Read Strange Fruit #1 by J.G. Jones Mark Waid Online


It's 1927 in the town of Chatterlee, Mississippi, drowned by heavy rains. The Mississippi River is rising, threatening to break open not only the levees, but also the racial and social divisions of this former plantation town. A fiery messenger from the skies heralds the appearance of a being, one that will rip open the tensions in Chatterlee. Savior, or threat? It dependsIt's 1927 in the town of Chatterlee, Mississippi, drowned by heavy rains. The Mississippi River is rising, threatening to break open not only the levees, but also the racial and social divisions of this former plantation town. A fiery messenger from the skies heralds the appearance of a being, one that will rip open the tensions in Chatterlee. Savior, or threat? It depends on where you stand. Two of the industry's most respected and prolific creators come together for the first time in a deeply personal passion project. J.G. Jones (52, Wanted, Y: The Last Man) and Mark Waid (Irredeemable, Superman: Birthright, Kingdom Come) take on a powerful, beautifully painted story set during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. Strange Fruit is a challenging, provocative examination of the heroic myth confronting the themes of racism, cultural legacy, and human nature through a literary lens, John Steinbeck's classic novel, Of Mice and Men....

Title : Strange Fruit #1
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 25878049
Format Type : Audio Book
Number of Pages : 24 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Strange Fruit #1 Reviews

  • Jennifer
    2019-02-05 02:49

    Warning: This post will probably make people uncomfortable, annoy them, or make them tell me that I'm being overly sensitive or political about race issues. >< So...I was a bit leery of this book, even before picking it up, because, let's be honest, as great of creators as Mark Waid and J.G. Jones are, they're two white dudes writing about racism (against African Americans) in the Depression-era US. I need to do a better search of the internet to see if they provided acceptable responses for why this is such a "personal" project for them that they've always wanted to do. It sounds like Waid wanted to explore the stories he was told about the time period of this series by his parents and grandparents, and re-examine them from a contemporary perspective as an adult. That sounds great, but none of that came through for me in the reading. I ultimately ended up picking it up because I generally trust Mark Waid, and because Jones's panels are stunning paintings with interesting layouts.In spite of the art, this one fell flat for me, not only in the lack of complexity in portraying complex issues (including, but not limited to racism, such as poverty during the Depression, rural life, etc.), which made me cringe due to the fact that several instances in a 24-page story went like this:(1) Blatantly Racist White person says something, possibly using the "N-word"(2) Other white person corrects Blatantly Racist White Person, showing that not all white people are blatantly racist(3) Black person/people stand around watching.I think that Waid was trying to be funny, but the last page provoked a, "Really? You thought that that was a good idea, and you thought that that's something that black people in that situation would say?"Other than it being really annoying that the black characters in this issue don't seem to do or say anything, which might not be particularly amiss, if they were trying to keep their asses from getting lynched and becoming "strange fruit," Waid and Jones don't capture them *thinking* anything, either, in addition to re-enforcing stereotypes about the brutish physicality of black men (which arguably contribute to getting young black men needlessly killed by white police officers).For better or worse, the timing of Strange Fruit's release seems contrived, coinciding with the recent history of killings of young black men and the controversy over the Confederate flag. Even if this wasn't intentional, Waid and Jones have to be at the top of their game, or above it, to make a title like this even bearable. In this time and cultural climate, I feel like it's easier in some ways for an audience to digest blatant racism, because we can pat ourselves on the back and reassure ourselves that we would never lynch anyone; therefore, we're not racist, right? It's *hard* to talk about real racism in all of its complexity and subtlety, and if this title isn't going to do that, I wish that it hadn't been made, even if that sounds harsh :/For those of you who might be thinking, "But that's not fair. Why do a couple of white dudes have to do a better job than black dudes would?" My answer is, "Tough. They should get over it, if this story is supposedly so close to them. Underrepresented groups, including blacks, *habitually* have to do 'better' than the competition to garner the same opportunities, much less the same praise."I hope I'm wrong, and this first issue has all been setup, and Waid and Jones are going to do something masterly to turn everything on its head, but in a four-issue miniseries, I somehow doubt it.Although I'm not nearly as vehement, I'd recommend reading J.A. Michelin's review on Women Write About Comics.

  • Jonathan Maas
    2019-02-20 05:35

    Norman Rockwell meets Superman, meets Something Else EntirelyNote - I believe I got 1-4, so this is a review on the series as a whole. Which is superb.Great art, and a powerful narrative push this tale forward. It’s 1927 – waaaay before Civil Rights, way before Martin Luther King, way before the KKK was considered a bad thing. It’s about to flood in Mississippi, and tensions are high all around.You’ve got the KKK, you’ve got sympathetic whites, and you’ve got the black underclass. The first two need the third to build the levee, because the flood is coming.And then comes a black Colossus from out of nowhere. I’ll leave the rest for you to find out, but know that this is a great tale.The best characters from J.G. Jones and Mark Waid are the most three-dimensional ones, namely the sympathetic senator and his wealthy patroness, and the black engineer who has a plan that might work, but is not without consequences.Great tale – I highly recommend it. And though there is violence, it is kept to moderate levels. I highly recommend it!

