A.D.
A stunning graphic novel that makes plain the undeniable horrors and humanity triggered by Hurricane Katrina in the true stories of six New Orleanians who survived the storm.A.D. follows each of the six from the hours before Katrina struck to its horrific aftermath. Here is Denise, a sixth-generation New Orleanian who will experience the chaos of the Superdome; the Doctor, whose unscathed French Quarter home becomes a refuge for those not so lucky; Abbas and his friend Mansell, who face the storm from the roof of Abbas’s family-run market; Kwame, a pastor’s son whose young life will remain wildly unsettled well into the future; and Leo, a comic-book fan, and his girlfriend, Michelle, who will lose everything but each other. We watch as they make the wrenching decision between staying and evacuating. And we see them coping not only with the outcome of their own decisions but also with those made by politicians, police, and others like themselves--decisions that drastically affect their lives, but over which they have no control. Overwhelming demand has propelled A.D. from its widely-read early Internet installments to this complete hardcover edition. Scheduled for publication on the fourth anniversary of the hurricane, it shines an uncanny light on the devastating truths and human triumphs of New Orleans after the deluge.

A.D. Details

TitleA.D.
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 18th, 2009
PublisherPantheon
ISBN-139780307378149
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Nonfiction, Comics, History

A.D. Review

  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    I was working in a newsroom when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005. I remember the ominous breaking news alerts that the levees had failed and the city was being flooded. The stories and pictures from the city were grim — people drowned in their homes because the water rose so fast; others were stranded on rooftops, sometimes waiting days to be rescued. And thousands took shelter at the Louisiana Superdome, which quickly became overwhelmed by the humanity.The book "A.D.: New Orlea I was working in a newsroom when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005. I remember the ominous breaking news alerts that the levees had failed and the city was being flooded. The stories and pictures from the city were grim — people drowned in their homes because the water rose so fast; others were stranded on rooftops, sometimes waiting days to be rescued. And thousands took shelter at the Louisiana Superdome, which quickly became overwhelmed by the humanity.The book "A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge" is an excellent graphic novel depicting what happened before and after the storm. The artist Josh Neufeld interviewed seven people who lived through Katrina, and the book is a collage of their memories. Neufeld had volunteered with the Red Cross in the Gulf Coast after the hurricane, and said he had been deeply affected by the experience. In the afterword, he wrote: "I felt it was important to tell the story from the perspectives of a range of real people who had lived through the storm: well-off and poor, black and white, young and old, gay and straight, male and female. And I knew there were certain key experiences I had to document: evacuating the city, facing the flooding, being trapped at the Superdome or the Convention Center, and losing all your possessions." The book opens with drawings of what New Orleans looked like before the hurricane. And even though I knew what happened, I still had a chill when I turned the page and saw the massive storm system as it moved toward the city. I turned another page and saw trees being toppled over, buildings torn apart, and streets being flooded. One panoramic view showed dozens of houses under water, and the devastation was unimaginable. Next, we meet our seven narrators and see where they were a few days before the storm hit. We see a couple pack a few belongings and decide to evacuate; another thinks she will ride out the storm with her mother at a local hospital; and two men decide to camp out in their store to make sure it's protected. We also see what happens to a woman who ends up stranded at the Convention Center. All of them lived through Katrina, but they all experienced some kind of loss.One woman told Neufeld that she felt she had "walked through hell and barely survived ... I think a big part of me was swept away in that hurricane."This was a powerful graphic novel and I would highly recommend it. If you want to read more about what happened in New Orleans during Katrina, I also recommend the book "Five Days at Memorial" by Sheri Fink, which covers what happened at a hospital that flooded and lost power for several days. Favorite Quote, from a doctor who helped hurricane victims: "Of course I was very upset with FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] and their handling of the whole thing ... They couldn't get the live people out in time, and they couldn't get the dead people out in time either. FEMA failed the living and the dead."
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  • Greg
    January 1, 1970
    This powerful graphic novel interweaves the true stories of 7 separate people who survived Hurricane Katrina, beginning before the storm and continuing through the aftermath. Some searing moments, especially in the horrifying aftermath, hordes of people dumped at the Convention Center with no food or water, buses promised again and again that finally arrived only to drop off more people at the Convention Center instead of taking anyone away.My only complaint is that I would've liked even more st This powerful graphic novel interweaves the true stories of 7 separate people who survived Hurricane Katrina, beginning before the storm and continuing through the aftermath. Some searing moments, especially in the horrifying aftermath, hordes of people dumped at the Convention Center with no food or water, buses promised again and again that finally arrived only to drop off more people at the Convention Center instead of taking anyone away.My only complaint is that I would've liked even more stories. I would've loved to know what happened on the bridge when shots were fired, forcing survivors back into the zone of destruction. I also would've liked to hear what happened at the Convention Center to all the rest of the survivors (view spoiler)[after Denise's lucky escape (hide spoiler)]. The author, however, is true to his format. He tells the story of only these 7 people, but he does so well. There's integrity in that choice that earns my respect.I hope after twenty or even thirty years works such as this one can keep the memory of those terrible days in New Orleans alive. It's best to remember so such mistakes aren't repeated. But aside from any social or political concerns, the stories interweaved in this book are gripping. I sat down and didn't rise until I'd read the whole thing. I highly recommend it - it's a quick, compelling read.
