitation). She was set to major in literature, and that opened a doorway for her, as one might imagine. Before she knew it, she was embroiled in politics, courtesy of banned books around the country.
Honestly, this true story stands much better on its own than any way I could ever sum it up for you. So read it. It’s a quick but very powerful read, and will provide so much insight into banned books – their dangers and their powers.
Banned Book Club tells the story of one woman – one banned book club – and the way they stood up against a militaristic regime. It’s a poignant story, and one that everyone should take the time to read.
I’ve admittedly only read a few graphic memoirs (something I should rectify), but I can honestly tell you that this would be on my top five list regardless. The message this graphic novel carries cannot be emphasized enough.
I should probably mention that this is a fictionalized version of events. It isn’t completely accurate, as the creative team would be quick to tell you. I don’t think that detracts at all from the message, thankfully. Especially considering one of the reasons the events were told with slight variation is to protect those that experienced them.
No matter how you look at it, whether you’re an expert on the subject or new to the history, this is a graphic memoir worth reading – and remembering.