When it comes to graphic novels, there are many different types of genres. Autobiographical doesn’t always seem to fit this category. I am pleased to say that this cross-cultural graphic novel called: River Jordan easily can fit this category.

It is a graphic novel created by Merik Tadros, Illustrated by Greg Houston and published by World Revealed Ink

We were fortunate enough to interview Merik Tadros at C2E2 2011 in Chicago about this book.

As Merik said in his interview, “It is a family drama, set in Chicago and is about a nine year old boy to become an artist to cope with his father’s tragic death. This story was essential to me … I found closure in telling this story.”

A family living in Jordan comes to America to live the dream. Through hard work Malik, the father, instills his vision of a better life to his children. His loving wife Aliya, always there for her husband and being supportive and caring for her children. Even the artistic Nabil, a friend of the family all were enjoying success.

With everything success brings, it can also divide families, create rivalry, slowly jealousy and bitterness build up and simmer until one event or action can set it off. What was once a happy family is no more.

Through death comes a new day and new lessons are learned. Coping with death is the most difficult thing anyone can do. If you let it settle inside you it will eat you up. For a young person in Rami, without the help of Nabil, his path in life may have gone down a much darker road. His future is now whatever his mind can picture and his brush will produce.

When I first picked up the book, I didn’t know what to expect. Family dynamics to me are complicated and in a two hundred page book you aren’t going to get a feel for everyone in one read. Luckily, this book is easy to re-read many times over and you will find little details that you missed in either the dialog or in the artwork that catches your eye.

Let’s start with the artwork.

Greg Houston did a great job capturing emotions in the faces of the families. Especially with the eyes, as they are the windows to the soul. You could easily tell pain, suffering, anguish, happiness, love, tenderness. His style of drawing for this book was perfect for conveying the pace of the story. If it was in any other style, I do not think it would have been believable.

Onto the writing.

Merik Tadros’ writing for this is well spaced, easy to read and re-read. Once you commit yourself to the book you will be hooked by it. At some point in reading it I was so caught up in the dialog that I forgot this was based on true events, it felt as if I was there.

To conclude, it is an emotional book that Merik has put over a decade of his life into making and in this format it is well worth picking up.

Even if you are not from Jordan, the message is that anyone throughout their life can cope in different ways. To be able to channel that into a positive influence such as Art, Music, Writing, while still maintaining the bond of family can and will pull you through.

Purchase a copy today here – River Jordan by Merik Tadros

About Merik Tadros
Merik Tadros was born Maher Issa Tadros on April 15th 1983 in Chicago, Illinois. After studying Theatre Arts and Cinema at The University of Iowa for one semester, Tadros headed West to The Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting in Los Angeles. Adler Fest brought Merik to the stage in one acts “On Time” and Woody Allen’s “Death Knocks.” He then went on to perform in the original play “Liberty Injustice” at The Lex Theatre in Hollywood, California. Steven Spielberg’s Munich was his first professional on screen acting role portraying “Tony the Cowboy.” In 2009, Merik Tadros was seen co-starring opposite Harrison Ford & Cliff Curtis, in writer-director Wayne Kramer’s new film Crossing Over, as well as the NCIS two part pilot spin-off titled Legend for NCIS: Los Angeles. His passion for filmmaking made its debut when Tadros wrote and directed his first short film The Bardo, which premiered September 28th 2007 at The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.