  • Nancy
    2019-01-29 07:01

    This review can also be found on my blog: was encouraged to read this book by my trusted Graham Crackers comic book store staff. Their synopsis: what if a black Superman landed in the segregated South during the 1920’s? They have never steered me wrong with my purchases, and I was intrigued at how a superhero origin story could be upended by racism. In fact the title of the book is based off the song made famous by Billie Holiday, Strange Fruit, which is about lynchings and bigotry.This magical realism tale is based off the historical 1927 flooding that affected many towns in the South along rivers. Blacks were disproportionately forced to shore up the crumbling levies, and were the ones whose poor land was most often affected the worst when natural catastrophe hit (as the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans was hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina in 2005). As the threat of disaster looms in this story, and racial tensions are mounting, an explosion occurs nearby. An alien ship has crash landed and out climbs a naked black man, whose ship disappears into the river muck. Mute, he is confused as to why white men dressed in their KKK regalia attack him. Another black man grabs the Confederate Battle Flag they dropped to wrap around our naked hero, who is sometimes referred to as Johnson (this refers to something he needs to cover) or Colossus. This covering courts controversy in town as he heads to the library to gain knowledge about this strange new planet. Just when political, social and racial tensions are reaching their breaking point, the levy also breaks, and his immense strength is utilized to help save the town. There is a rather grim conclusion, with no satisfying hero’s arc or hints of redemption available.The artwork is amazing. Reminiscent of Alex Ross’s artwork in Kingdom Come (that Mark Waid also wrote), JG Jones’s artwork is photo-realism in style, and cinematic in scope. The panels often look like they are painted movie stills, with incredibly realistic looking characters. I am reminded of Dorothea Lange’s photography work of the Depression-era poor when I see how some of the people and community are portrayed, and I’m sure photographs of that time period were utilized for research by the illustrator when creating this story. The hero’s depiction seemed a bit overdone at times, but the underlying sinister legacy of racism came through loud and clear.The narrative turned out to be problematic at times. On my first reading, I thought the story was powerful and thought provoking, and I loved the artwork. But when graphic novels are multi-layered like this one is, I like to read it a second time and ponder the message more deeply, so I can better pull my thoughts together. The two men who wrote and illustrated the story were raised in the South as boys but are white men. So the question is can white men properly depict what blacks experience, since they are not writing from an #ownvoices perspective? I recently took a graduate class on diversity in young adult literature, and that was a topic that came up again and again, as white privilege is a very real issue. The book did have a foreword written by Elvis Mitchell, a black film critic, which helped give it some credibility, and he brought up that this story helps raise awareness of race in comics. Created with the best of intentions, but imperfectly framed at times, I found this book provocative and well worth reading, even if it just raises more questions than it answers.

  • Cristina
    2019-02-14 00:47 fruit é o título de uma das canções mais arrepiantes de sempre. Arrepiante porque na aparente estranheza do título escondem-se horrorosos episódios da história americana. A letra foi escrita por um professor judeu como protesto contra o racismo americano, que na época, dava origem inúmeros linchamentos, referindo-se “frutas estranhas” aos corpos de homens afro-americanos que ficavam pendurados nas árvores. O poema foi adaptado para música com a voz de Billie Holiday. Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees Pastoral scene of the gallant south The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh Then the sudden smell of burning flesh Here is fruit for the crows to pluck For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop Here is a strange and bitter cropCanção emblemática no género, dá título a esta banda desenhada onde se apresenta a mesma época e se demonstra a atitude territorial para com a população de origem africana. O ano escolhido é 1927, ano em que ocorreu uma gigantesca inundação em Mississippi, conhecida como a maior de que há registo. Esta catástrofe desalojou duas centenas de milhar de afro-americanos, que tiveram de permanecer durante muito tempo em campos provisórios. Estas condições precárias foram um forte factor na migração para o Norte do país onde poderiam ter outro tipo de empregos.É sem dúvida uma época conturbada, carregada de tensões, que pede por um herói, alguém que possa aliviar o clima e impor respeito pela população afro-americana – os poucos heróis reais não são suficientes para impedir os linchamentos, as prisões injustas e os maus tratos recorrentes. Com o aproximar de uma catástrofe aumenta a raiva para com os afro-americanos que servem para expiar ansiedades.Assim, do nada, num episódio crítico, surge um homem de pele escura, um colosso mudo mas inteligente, aparentemente apático e resistente às balas que salva um afro-americano de um enforcamento certo. A sua presença é tida como ameaçadora e é perseguido mas sem grande efeito, ou não se revelasse invencível, não agindo a não ser quando se torna necessário salvar alguém.Realçando o clima de tensão e anulado os episódios mais violentos, Strange Fruit demonstra como algumas catástrofes poderiam ser minimizadas com recurso a estudos, destacando o pouco (ou nenhum) acesso que as populações afro-americanas tinham a livros, mesmo nas bibliotecas. Ainda que esta população estive liberta da oficial condição de escravo, estava presa pela falta de cultura e de oportunidades de trabalho, forçados a trabalhos pouco remunerados, vistos com ressentimento, e que causam episódios de raiva e vingança sempre que não seguem as instruções de algum homem branco. Em suma, um bode expiatório perfeito para frustrações.Apesar de não ter gostado totalmente da forma como é usado o herói que se materializa, a história apresenta uma perspectiva próxima das tensões existentes retratando uma estação crítica, o que exacerbou reacções. Do ponto de vista gráfico é interessante e expressivo, realçando emoções e interacções.

