Books: A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge

Josh Neufeld’s Crumb-like re-creation of post-Katrina New Orleanian lives stands out for its personal touch.

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Among the many Katrina-themed books that have emerged in the four years since the hurricane, this character-driven graphic novel stands out for its personal touch. Neufeld weaves together the stories of a diverse bunch of real-life New Orleanians: A convenience store owner spends a bug-infested night on the roof of his flooded market, an African American family endures chaos at the convention center, a doctor keeps the horror at arm’s length from his French Quarter digs, and an artsy young couple flee to Houston and come back to find they’ve lost everything, including a treasured comic book collection. A.D. avoids politics; its real power is in its images of waterlogged cityscapes and its characters’ expressively rendered faces, streaming with sweat and contorted in anguish. In Crumb-like detail, Neufeld convincingly re-creates his protagonists’ ordeals—and their halting recovery. As one tells the cartoonist, “We’re not all home yet.”

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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