Comics of Rescue, Survival and Sacrifice in China

The earthquake in Sichuan, China last month has left thousands upon thousands of people dead, tens of thousands, largely because of poorly built government facilities, schools that buried children alive, leaving parents grief-stricken and angry.

Coco Wang has collected stories from the wreckage, from the desperate attempts to recover survivors, to reclaim the dead; and has turned these stories into a powerful series of comics called 5.12: Earthquake Strips. Wang’s technique is direct, iconographic, and deceptively simple, and uses a muted color palette that deviates only for the color of blood.

Cara at Feministe echoes my own reaction to this moving piece of work:

It’s a very difficult read. Many stories are inspiring, but they’re just as often unbearably tragic — though actually, there are a few funny strips towards the end. The sixth comic “My Father is a Hero” had me crying like a baby.

But, at least in the U.S., these are stories that we aren’t hearing. And they deserve to be heard. Also, Wang’s illustration and retelling of the events amounts to a wonderful tribute.

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