Stories of Survival Told Through Graphic Novel: A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge

Nine years ago New Orleans was challenged by Hurricane Katrina.  Many of us remember the news coverage of citizens on roof tops waiting to be rescued, the stories from those huddled with thousands of others riding out the storm in the Superdome, and the haunting images of neighborhoods washed away.

Non-fiction graphic novel A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge portrays what it was like for citizens of New Orleans before, during, shortly after and years after Katrina.  This graphic novel takes on the task of telling true the stories of five individuals who were affected in different ways by the storm.  One stubborn doctor doesn’t think it will be any worse than other hurricanes and refuses to leave.  A store owner stays behind to guard from possible looters.  Each story vividly portrays the thoughts, emotions and reactions these citizens had toward the storm that tried to take their city.  The end of this novel is inspiring and reminds us that those who call New Orleans home met the challenge of Katrina with strong will and a loyal love of “The Big Easy.”

The author of this novel, Josh Neufeld, went down to New Orleans shortly after Katrina to volunteer with the American Red Cross.  Being a comic writer and journalist he took the stories of those he met and turned them into this heart breaking and inspiring graphic novel.

If you are interested in another non-fiction graphic novel similar to this one I would highly recommend Fax from Sarajevo: A Story of Survival.  It tells the story of a family’s struggles during the Bosnian Conflict.

Don’t forget to check out our Graphic Novel Symposium September 18 and 19 (from 10 a.m to 3:30 p.m.) for interesting lectures and fun activities!

The Real Mad Men

Are you a fan of the television show Mad Men? If so, you may be having a hard time coping with the year-long break of the show. Luckily for you, the library has the book The Real Mad Men: The Renegades of Madison Avenue and The Golden Age of Advertising, which offers a look into the lives of the real men and women in advertising during the era known as the Golden Age. Learn more about the Creative Revolution, the history of advertising during that era, and view some actual ads of the time by checking out the book at the library.

If you are interested in learning more about the history of advertising during the Golden Age, you can additionally check out the documentary Art & Copy, which is also available at the library.


Haymarket Square Riot

Today marks the 128th anniversary of Chicago’s Haymarket Square Riot.

Brief summary of events:

  • May 1st, 1886: Many across the country went on strive demanding an eight-hour workday.
  • May 3rd, 1886: Two strikers were killed by police in Chicago.
  • May 4th, 1886: Chicago laborers held a rally in response to the previous day’s events. During the rally, a bomb was thrown towards the police and gunshots followed. By the end of the night, multiple officers and protesters were killed.

Although it is unknown who threw the bomb, several people were put on trial and sentenced to death, found guilty of a bombing conspiracy.

Check out WBEZ’s Curious City website to hear an audiocast related to the historic event, and to read an analysis by professors and historians on how the incident affected Chicago’s culture at the time.

To view a list of library books about the Haymarket Square Riot, click here.

The Irish Built a Canal and Chicago Grew

Most Chicagoans who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day don’t realize the crucial role that Irish immigrants played in Chicago history. One tangible effect of the Irish settlers and their contribution to the growth of Chicago is The Illinois & Michigan Canal. The canal, located in Lemont, is just 10 miles from the MVCC campus. The canal and other historical structures associated with the canal are worth visiting. You may want to get some historical perspective before you visit.

Illinois & Michigan Canal collection at MVCC

Lewis University has a special collection on the I&M Canal

I&M publication

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Do You Love or Hate Christopher Columbus?

Today, kids in schools and government offices are closed in recognition of Christopher Columbus. But over the decades, Columbus’ legacy as a slave master, conqueror, tyrant and brave explorer has been debated. We have a love/hate relationship with Columbus. So, what’s the truth? You can explore a bit about Columbus in our library collection: Books on Columbus.

Also, this radio piece from BackStory explores the background. It is a fun show that hits some of the nuance surrounding Columbus.


So on this episode of BackStory, Peter, Ed, and Brian explore the controversial Columbian legacy, diving into current debates, and looking back on how earlier generations have understood America’s purported discoverer. When and why did Americans begin to revere the Italian explorer? Who has seized on his legacy, and who has contested it?

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