2013 marks the 99th birthday of the famous Fellowship of Reconciliation. Back in 1958 a vibrant 45 year-old FOR published a slim memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in order to tell the incredible story of the now famous Montgomery bus boycott to a wider audience. It was a slim volume, coming in at only sixteen pages. Format chosen? The comic book. That – coupled with the power inherent in the story it contains – makes it as awesome then as it is now.
Called “Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story”, it was originally published in English (and soon afterwards in Spanish). Today the comic has been translated into Vietnamese, Farsi, even Arabic – which allowed it to be read by key members of the recent Arab spring, including Egyptian blogger Dalia Ziada.
The story is told from the perspective of a relatively anonymous black man, a Montgomery resident who participated in the protests, and manages to include in its few pages the majority of those made famous by the protest (Rosa Parks, Dr. King, even Gandhi). In the vibrant colors I still associate with Batman it tells the story of the Gospel as it was lived in one small, southern town between 1955 and ’56 – flaming crosses and firebombings included.
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.