They Called Us Enemy Expanded Edition
Written by George Takei, Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott
Art by Harmony Becker
The Rundown: Actor and activist George Takei chronicles a dark chapter of his life and still manages to find hope for the future.
Actor George Takei tells of his life starting with the harrowing day the military came to his home on orders from the government to relocate him and his entire family to an internment camp for Japanese Americans. He recounts his confusion of what was happening and how his parents were instrumental in keeping the family safe, happy and secure.
The story continues as the events of the world stream into the camp as the people living in them try to survive and make a life for themselves. When the war is over, the fight continues as Takei’s family has to then fight the government that already imprisoned them for the right to stay in the country after the war.
The Story: Takei weaves a uniquely American story about one of the many dark chapters of a country’s history that is told factually but usually not emotionally. Takei gives the story heart and emotion by making it autobiographical. It takes a sober look at the character of the country at that time while showcasing the reality of the people affected by the Japanese internment. The juxtaposition between the perspective of Takei’s experience as a child during this time with the fear and anxiety his parents are experiencing is riveting. As somber as the setting and storyline are, the story is filled with great human moments and a sense of hope.
The Art: Harmony Becker delivers some great visuals throughout the book. The art is minimal in style which is perfect for this story. The people are the focus and the art reflects the emotion, pain and resilience of those people.