Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey

GB Tran, born and raised in South Carolina, wanted to better understand his parents, his father’s remoteness and his mother’s willingness to stay in a marriage that was at times fractious. To do this he needed to understand their past in Vietnam, the war torn country from which they fled in 1975. He needed to know more about them growing up within that conflict, their families and friends, and what it felt like to start new in their adopted land the USA but hold onto family in the old country.

The result of his research is Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey, a complex look at his family, where they’ve come from and where they are today. It also highlights GB’s own growth and understanding as a young man, the importance of knowing self by seeing the roots from which you’re sprung. Check out page 26, one of my favorites in the book, overlaying the faces of GB, and his father and mother, a powerful reminder that each generation leaves its stamp on the next.

Vietnamerica blends memoir, theme, narrative, and art together to create a deeply compelling graphic novel.


LOVE this graphic novel. Met GB at MOCCA-con (Museum of Comic, Cartoon Art or something like that) and at the Brooklyn Bookfest, and came away feeling that he's a master of this medium, a rising star with a serious bent who understands how to tell stories in pictures and words. The immigrant story (wether it's first or second generation) is incredibly compelling in any medium and, seen from a comic book artist's eyes, it's a wonderful personal journey.

This is great, sort of like a cousin to Stealing Buddha's Dinner:

sounds really interesting
i'm not a huge fan of graphic novels, but i'm really interested in the vietnam war
think i'll check it out!