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  • Greg Brozeit
    January 1, 1970
    If you are interested in getting a visceral perspective from New Orleanians as the events associated with Hurricane Katrina were happening, this is a great starting point. A.D., short for “After the Deluge,” is a gripping graphic account. Josh Neufeld, who was one of the artists who worked with Harvey Pekar on American Splendor , demonstrates the power that drawings can have when accompanied by authentic dialogue.I reread this as I watched the events of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and west Louisi If you are interested in getting a visceral perspective from New Orleanians as the events associated with Hurricane Katrina were happening, this is a great starting point. A.D., short for “After the Deluge,” is a gripping graphic account. Josh Neufeld, who was one of the artists who worked with Harvey Pekar on American Splendor , demonstrates the power that drawings can have when accompanied by authentic dialogue.I reread this as I watched the events of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and west Louisiana, which opened some wounds within me. We Americans like to rank things; this is better than that, this is far worse than that, this athlete of one generation is better than one of another. Some commentators and people affected by the rains of Harvey is “much worse that Katrina.” Absurd. Every disaster has its victims, and to try to claim that one person’s experiences are worse than those of one in another time or place seems to me useless at best and heartlessly cynical at worst. But it’s an American obsession. In coming months and years we will be inundated with statistics, costs, and facts comparing the two disasters as if it might lead to a profound conclusion. It won’t.Here’s what I what I remembered as I read: often people underestimate the potential consequences of natural disasters; they think it can’t happen to them. No matter how much they think they are prepared, they never are. Poor people are always hit hardest and rich people will suffer, but they will recover and might even profit in the long run. Some people are more resilient than they ever would have imagined, others are far less so, no matter how much they had deluded themselves of their inner strength. It can be as hard or harder on people who have a connection to the places where natural disasters hit than those who experience it up close. And if you’re one of those, if you have a connection to the events, you’ll never be the same person that you were before they occurred.I lived in New Orleans from my mid-teens through my early adulthood, moving away in 1991. I doubt many knew the geography of the city better than me. I understood what it was like in the parts of the city that were most affected and most spared even though I wasn’t there. As I was sitting at my computer—in late August and early September 2005, when video broadcasts on the internet were still fairly novel—more than a thousand miles from New Orleans, I experienced a feeling of emotional helplessness. I would much rather have been in the flooded city doing something. So to cope, I wrote an editorial on August 31 that was published on September 4 in my local newspaper:I wasn’t born in New Orleans, but I’m a native. I graduated from high school and college and began my professional career there. Seeing the devastation, knowing intimately where events are happening and understanding the culture of the people of the area, the frustration of not being able to do anything for the people of my old hometown is a special kind of torture. This was more than an unimaginable catastrophe; this was personal.Watching Katrina roar through New Orleans and the gulf coast and its aftermath brings back the shock, horror, and disbelief we all felt on the morning of September 11, 2001. It is a downhill roller coaster of emotion for which no one can prepare. But we, the people and the nation, can not give in to hopelessness. That would be fatal to those most in need and our national character.Victims of Katrina will need an unprecedented amount of public resolve and support—financial, logistical, emotional, and so many other ways we have not yet envisioned. We will have to prevent further damage—now. We will have to build not-so-temporary refugee camps for perhaps hundreds of thousands of people—now. We will have to feed, clothe, and provide minimal levels of health care to them—now. We will have to rebuild destroyed cities, towns and critical infrastructure—now. Refugees from the region destroyed by Katrina will be spread throughout the nation. If they are lucky, they will be with family, friends and loved ones. They will have few if any papers normally needed to make claims for aid, they will have no work for the mid- to long-term, and most will have lost all their worldly possessions and mementos. And far too many will have paid the ultimate price with their lives.Our nation’s response to Katrina must be massive, coordinated, consistent, and compassionate. We should not judge this tragedy by its worst human elements. The looters do not represent anything about the people from New Orleans and the gulf. They are, however, symbols of the overwhelming poverty in New Orleans. Their actions—which need to be punished harshly and cannot be ignored—should not diminish the obvious desperation in the area.So what are some things we should do? As we give our donations to our churches, synagogues, and organizations such as the Red Cross to provide relief to the people devastated by Katrina, let us make sure efforts are focused and accountable. Let us carry that over to support as much federal engagement as is possible because that is where the most effective resources are. Katrina’s refugees will be stressed and challenged in ways very few of us can imagine. Congressional offices throughout the nation should treat the refugees living in their states and districts as constituents and assist anyone who needs help through the federal system of disaster relief.People should demand that their senators, representatives, and the Bush administration provide timely aid to make sure all federal resources are brought to bear to assist the people as a great nation should. Demand that they make recovery of this region among the highest of national priorities.The national impact of this disaster—gas prices, insurance rates, rising prices due to energy costs—will continue to be felt in the months and years to come. If we do too little, too late now, we will likely have seen the beginning of the long, agonizing death of one of the world’s greatest cities played out right in front of our eyes. We can’t let that happen.As Americans, we will have to do it for the selfish reason that the longer the negative effects of this disaster linger, the longer it will weaken our national economy. More succinctly, we will have to do all we can to save one of the few truly distinct American cultures—and if we don’t do it now, we may well have lost it forever. If that happens, our nation will have lost an irreplaceable part of our identity.Lastly, I suggest we all read John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces to help us laugh through our tears and to remind us of why, together, we must do all we can to make this tragedy a distant, bitter memory.