Self-Made Hero continues its line of award-winning international graphic novels that we might not otherwise hear about with Days of Sand, the award-winning depiction of the American dustbowl by Aimée de Jongh that has sold over 40,000 copies in France and won multiple awards.
Days of Sand won the Best of Show Award at MoCCA Comic Arts Festival in 2022 as well as the 15th Japan International Manga Award, Gold, the Prix Ouest-France Quai des Bulles in 2021, the Prix des Libraires Canal in 2022, the Étoiles du Parisien in 2021, the Prix BDstagram in 2021, the Prix Libr'À Nous in 2022 and over a dozen others.
"In a bittersweet way, through drawings with a welcome realism, the album offers an interesting reflection on the role of photography and, more broadly, on being a witness to dramatic events." — Le Monde.
"A historical introduction, interwoven with the touching story of profound characters, enhanced by the subtle and realistic line of the artist who, in addition, immerses the reader in what humanity's worth." — Le Figaro.
"The stand-out new book at MoCCA was the stunning DAYS OF SAND by Aimée de Jongh. This one will pile up awards." – Derf Backderf, author of My Friend Dahmer and Kent State.
"Readers will be moved by this artful graphic novel that raises powerful questions about the relationship between documentarians and their subjects." Booklist, April 2022
"United States, 1937. In the middle of the Great Depression, 22-year-old photographer John Clark is brought in by the Farm Security Administration to document the calamitous conditions of the Dust Bowl in the central and southern states in order to bring the farmers' plight to the public eye.
When he starts working through his shooting script, however, he finds his subjects to be unreceptive. What good are a couple of photos against relentless and deadly dust storms? The more he shoots, the more John discovers the awful extent of their struggles, coming to question his own role and responsibilities in this tragedy sweeping through the center of the country.
A moving and unforgettable tale inspired by real-life stories of courage and perseverance against all odds.
Days of Sand is based on true events. In 1937, the federal FSA agency hired photographers to document the lives of farmers across the United States. The Dust Bowl was an oval-shaped region in the Mid-South, that was struck by severe droughts and heavily blowing dust storms. These storms carried so much sand and dust that they could block all sunlight, turning days into nights. A total of 2.5 million inhabitants decided to leave the area, mostly toward California, in search of a better life. They became climate refugees – 90 years ago."
To research the story of Days of Sand, Dutch artist, and animator Aimée de Jongh made a study trip to Oklahoma and California. She received a travel fund from the Dutch Foundation for Literature to make this trip possible. In 10 days, she drove from Oklahoma, through the old Dust Bowl area, to California. On the way, she stopped at museums and archives to interview experts of the Dust Bowl and FSA history. A detailed travelogue of this trip is available in English on her blog.
Aimée de Jongh is an award-winning comics author and animator from the Netherlands. She studied Animation in Rotterdam, Ghent, and Paris. After graduating, she was asked to create a daily comic series for a Dutch national newspaper. This marked the start of a successful international career. The Return of the Honey Buzzard, her first graphic novel, won the Prix Saint-Michel for best Dutch graphic novel and was made into a film in 2017. Her following books, Blossoms in Autumn and Taxi!, were translated worldwide and won awards in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Japan. Aimée worked as a graphic journalist in the refugee camps in Greece. Her interest in travel, ecology, and journalism resulted in the historical graphic novel Days of Sand, her biggest project to date. When she's not drawing comics, Aimée works in animation as a storyboarder and director.
DAYS OF SAND
Writer/Artist: Aimée de Jongh
US Release: 19 April 2022 • UK Release: 14 April 2022
Published by SelfMadeHero
US Sales & Distro by Abrams Books • UK Sales & Distro Abrams & Chronicle Books
288pp Hardcover • Full color / US $22.99 / CAN $28.99 • UK £16.99 • ISBN: 9781914224041