Persepolis 2
Marjane Satrapi
Pantheon, New York, New York (USA), 1st American edition, 2004 (2002)
187 pages

Much has changed in the world of the graphic novel since the days it was referred to simply as comics. It was not so long ago that parents disapproved of their kids reading these stories, and told them to get a "real book". These days though, reading them is considered at least as "OK". So, what changed in between? It certainly would not be very controversial if I said that it was precisely Art Spiegelman's Maus that made the graphic novel acceptable among adults. The fact that it won the Pulitzer Prize back in 1992 undoubtedly contributed to this newly found prestige, but it seems obvious there are other reasons too: the success of the comic among so many young people in the 1960s (yes, the same young generation that later became adult and still refused to let go off their comics and rock music, not to talk about the drugs), a more open minded public willing to try new things, the influence of pop culture and, last but not least, a significant change in the issues treated in these works. Let us be clear, Spiegelman's Maus is no Superman. As a matter of fact, it is clearly unlike any of the popular Marvel Comics. There are plenty of people out there who hate the graphic novel label but it was necessary to find out a term to differentiate these more serious, deeper, more literary works, from the good old comics. This is precisely the context in which one must see Marjane Satrapi's work.

Entertainment factor: 8/10
Intellectual factor: 6/10