[For the ten year anniversary, the paper asked me to write another editorial.]A.D. reminded me of the emotional intensity of that period. But it’s also important to understand that this book is not a comprehensive historical analysis. The people portrayed do not yet have an understanding that what happened to them was a man-made disaster. While Katrina’s winds and rains absolutely devastated the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the adjacent areas in Louisiana and Alabama, they did not do so in New Orleans. The flooding and high death toll were the fault of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Their neglect in planning, the poor construction of the levee system designed to protect the city, and the inability to mitigate their malfeasance was arguably the greatest dereliction of duty by a public agency in U.S. history, as an interactive video produced by the New Orleans Times-Picayune demonstrates.The people in A.D. also don’t yet know that their city will never be same after the recovery efforts began. Many who were displaced didn’t return and an influx of new people came in who fundamentally changed the character and culture of the city. They didn’t yet know that predatory financial interests would come in to destroy the public school system by summarily firing 7,000 teachers only to replace it with a democratically unaccountable charter school system that prizes harsh, regimented discipline and profits over creative, vibrant, and accessible schools. They didn’t yet know that the city would undergo a long, painful path toward gentrification that would dramatically increase rents and limit available housing. Some will claim the city is better than it was before the Katrina-related disaster. I’m still not sure. But there’s no denying it is different.In the past few days, a New Orleanian wrote an interesting article for the people impacted by Hurricane Harvey that is a warning about what they might expect and should guard against as they recover. It’s worth reading and it would have been a prescient warning to the people portrayed in A.D.
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  • Melki
    January 1, 1970
    This graphic novel follows the lives of a good cross section of people before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina. The characters I found most interesting were Abbas, who along with his friend Darnell, decides to stay in the city to protect his convenience store from looters, Denise and her relatives who end up being shunted to the convention center, and a wealthy doctor who throws a "hurricane party" at his French Quarter home.It's something of a nerve wracking read. You know bad things are go This graphic novel follows the lives of a good cross section of people before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina. The characters I found most interesting were Abbas, who along with his friend Darnell, decides to stay in the city to protect his convenience store from looters, Denise and her relatives who end up being shunted to the convention center, and a wealthy doctor who throws a "hurricane party" at his French Quarter home.It's something of a nerve wracking read. You know bad things are gonna happen, and you're powerless to prevent it. There's a real feeling of unease, and I was most worried about Abbas and his asthmatic buddy as they bedded down for the night on a shed roof, where they were attacked by mosquitoes as rats floated by. Tension was also mounting over at the convention center for Denise and her family. Thousands waited in vain for buses to take them elsewhere. Deprived of water and medical care, they watched as soldiers drove past, ignoring their cries. Salvation finally came in the form of looters who distributed stolen food and water from a nearby Rite Aid.The author follows the residents as they return to their homes and view the devastation. He then checks back a year and a half later. Most of the group are rebuilding and attempting to deal with their losses. Only the wealthy doctor seems to believe that things have returned to normal. His only complaint? The shrimp at his favorite restaurant isn't as good as it used to be. He says, "They don't hand-shell them anymore. I can't tell you how many times I've had to send them back." The horror! Just how much misery can one man be made to suffer?They say the Lord helps those who help themselves. When Katrina hit New Orleans, I guess that was the looters and the millionaires. Everybody else was on their own.
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  • Oriana
    January 1, 1970
    #16 for Jugs & Capes!Two spooky things happened surrounding the reading of this book. The first was that—completely by chance, I swear—we scheduled our bookclub meeting on the actual anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The second was that the week before said meeting, New York had our very own super-mega-huge-ass hurricane… Well, that’s what we were led to believe was coming, anyhow, that Irene was howling toward us with her screaming rage, ready to visit upon our city destruction of a magnitu #16 for Jugs & Capes!Two spooky things happened surrounding the reading of this book. The first was that—completely by chance, I swear—we scheduled our bookclub meeting on the actual anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The second was that the week before said meeting, New York had our very own super-mega-huge-ass hurricane… Well, that’s what we were led to believe was coming, anyhow, that Irene was howling toward us with her screaming rage, ready to visit upon our city destruction of a magnitude not glimpsed here in decades. Leading up to hurricane weekend, I’d paid little attention to the hysterical Twittersphere and the bleating warnings of my out-of-state friends...that is, until it was announced that Mayor Bloomberg was taking the historically unprecedented step of closing the entire MTA—all subways, all busses, all trains, all weekend long. At that point I began to worry that I really might not be taking things seriously enough. At that point, also, I was finally getting around to reading this book, reading about all the blasé, jaded New Orleanians who paid scant attention to the hysterical media and the bleating warnings of their out-of-state friends. We all know what happened to them.And you probably know what happened to me, too: I begrudgingly bought some water and an overpriced flashlight and a few cans of soup, it rained kinda hard for a few hours, my boyfriend and I rambled around our neighborhood finding the bars that had stayed open, the Gowanus Canal dribbled a teeny bit of toxic juice up over her banks, and everything was back to normal by Monday, in time for me to get to the Jugs & Capes meeting and talk about this book.Do you want to know what I think about this book? The first thing I think is that the art is fantastic. (By this I mean the actual drawings, not the weird monochromatic patterning, which is not dissimilar to that of Asterios Polyp, except that there it enhanced the story and here it detracted and distracted.) The second thing I think is that there is so much pathos, so much devastation and misery and despair in the events related in this story, that it almost doesn’t even matter how it’s rendered, there will necessarily be parts that grab you, that make you gasp, that bring you to tears. I cried twice, maybe twice and a half. That’s the good. The bad is that Josh seems to have bitten off much more than he can chew. The idea of choosing five different people to follow through the storm and its aftermath was a good one, but it was way overly ambitious. To give all five different stories the space they deserve would have required five entire books. As it was, I was only able to connect emotionally with half of them, and the rest wound up coming across as two-dimensional stand-ins—the black kid, the hipster, the rich gay—thus essentially canceling their stories and their voices. Though the other two—a lower-income black woman and a Middle Eastern convenience store owner—were riveting and devastating and moving and harrowing, that wasn’t enough to carry the book. It feels wrong to criticize such a worthwhile project, and I’m sorry. But while it was a great attempt, and must have taken an insane amount of work to do, it fell far short of its potential.
