Getting graphic about the Vietnam war - AMA!
Based in France, I am the author and illustrator of two autobiographical graphic novels in which I explain how my family lived through the Vietnam war. The first graphic novel is called Such a Lovely Little War- Saigon 1961-63. Its sequel is entitled Saigon Calling- London 1963-75. Both were published by Arsenal Pulp Press, Vancouver, in 2015 and 2017.
My father was a Vietnamese diplomat, working for the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). My mother was a French mother of four children.
In Such a Lovely Little War, I return to the Kennedy years and the beginnings of a war that would have devastating impacts on Southeast Asia and America alike. I describe my family life in Washington DC and then in Saigon at a time when the young Republic of Vietnam was trying to build a nation, while bearing the onslaught of its neighbour Communist North Vietnam.
In the follow-up, Saigon Calling, I recall my youth in the Swinging London of the 60s and 70s, and show how the Vietnam war influenced our lives and how it divided even Western societies. It was uncomfortable to be South Vietnamese at a time when many Western progressives saw the war as a conflict between the Vietnamese David and the American Goliath. It was difficult to explain that the North Vietnam we were fighting was not a pluralistic democracy but a totalitarian state under strong Maoist influence. It is unfortunate that Vietnam's wars of independence (1945-1975) took place in the 30 years period during which Communism reached the peak of its popularity in the West.
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