Thursday, September 16, 2021

Jennifer McGinnis:

Comics as a Second Language

Aya

Aya


Find it on Atomic Avenue

Genre: Drama

Aya is a studious teenage girl living in a small town in the Ivory Coast in the late seventies, and is the witness to a series of events that affects three families, changing them forever.

Her two best friends revel in being young and beautiful, and have entirely different ambitions as Aya, setting her up as a striking example to their behavior. As Aya argues with her family in the hopes she’ll be allowed to study past high school and find a career for herself, her friends go to great lengths to sneak out at night to go to parties and meet with men. When Aya’s father introduces Aya to his boss’s family, he’s pleased that Aya impresses them, and he’s sure that a marriage between Aya and their son, Moussa, can’t be far away, one that would set Aya up as a rich woman. But Moussa has been out partying with Aya’s friends at night, and when one of them ends up pregnant, it may just be Moussa who has to take responsibility and marry her, instead.

Marguerite Abouet writes a lively story, effortlessly weaving in cultural details from a prosperous period in the Ivory Coast’s history. Clément Oubrerie’s vibrant and playful art matches the tone of the story wonderfully, and together Abouet and Oubrerie bring Africa to life for the reader.

Jennifer grew up in an almost-rural part of California and is currently living in the metropolis of Portland. She knows how to fish without bait, find magnetic north, shoot a bow and arrow, and slaughter small animals, but very rarely does any of it.

Jennifer’s favorite comics include PS 238, She-Hulk, Usagi Yojimbo, Fables, and Impulse.

Comics as a Second Language Archive