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  • Teresa
    January 1, 1970
    What I said of Dark Rain: A New Orleans Story can be said of this book: Though its author "isn't from New Orleans, he got every non-fictional detail of the days immediately following the levee failures after Hurricane Katrina right, even down to the types of people who live in the section of N.O. he concentrated on. Amazingly accurate." Perhaps it's even more amazing in this book, since it is completely non-fictional, relating the experiences of seven real people who come from five different par What I said of Dark Rain: A New Orleans Story can be said of this book: Though its author "isn't from New Orleans, he got every non-fictional detail of the days immediately following the levee failures after Hurricane Katrina right, even down to the types of people who live in the section of N.O. he concentrated on. Amazingly accurate." Perhaps it's even more amazing in this book, since it is completely non-fictional, relating the experiences of seven real people who come from five different parts of the city. If getting the facts right doesn't seem like such a feat, all I have to do is remember the rumors, rush to judgment, false reporting and misunderstandings that occurred then.
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  • rhea
    January 1, 1970
    I met Josh Neufeld when I bought this, I was just going to borrow a friend's copy but while talking to him I picked it up and had him sign it. He was there signing because this had just come out in paperback. It was at a comic shop, Crescent City Comics, that is in a different location after Katrina and still a great shop, if not better by now! One of the characters, Leo, works there now is a nice guy who is ready to talk to you about comics and everything when you go into the store. At the orig I met Josh Neufeld when I bought this, I was just going to borrow a friend's copy but while talking to him I picked it up and had him sign it. He was there signing because this had just come out in paperback. It was at a comic shop, Crescent City Comics, that is in a different location after Katrina and still a great shop, if not better by now! One of the characters, Leo, works there now is a nice guy who is ready to talk to you about comics and everything when you go into the store. At the original location he was a frequent customer and then helped reopen when they found a new spot, makes sense he works there now. I'm not an expert on these matters, so I think my timeline is correct. Anyway, I always find it cool to read a book when you've met the author, but even more so when you've met, even if only while shopping, a character. I had to take a break after each section, but that just goes to show how well written. The illustrations and the colors had great impact and the dialogue felt very real. Sometimes it seems weird that I'd want to read something like this, it's not like we'll forget, but it's still comforting when you're done reading and you realize everything you still have.
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  • Jon(athan) Nakapalau
    January 1, 1970
    One of the best books I have ever read about Hurricane Katrina - sad yet uplifting stories of loss and survival in a disaster compounded by indifference and lack of leadership at all levels of government.
  • Dov Zeller
    January 1, 1970
    Just about ten years after the hurricane I am finally reading this book. It has been on my reading list for a while. Pretty much since it came out 6 years ago. I've read excerpts of it somewhere. Maybe in a "Best American Comics" anthology? I'm glad I read it and have this strange feeling that I know all the people in it, and I certainly care about what happens to them, which I suppose says something about the quality of the illustrating/writing. I appreciated the documentary style of this book. Just about ten years after the hurricane I am finally reading this book. It has been on my reading list for a while. Pretty much since it came out 6 years ago. I've read excerpts of it somewhere. Maybe in a "Best American Comics" anthology? I'm glad I read it and have this strange feeling that I know all the people in it, and I certainly care about what happens to them, which I suppose says something about the quality of the illustrating/writing. I appreciated the documentary style of this book. I really believe comics can get to the emotional heart of a situation in ways no other form of representation can. And can do it in pretty quick strokes. This graphic documentary captures varying attitudes toward and experiences of the hurricane, from before the storm hits, to its furious but perhaps not as crushing as it could have been, approach, to the breaking of the levies, and the subsequent flood. "After the Deluge" follows the experiences of particular people, and it also offers a picture of, on a larger scale, how difficult it was for many people to evacuate, for physical, emotional and financial reasons. I could feel the fear, desperation and misery of people stranded in New Orleans during and after the flood, in the gruesome heat with no food, no water, and no viable place to shit. It was an epic failure on the part of the government and I'm sure the experience has left scars that will last for a long time.There were some moments when the dialog was a bit stilted and I'm not sure how I felt about the color scheme, though I really liked what one goodreads reviewer said, that by having the different color schemes it was like each character had their own sound-track. I found it to be a bit confusing, the color schemes, the transitions between and within the different sections. But all in all this is a solid, good, important book.
