Congressman and Civil Rights icon John Lewis (D-Ga.) meets a fan.

It’s not easy standing out among 125,000 costumed sci­-fi, fantasy and comics fans at San Diego Comic Con. But superheroes come in many guises.

This year, Congressman and Civil Rights icon John Lewis (D-Ga.) came to last month’s Con to sign copies of his graphic novel, “March (Book One),” the first in a trilogy, that arrives August 13 from Top Shelf Productions.

At 73, Lewis is the last surviving keynote speaker of the 1963 March on Washington, the site of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this month.

Illustrated by Eisner Award-­winning graphic novel artist Nate Powell, “March (Book One)” tells the story of Lewis’ journey from sharecropper’s son to the battles for civil rights. Which seems like a long way from the San Diego Convention Center ­ but maybe not.

“This is my first ComicCon. It is unreal,” says Lewis. “Everybody’s so wonderful, so gracious. It’s almost like a happening. It reminds me of some of the great marches – from Selma to Montgomery, then the last days of the March on Washington – when people just came together under one banner, one idea.”


Action hero enthusiast at the Con.

Except, the March probably had fewer people dressed as Batman.

“I kept asking, ‘Where’s my hat? My mask?’ I feel somewhat out of place going around with a suit and a tie on.”

But Lewis is one superhero who doesn’t need a costume. His panel was attended by more than 300 people and ended in a standing ovation. The fire marshals nearly shut down his book signings because of the lines.

“Comic­Con is the biggest pop culture event in the world. Anybody who dismisses it as these geeky people with comic books is an idiot,” says Michael Davis, who organizes the Con’s Black Panel, which discusses issues minorities face in the industry. “The fact that he’s here and embracing this audience is phenomenal. He’s not only a role model – he’s living history. And the fact that he would come here – Comic Con – has now jumped to another level.”

Lewis wrote his book with his former press secretary Andrew Aydin, 29, a comic lover who got the idea after Lewis told him about a 1957 comic called “Martin Luther King and The Montgomery Story.” It chronicled the Alabama bus boycotts that inspired subsequent nonviolent civil rights sit­-ins.


The cover of “March (Book One)”

“I was completely enamored with the idea of a comic book having such a major impact of being responsible for social change and of being an inspiration to young people,” says Aydin. “I believe very strongly that comic books can be a force for good.”

Lewis knew he was on the right path even during his first arrest, at 20.

“I felt liberated. I grew up overnight,” he says. “When it was time to protest, I was ready. I became committed to the philosophy of non­violence. Not simply as a technique, or as a tactic, but as a way of life, as a way of living.”

At Comic­Con, you never know who you’ll to run into. This year, Lewis met another black icon ­ astrophysicist and media idol Neil deGrasse Tyson, there promoting his upcoming Fox show “Cosmos.” Tyson’s father had also been part of the civil rights movement in New York .

“I remember your father very well,” Lewis smiles.

Lewis hopes his message will empower a new generation towards inclusion.

“It’s our hope, that young people and people not so young will be inspired by March, and have the courage, the raw courage, to get in the way,” he says. “To get in trouble ­ good trouble ­ and to make some noise.”


A young Comic Con attendee checks out “March.”



Excerpt from “March”

KCRW Radio App TuneIn Stitcher SoundCloud iTunes
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • http://michaeldavisworld.com Michael Davis


  • Jim Chadwick

    An honor to be there, meet the man, shake his hand, buy the book and get his autograph. Definitely a high point of my Comic Con experience.

  • http://www.international-chat.org chatroulette

    Appreciation to my father who informed me concerning this webpage, this web site is genuinely awesome.

  • http://www.bonchat.net/rencontregratuit.html Rencontres

    Bonjour, je trouve votre article très intéressant et très instructif ! merci

  • http://www.tchat-in-love.com/tchatgratuit.html tchat gratuit

    Super post, bon blog j'adore ! merci

  • http://www.chatroulette-gratuit.org/chatroulette.html chatroulette

    c'est exactement l'article que je cherchais merci !

  • http://www.duolove.net/camgratuit.html cam gratuit

    Bravo pour votre blog et bonne continuation !

  • http://www.espace-dialogue.com/tchatch.html tchatche

    Bonjour !
    Votre blog est top et merci de publier des articles aussi intéressant !

  • http://www.tchatter.net/rencontrex.html Rencontres x

    Super article j'adore !

  • http://www.rencontres-coquines.org/femmesnues.html femmes nues

    Bonsoir, merci beaucoup de faire tourner des articles aussi passionnant que celui-ci !

  • http://www.rencontres-infideles.org/echangisme.html Rencontre echangiste

    j'aime beaucoup votre blog je le partagerai ! a+

  • http://www.sexydial.org/espace-video.html films porno

    Félicitation pour votre site et bonne continuation !

  • Awex Ather

    I have found your post to be very rousing and full of good information

    florida house

  • http://easybocamovers.com/ jack paker

    sussed out” to see who they were. Visitors were unwelcome. Paranoia was rife. buy cigar

  • http://easybocamovers.com/ jack paker

    Cupcakes are gorgeous, and all of your photos are just
    stunning. gatwick car parking

  • http://easybocamovers.com/ jack paker

    Your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.gatiwck parking at own risk

  • http://easybocamovers.com/ jack paker

    I wouldn’t have had leftovers for this week, which will be DC’s hottest this summer. blog comments

  • http://easybocamovers.com/ jack paker

    I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. buy cigar

  • http://easybocamovers.com/ jack paker

    Upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. cigar

  • http://easybocamovers.com/ jack paker

    That was very informative and very entertaining for me. e cigar

  • http://easybocamovers.com/ jack paker

    Keep on posting valuable information about this dude! Thank you so much for sharing. seo barcelona