Anne Frank – The Graphic Biography

In today’s society the way in which history is taught to our children has changed.  People are always looking for new and inventive ways to teach this subject.  Many people will be familiar with the story of Anne Frank.  Some may have read the books about her and some may have not.

What Illustrators Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon  set out to do was to change from the conventional way of recording history into a book, and to instead create a comic book in a sense that would relay to the reader the full events and pictures of the life of Anne Frank.  At first the idea was looked upon as perhaps not that sensitive as after all comics are usually packed full of images of our favorite super heroes and their quests to save the world.  The main reasons for creating a comic would be to show the plight of the Jewish people in the war, but also how families were effected and in particular a young girl. The comic book would reach out to many more people not only school children learning about Anne Frank, but to people who had never read about her before.

Art plays a really important part in all of this.  For the first time the reader is able to see in front of their very own eyes what had happened.  Pictures also help to deliver the messages in a more deep and emotional way, so that as you read it you feel part of the story and the whole thing has quite a lasting impact.

The colours that were used in each picture, were a representation of the mood that was happening.  Lots of blacks and greys were used in the pictures where there was lots of conflict and there was also anger and tears in here also.  Some of the earlier pictures were filled with brighter colours, as the book starts of with the history of the Otto Family and how they came to be in Amsterdam.

All in all the book has been a huge success and it now forms part of the “Anne Frank”  museum in Amsterdam.  I was very fortunate to have visited the museum myself and have seen behind the bookcase the hidden stairwell.  I have climbed these stairs and listened to the guide telling us all about their life’s in this attic and how many years they were in here for.

Anne herself was a bright young girl at school and made friends with many people.  She was quite a chatterbox and always like to be the centre of attention.  She always liked writing and another area that she liked to write about, which is not that well known was short stories.

She was a natural story teller.  She was able to convey onto paper her deepest emotions.  When she wrote in her diary, she always addressed it “Dear Kitty” Kitty was her friend, someone she could confide in and tell her thoughts and inner most secrets to.  I think that Anne always wanted to meet and have a real friend who would be her Kitty, to whom she could share all her dreams and passions for life with.  Unfortunately this was not to be.

Even though she only lived to the age of 15, she has had a lasting impact on the world.  Never before has anyone seen or read such accounts of what it was really like in the war.  Because she wrote in such a simplified way, the reader was easily captivated by what she had written. Her letters and stories hopefully show the world how not to be ever again.  Her legacy through the museums, books and even this comic book will live on forever.

She did indeed achieve her dream of being a writer and being famous.  Although it is sad that she died before this. I am sure that somewhere out there she is very happy knowing that a small little ordinary girl with a passion for life and people, has touched so many hearts and given the world some valuable life lessons.  Lessons that will change history for the better and allow people of all races and religions to live together in harmony.

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