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  • Dionisia
    January 1, 1970
    "Look, tonight we can sleep on the tool shed. And then there's the roof. That's 14 feet. And if it gets real bad, we can hang onto the telephone pole. That's like 20 feet above ground." -Abbas"How can this be happening? Don't the authorities know about us? DON'T THEY CARE?" -Denise"Look at me. I've only got about $100 in my checking account. What if I didn't have a credit card? $100 ain't gonna buy much gas. What these idiots don't realize is that when the evacuations were called, it was only th "Look, tonight we can sleep on the tool shed. And then there's the roof. That's 14 feet. And if it gets real bad, we can hang onto the telephone pole. That's like 20 feet above ground." -Abbas"How can this be happening? Don't the authorities know about us? DON'T THEY CARE?" -Denise"Look at me. I've only got about $100 in my checking account. What if I didn't have a credit card? $100 ain't gonna buy much gas. What these idiots don't realize is that when the evacuations were called, it was only the 26th. If someone was waiting for a paycheck slated to come today--the first of the month--they weren't going to see it." -Leo"They couldn't get the live people out in time, and they couldn't get the dead people out in time either. FEMA failed the living and the dead. But that's common knowledge now." -Doc Brobson"I flew out to visit in January, about four or five months after the storm. The house was totally ruined. And my high school was closed for the year for repairs." -KwameYes, I cried. They were tears born from frustration, anger, disgust, and sadness. But, in the end, these people and these stories left me feeling hopeful.
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  • Dan
    January 1, 1970
    The artwork was beautiful but, after reading Zeitoun and watching Treme along with Spike Lee's documentaries on Katrina, I'd already heard the majority of what is covered in this comic. I wanted something that went deeper into the people's lives. This seemed to just skim the surface. There were a few good parts where each person's life and personality came through (especially with the comic book lover, its almost as if the creator could relate). I wanted a whole comic full of those moments, endi The artwork was beautiful but, after reading Zeitoun and watching Treme along with Spike Lee's documentaries on Katrina, I'd already heard the majority of what is covered in this comic. I wanted something that went deeper into the people's lives. This seemed to just skim the surface. There were a few good parts where each person's life and personality came through (especially with the comic book lover, its almost as if the creator could relate). I wanted a whole comic full of those moments, ending in a larger story. Maybe this was a product of of A.D. being serialized online or maybe he tried to tell too many stories. It just left me wanting too much more.(Shallow sidenote: I really hate the blurb on the back of the book that compares calling this a "comic" is akin to calling a "film" a "talkie." I really wish those people would stop justifying reading comics by insisting they aren't comics. You shouldn't call a webcomic a graphic novel just because you didn't want to enjoy reading it as much as you did.)
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  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked this book. While I'm a fan of graphic novels, memoirs, etc., I don't usually pay much attention to the art, unless it's particularly outstanding. Well, the art here really stands out, particularly in the beginning, where we are presented with a view of the hurricane headed to New Orleans, and in the views of crowds, etc. in the Convention Center. Actually, the art is superb throughout. My only criticism is that, while Neufeld chose five different stories of folks affected by the h I really liked this book. While I'm a fan of graphic novels, memoirs, etc., I don't usually pay much attention to the art, unless it's particularly outstanding. Well, the art here really stands out, particularly in the beginning, where we are presented with a view of the hurricane headed to New Orleans, and in the views of crowds, etc. in the Convention Center. Actually, the art is superb throughout. My only criticism is that, while Neufeld chose five different stories of folks affected by the hurricane (to choose people of different races, classes, and experiences), I felt that the story of the minister's sonm, Kwame, who evacuated and later lived in Berkeley, and the story of the doctor who stayed in the French Quarter, were a bit weak. I was much more impressed with the stories of Abbas, the man who stayed behind to watch his store; Leo and Michelle, a comic book collector and his partner; and Denise, the woman who winds up with her family in the Convention Center. Particularly interesting is her take on the "looters," who basically kept people alive with much needed food and water. I also did not understand how Denise's (or was it her mother's?) cat stayed alive, despite appearing to have broken a leg during the hurricane, and then been left while Denise attempted to evacuate.
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  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    Wow--I started reading this book half an hour before the end of the work day (it was a slow work day), and I couldn't stop reading until the very end, an hour after everyone else went home. I was dimly aware of what was going on in New Orleans 4 years ago, but being from New England, where the worst we get are tropical storms, I really had little appreciation for how thoroughly a hurricane can tear at a city. More shocking is the latter 2/3 of the book, wherein we see first-hand accounts of how Wow--I started reading this book half an hour before the end of the work day (it was a slow work day), and I couldn't stop reading until the very end, an hour after everyone else went home. I was dimly aware of what was going on in New Orleans 4 years ago, but being from New England, where the worst we get are tropical storms, I really had little appreciation for how thoroughly a hurricane can tear at a city. More shocking is the latter 2/3 of the book, wherein we see first-hand accounts of how FEMA and the local government totally mucked up the rescue and evacuation of the Superdome and convention center. My immediate response to this graphic novel, as soon as I closed the book, was an inarticulate "Shiiiiiiiii--." In a perfect world, where everyone accepts comics as wholly-acceptable contributions to reportage and literature, A.D. will be held up as an early, true, and devastating account of New Oreleans after the deluge.
