As announced at WonderCon over the weekend, George Takei is going to be creating a graphic novel with IDW which tells the true story of his family’s experiences in the Japanese Internment Camps. Building on the reach and scope of books like Senator John Lewis’ March series, this book is bound to be revelatory, cautionary, and speak truthfully about oppression and perseverance.
Takei is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek television and movie series, but his family’s experiences were far from the Hollywood ideal. At the age of five years old, he was affected by President Roosevelt’s decision to sign Executive Order 9066 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which authorized the internment of Japanese Americans. 120,000 innocent citizens, including Takei and his family, were rounded up without charges or due process and sent to camps.
According to IDW, this graphic novel will explore these events through the eyes of young George, and how this shaped him to become the humanitarian and activist he is today. Takei regularly speaks out against intolerance in all its forms, lending what IDW describe as a “voice to the voiceless”.
I have spoken publicly on numerous occasions during my life on the unjust internment of Japanese Americans in my ongoing mission of spreading awareness of this disgraceful chapter of American history. I do this, and will continue to do so, in the hope that my personal experience can serve as a cautionary reminder of our past leaders’ mistakes, and that as a society, we can learn from those transgressions and not repeat them.
When the opportunity to tell my story in the form of a graphic novel presented itself, I recognized the value in making it easily accessible for our youth to discover and digest the material, bringing attention to an important and relevant issue, while preserving it for generations to come. We live in uncertain times, and if stories such as mine can inspire us to do better and encourage positive change, I want to share it with as many people as possible, no matter who they are, or where they come from.
Takei will narrate the book and guide readers through memories of his family’s confinement, the aftermath of starting over with nothing after their release, then his rise to stardom as helmsman of the USS Enterprise on Star Trek, and how these life-changing events led him down his chosen path of activism and championing human rights, according to IDW.
Justin Eisinger (IDW’s Senior Book Editor) and Steven Scott (IDW’s PR Manager) will handle scripting duties with an artist not yet named. The as-of-yet untitled graphic novel will be released in 2018.