  • Jim Angstadt
    2019-02-07 07:36

    Strange Fruit (Hardcover)J.G. Jones, Mark WaidGood graphics and a worthwhile subject. But, a black superman from outer space, who saves the town and plantations from flooding, seems to have no lasting effect on the practices or values of white or black citizens. Maybe there would be less racism if the town had been wiped away.

  • Ran
    2019-02-03 08:02

    Chatterlee, Mississippi 1927: The great river is flooding the area as it overcomes the levees, and a strange visitor crash lands in the persisting mud. The tall alien black man nicknamed Johnson gives hope to the black sharecroppers in the area as the Klan continues to try and run the black labor force out of town, despite the rising water (and their own best interest in getting the community to reinforce the levees together). At first, I didn't know what to make of the art. It has a very washed out feel to it. But then, I suppose, that is entirely intentional because this story is in part about a flood. It also feels a little like overexposed film. Either way, I grew used to it and even came to really enjoy the effect in the story. It is a solid reminder of the injustices of the Jim Crow south, with elements of sci-fi in the colossus Johnson. I enjoyed that the stranger immediately ventured to the public library, despite the race separation of the South (i.e. "whites only"). I'd like a little more about how math is a universal language in this story. I get it. But math includes so many symbols, I'd like a better explanation.

  • Julia
    2019-01-30 01:46

    The story is wack but the illustrations are AMAZING!

  • Chris
    2019-02-09 03:53

    I love how he covers his Johnson. Epic! In all seriousness, this is a gorgeous book.

  • Caryn
    2019-02-03 07:35

    The illustrations were very well done, but the story was just too short to form any real opinions.

  • Vi
    2019-02-01 02:05

    More issues with the rather boring story, but I'm thoroughly amused with the use of the Confederate flag.

  • Collin Doerr-Newton
    2019-02-01 05:44

    Story- 1Illustrations- 5

  • Kiemon
    2019-02-02 03:40

    Great start tonthe series. Interested to see where this one goes.

  • Beerman2000
    2019-02-19 01:59

    Gutsy. Two white dudes tackling a time and place that they ought to know nothing about. But wait...! The art is lush. J.G Jones's paint is a treat to drink in. Waid's setting is strong. 1920s south. A levee will break. All hands NEED to be on deck to tame the Mississippi but townsfolk playing to stereotype will only spell doom. It's suffocating as a reader to follow Sonny, our protagonist, as he dodges his 'employers'. This creates layers foreshadow; death and lynching, isn't it inevitable when those in power hold life as cheap? The promise of a superhero inserted into this book is intoxicating but... impossible! How will Waid pull this off? He's already in hot water because, well, scroll down to the comment section on any race related news article in the US and you'll see what he's up against. However, this guy isn't on Eisner short lists year after year because he can't see a vision through. Hold your judgement until the story is complete. This is one of the best starts to an unbelievable story that has me believing.

  • Adelaide Metzger
    2019-01-26 02:40

    So COOL!!I love anything that has to do with black history--but add a Superman type character in the midst of 1927 tensions and you have something amazing!The art is flat out beautiful. It almost reminds me of Norman Rockwell paintings but on every page.I really hope that this mini-series expands into other arcs so we can explore more of where our Superman character came from and how he may change the lives of those living in Chatterlee, Mississippi.

  • Mark
    2019-02-10 00:59

    This first book in the series was really good. It definitely will leave you wanting to know what is going to happen in the next book. I thought the artwork was well done, too. I felt like the language and images were right on point with the times.I'm eagerly looking forward to the next book. Just a heads up: this is not a book for kids.

  • Bia
    2019-02-01 08:39

    It's kind of like black Superman. Pretty cool but short. I can't seem to find 2-4 unfortunately.Also, beautiful art.

  • Sarah
    2019-02-16 04:44

    I really liked the art. But I'm not too sure about the story yet. I'll give it another issue.