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  • Laura Christensen kavanaugh
    January 1, 1970
    This was an excellent non-fiction account that followed seven people's experiences preparing for, during and after hurricane Katrina. Neufeld interviewed many survivors but settled on these seven to represent a wide range of experiences and perspectives, which he does with a keen, journalistic voice while telling their stories. He addresses the emotional impacts of the storm with grace as we share these people's love for their city, New Orleans. Neufeld uses color in a unique way by giving each This was an excellent non-fiction account that followed seven people's experiences preparing for, during and after hurricane Katrina. Neufeld interviewed many survivors but settled on these seven to represent a wide range of experiences and perspectives, which he does with a keen, journalistic voice while telling their stories. He addresses the emotional impacts of the storm with grace as we share these people's love for their city, New Orleans. Neufeld uses color in a unique way by giving each section of the book a specific color tone, adding to the all-encompassing changes this storm caused for New Orleans (and so many other places) and America.
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  • Malbadeen
    January 1, 1970
    spoiler alert - the city floods.okay, I admit I knew that before I read the book but I hate to say I was embarrassed by things this book brought to my attention, things I hadn't considered before. Things that made sad and horrified and all that jazz.I mean nature can suck and government can suck and that's nothing new but for whatever reason seeing it panel by panel while following specific people made it feel more real than a lot of other stuff I've seen. Maybe I need to watch the news more- ? spoiler alert - the city floods.okay, I admit I knew that before I read the book but I hate to say I was embarrassed by things this book brought to my attention, things I hadn't considered before. Things that made sad and horrified and all that jazz.I mean nature can suck and government can suck and that's nothing new but for whatever reason seeing it panel by panel while following specific people made it feel more real than a lot of other stuff I've seen. Maybe I need to watch the news more- ? But even t.v. seems t.v.-ish -so - ? blah, blah, blah, I really liked this book.
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  • Kathryn
    January 1, 1970
    Tells the story of a handful of individuals prior to and after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the levees broke. No matter how many times these stories are told they still fill me with horror. The poor will always be with us and it seems we only pay lip service to caring about it. We need books like this that put a human face on such events and make us look at ourselves too. The graphic novel format really lends itself to this story and was well executed.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    I read this in a day. However it is a graphic novel. But I could not put it down. I stayed up past my bedtime to finish the last 40 pages last night. A nice story. I actually didn't know much of what went on during Katrina so this gave a little bit of a perspective. It is an actually account from a few survivors who stayed instead of evacuating. Well there was one family who evacuated and told their side.
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  • Julie Knutson
    January 1, 1970
    Really remarkable. Neufeld's a skilled craftsman who delivers seven diverse experiences of Katrina and its aftermath. All are well-told; in particular, Denise's story - especially the re-telling of her experiences at the Convention Center - clarifies what *actually* happened, with untold truths about how "looters" and "thugs" provided basic resources and needs when FEMA failed.
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  • Trey Piepmeier
    January 1, 1970
    This was beautiful comic (because of and in spite of the sad and disturbing subject matter). It was impossible to put down after I started reading it. I expected there to be a bit more of a through line or narrative here, but since it was just documenting things that really happened, I guess that was expecting too much.
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  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really fantastic chronicle of a real-life event. Being in the midst of hurricane season now, this book reminds me that we are not safe from the force of nature. Great illustrations and interesting characters (based on real people, according to the author's note)make this a great book.
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  • Jacki
    January 1, 1970
    I thought this book effectively accomplished its goal: it showed a small cross-section of the horrors of life in and out of New Orleans right after Katrina. I think it's less important at this time than it will be in the future, when it can serve as a reminder long after the news footage has been forgotten.That said, oh, wow, the use of color was atrocious. The illustrations are done in a single color at a time, and the colors alternate every few pages. At first I assumed each character had thei I thought this book effectively accomplished its goal: it showed a small cross-section of the horrors of life in and out of New Orleans right after Katrina. I think it's less important at this time than it will be in the future, when it can serve as a reminder long after the news footage has been forgotten.That said, oh, wow, the use of color was atrocious. The illustrations are done in a single color at a time, and the colors alternate every few pages. At first I assumed each character had their own color to keep the 5 different plot lines easily distinguishable, but I was mistaken. The colors are unnecessarily garish and intense, and I felt like the artist was trying to give an adrenaline punch where none was needed.The character development is fairly minimal in most cases, but the contrast between the different characters and their social stations is great enough that it almost does the job on its own. Of course, the characters are simply there to illustrate the tragedy of Katrina: the danger, the fear, the misery, the waiting.While the book never directly makes accusations against the Bush administration or any government arm, it still features dialogue slanted in that direction that made the author's views of the situation pretty clear. I wish he had just come out and made it more obvious, because it comes off as clumsy as is.Recommend to: 14+, general audience, anyone you think needs inspiration to buy flood insurance/flotation devices.Don't recommend to: The migraine-prone - Those colors! Ouch!
