Nate Powell

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Photo courtesy of Nate Powell

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Cartoonist and 2016 National Book Award winner

Cartoonist Nate Powell is the 2016 National Book Award co-winner for Young People’s Literature. He shared the prize with Rep John Lewis and Andrew Aydin for the graphic memoir/history March. March is a trilogy, and it tells the story of the Civil Rights movement through the eyes of Congressman John Lewis. From a very young age, John Lewis was involved in the fight for racial equality through non-violent action. As one of the leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis was present at pivotal moments in the struggle for civil rights, including lunch-counter sit-ins, freedom rides, Mississippi Freedom Summer and the March across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. In this week’s podcast, Nate Powell talks about how he captured those moments in cartoons, the challenges of representing figures who well-known like Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr. and how he grappled with portraying the horrifying violence endured by protestors in a medium so often occupied with super-heroes and super-villains. Nate is thoughtful, smart, and in love with cartooning. I learned a lot.