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  • Samantha Glasser
    January 1, 1970
    After Hurricane Katrina it was impossible to turn on the news without hearing about it, the devastation, the displacement, the deaths, and the conspiracy theories about the government intentionally targeting New Orleans. It is impossible to go into reading this book without a pre-conceived idea of what it will be. That being said, the author did a tremendous job of choosing subjects from different walks of life with different experiences. There is a doctor, a convenience store owner, a counselor After Hurricane Katrina it was impossible to turn on the news without hearing about it, the devastation, the displacement, the deaths, and the conspiracy theories about the government intentionally targeting New Orleans. It is impossible to go into reading this book without a pre-conceived idea of what it will be. That being said, the author did a tremendous job of choosing subjects from different walks of life with different experiences. There is a doctor, a convenience store owner, a counselor, a minister's son, and a comic book collector. We live their experiences with them and then are privy to their conversations with the author about the aftermath of the hurricane.The major flaw with this book is that it attempts to tackle a highly complex moment in time in a very short amount of space. There isn't enough here. Just as we're getting into the experience, that section cuts off and we're thrust forward in time. It is disorienting. Any lessons that might have been gleaned from the story are lost due to lack of development.
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  • Aaron
    January 1, 1970
    Reading this made me feel like a snob because at every turn I was trying to ignore my suggestions of what would make this story much more powerful. This book is drawn decently well but overall the stories are shallow and predictable and I didn't feel all that much for any of the characters. The most heartbreaking parts just didn't sing like they could have if the author had spent more time providing meditative material for the reader. The dialogue was often clunky and... seemed inaccurate in pla Reading this made me feel like a snob because at every turn I was trying to ignore my suggestions of what would make this story much more powerful. This book is drawn decently well but overall the stories are shallow and predictable and I didn't feel all that much for any of the characters. The most heartbreaking parts just didn't sing like they could have if the author had spent more time providing meditative material for the reader. The dialogue was often clunky and... seemed inaccurate in places. Probably the worst part is how one dimensional and predictable all of the characters are. It's hard to a read book that falls as short of its goal as this one does. I keep wanting to cut it some slack but I think it's just sympathy kicking in because I feel guilty for disliking it so much. I think "well it could work well as a YA novel" but I think that this is just not written well enough on any level to deserve that kind of sympathetic thinking. Sigh. Sorry Neufeld.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    I've read a good deal about Katrina and this book and it's simple telling of the stories of several New Orleans residents before, during and after Katrina is one of the best. It managed to find new ways to sadden and outrage me, in particular the story of Denise, who stayed and experienced the horror of the Convention Center. The artwork is powerful; the depictions of the scope of the widespread physical destruction are balanced with the emotions on the faces of the individuals who faced the des I've read a good deal about Katrina and this book and it's simple telling of the stories of several New Orleans residents before, during and after Katrina is one of the best. It managed to find new ways to sadden and outrage me, in particular the story of Denise, who stayed and experienced the horror of the Convention Center. The artwork is powerful; the depictions of the scope of the widespread physical destruction are balanced with the emotions on the faces of the individuals who faced the destruction of their city. But amidst the devastation and loss, Neufeld infuses a good deal of the beautiful side of humanity.
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  • Renice
    January 1, 1970
    I guess we just said "fuck the cat" and left him to fend for himself, huh..
  • Quantrell Young
    January 1, 1970
    Josh Neufeld is my favorite author right now because his characters are realistic and they tells about real life stories that have occurred. In A.D. New Orleans After The Deluge, Josh Neufeld tells true stories of survival in the days leading up to and following Hurricane Katrina and how a lady name Denise is a sixth-generation New Orleanian with a master's degree in guidance and counseling and when katrina strikes, she is living with her mother, Louise(a surgical tech at Memorial Baptist Hospit Josh Neufeld is my favorite author right now because his characters are realistic and they tells about real life stories that have occurred. In A.D. New Orleans After The Deluge, Josh Neufeld tells true stories of survival in the days leading up to and following Hurricane Katrina and how a lady name Denise is a sixth-generation New Orleanian with a master's degree in guidance and counseling and when katrina strikes, she is living with her mother, Louise(a surgical tech at Memorial Baptist Hospital). Throughout the book, the reader doesn't know how Darnell Abbas decides to weather the storm in his store and also how Kwame, the son of a pastor from New Orleans East, who is just entering his senior year of high school flees to his older brother's Tallahassee college dorm with his family the day before the storm. Also during the story, Neufeld tells the story from different people's point of view to show you how destructive the storm is. This book is perfectly fit for other people to read, especially if you have experienced property damage during a big storm.
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  • D.
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent example of comics as journalism, this graphic novel follows seven people from diverse backgrounds as they deal with life before, during, and after Katrina. The artwork and text are simple, and tell each person's story with clarity and insight. If anything, I wish the author had delved a little deeper into each of the characters, but it works well as a thought-provoking glimpse at a complicated and tragic story.
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  • Nicola Mansfield
    January 1, 1970
    Reason for Reading: Cybil Awards nominee. I'm on the panel for GNs this year (09)Summary: Follows the lives of seven individuals before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. Each of these people come from different walks of life giving very different experiences as they share the same devastation of a natural disaster.Comments: The book is quite powerful, especially the beginning and middle. The coming of the storm is handled very dramatically with wordless panels and was my favourite part of the Reason for Reading: Cybil Awards nominee. I'm on the panel for GNs this year (09)Summary: Follows the lives of seven individuals before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. Each of these people come from different walks of life giving very different experiences as they share the same devastation of a natural disaster.Comments: The book is quite powerful, especially the beginning and middle. The coming of the storm is handled very dramatically with wordless panels and was my favourite part of the book. The story is told chronologically and flips between the seven people (5, technically as 2 are in pairs) this is a little confusing at first but once you get into the book the reader gets into the rhythm. Not all of the characters stay behind and while all characters are followed, inevitably those who stay are the ones with the most character development. I easily read the book in an afternoon and enjoyed the powerful firsthand view of survivors. Being Canadian this is actually the first book I've read on the topic.There were a few things I didn't like. Though the book is a firsthand account and not political, per se, it obviously has a slant that is noticeable very early on with an anti-Bush graffiti on a bathroom stall on page 26 and a very stilted, unnatural (not necessarily logical, imho) conversation near the end of the book (pg. 147/148) between two of the characters listening to a talk radio viewer questioning why so many people stayed behind. The inclusion of these two bits unobtrusively add a political slant. Secondly, there is one character who uses very foul language every time she opens her mouth, including the f-word. Her story is probably one of the most compelling but it was hard to get past the obscenities. These, though, are minor irritants to this reader and may not bother others at all. The book is certainly worth a read.As to the book's nomination for a Cybil, I'm going to have to say it does not, imho, qualify as having "kid appeal". The book is written for an adult audience. There is one character who is a high school student, but he is the least significant character in the book and has little page time compared to the others. The story of his parents is more interesting than his own actually. I don't think the stories of this group of adults are going to appeal to young teens and there is the problem with the foul language. The book would appeal to 17/18yos, but in my mind once you reach 17yo you are usually reading adult books anyway, making that a moot point.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    When you hear the name Katrina, what do you think? I always remember Hurricane Katrina and the horrors of the destruction in FL and New Orleans. I followed the saga on the news, donated $$ to help the people I heard were stuck in the Superdome without food or water--and I was disgusted with the local, state, and federal (Good job Brownie!)agencies and leaders.The story of a handful of real people is told in this graphic novel. Do you think comic book when I say graphic novel? Please don't. Newsw When you hear the name Katrina, what do you think? I always remember Hurricane Katrina and the horrors of the destruction in FL and New Orleans. I followed the saga on the news, donated $$ to help the people I heard were stuck in the Superdome without food or water--and I was disgusted with the local, state, and federal (Good job Brownie!)agencies and leaders.The story of a handful of real people is told in this graphic novel. Do you think comic book when I say graphic novel? Please don't. Newsweek said it best, "Raw and painful, down to the detailed depictions of ruined homes and the frenzied dialogue among friends." The artwork is very good and makes it easier to get the story without having to read a lot words. Rats swimming through the water when some of the people you care about are also in the water--ewww--gives me the creeps!Did you ever know anyone that constantly complained about everything and always had a scowl on her face? I use the past tense because by now you have hopefully been able to find a way to get away from that person. Unfortunately there is a character in this book like that. Yes, she did have a lot to complain about, but she is the last person you would want to be trapped on Survivor Island with. If not for her, I would have appreciated (I can't say enjoyed) this book more and would have given it a higher rating. All of the other characters were much more likable and easier to relate to.The book does raise many questions that it does not seek to answer, maybe there are no answers. I can't even understand why anyone would want to live in New Orleans, especially without the means to get away in an emergency. Many of the people stuck there were poor and lived there all of their life, but I could never accept that for myself. Why didn't the mayor call for evacuation sooner? People went to the Superdome with nothing! When I go away for a weekend, I have a case of water in the trunk, snacks for all, and reservations at the Holiday Inn Express. Then I realized that Katrina hit at the end of the month and many people had nothing left to take. Why didn't the Mayor load up the buses according to the Plan? Maybe they never planned where to take the people. And why didn't the Governor proclaim a state of emergency to open the way for the Feds to help. And what was wrong with FEMA? What a mess!I read also Zeitoun, about another man that rode out the storm in New Orleans, and would highly recommend that book.
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  • Ian Wood
    January 1, 1970
    This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three- This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-fifths worth reading! The only reason I've relented and started putting stars up there is to credit the good ones, which were being unfairly uncredited. So, all you'll ever see from me is a five-star or a one-star (since no stars isn't a rating, unfortunately).WARNING: Unhidden spoilers may be in this review!Ostensibly, this graphic novel isn't anything very special. The rather rudimentary art work is black and white line drawings with colored overtones to the page, but it tells a very human story about a horrible tragedy that never should have happened and once it did happen, never should have been neglected as it was.The novel tells a general story of the hurricane, which was bad, and its aftermath, which was worse, but it starkly highlights the tale with personal stories of five people. Why they were nearly all male stories, I don't know. Only one was female-centric.Just when everyone thought the worst was over, and the hurricane blown out, the levee burst and flooded 80% of New Orleans to a depth, in some parts, of some fifteen or sixteen feet. Over 700 bodies were recovered. This story tells it all, pulling no punches and sparing no important detail. It's a fast, easy read, depressing as it is, but it's an important reminder that either we learn well from this and fix these problems now, or we can ignore them, and put off the necessary, and simply go through all of this again in the unpredictable, climate-changed future. There is no other option. I recommend this graphic novel as a worthy read.
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