Cover Image: Fights

Fights

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Member Reviews

This is a brutal, insightful graphic memoir that which deals with the constant fights that Joel Christian Gill got into as a result of racism, bullying at school, sexual assault during his this growing up years at the backdrop of the crack cocaine boom of 1980s.
I love the illustrations showing the angst of a young Black boy , the bright use of colours, the absolute pitch black panels portraying the sexual assaults and the image of flame and water, to show the rising anger /point of breakdown of the characters. 
I would highly recommend everyone to read this memoir.
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One of the better graphic memoirs I've read in a long time. The author doesn't try to sugarcoat any of his past: extreme poverty, physical and sexual abuse at several hands, the fear of growing up in the big city during the late 80's and finally the reality of being a dad in a world very different from what he grew up in. With all that he still manages to make is funny and heartwarming and hopeful.
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This is heavy. Trigger warning heavy. But incredible. And the author is able to bring a sense of joy on the depths of his life experiences to push out something into the world that was better than the horrendous things he endured. Read this. Thanks to the author, publisher, and netgalley for providing me a copy of this in exchange for my review.
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'Fights: One Boy's Triumph Over Violence' with story and art by Joel Christian Gill is a graphic memoir about the author.  Very graphic.

In a moving memoir, the author tells about his childhood.  His father was distant, and died when the Joel was quite young.  He grew up being abused and beaten by those around him, and had no one to fend for him.  He learned to fight back, but he also, eventually, learned how to avoid fights.  

The story is brutal in nature, but has some moments of humor.  This is balanced incredibly well.  This is a book for a young person in your life that may not see a way out of their circumstances.  It is an amazing story of endurance and transformation.

I've been fortunate enough to read a few graphic novels that Joel Christian Gill has written.  It's safe to say I'm a pretty big fan of what he does.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Oni Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
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Gill's story is one of violence and the way that it becomes an intrinsic part of a person's life. Even a person who is naturally gentle. It is circumstance and fear that leads a young Joel to violent action. And once it finds entry into his life he comes to rely on in more and it becomes harder to separate. This memoir invites the reader to consider the background of people involved in fights and riots that we hear about on the news, to see them as a whole person rather than the action we've heard about. It's a thoughtful journey that doesn't hold back when it comes to harsh realities
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What a beautiful and raw graphic novel. The story both highlighted the foolishness of the fight, yet the importance of it at the same time to young people growing up and trying to fit in. 

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
 
Thank you so much the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary electronic copy in return for an honest review.
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A wonderfully executed graphic novel memoir about a young man's experience with violence. Gorgeous illustrations and an excellent narrative.
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I loved loved loved this graphic novel!!!! The art style was beautiful and unique and the story itself was so engaging. It is such a heartbreaking but important story that needed to be told. Absolutely loved this.
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Gobbled up this memoir by Joel Christian Gill in one sitting. I love his other graphic novels about Bessy Stringfield and Bass Reeves, and I am grateful that he's written his own story now, as well.

Fights is his own story of growing up and trying to navigate a turbulent, ever-changing environment. Gill has to fight for his safety, fight to make his own way, fight to break a chain of violence and dysfunction.

I love his work. It's beautifully drawn, powerfully worded, and deeply moving. It's an important story.
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This was an intense retelling of Gill's childhood to adulthood. He puts a lot of himself out for the public to see in a very open and raw way. I honestly don't know how to really speak about this review, except to say that I know this isn't a single experience, and that many children of color go through very similar experiences. I think this is a novel that many people need to read, not only to understand the experiences, but to understand the reason so many of these young boys fight back so much. There's no one there for them, and it takes a long time to figure out how to be there for themselves. 

Gill talking about the library being a safe place for him really struck me as a librarian. I know there are many times when young boys are kicked out just for being a little louder than most. I'm glad he was able to be there and found a chance to let the fire cool. 

I liked the artwork and all the color that was used in this, it really helped expressed what Gill was feeling throughout the novel. Some of it became a little too cartoonish, but still had that raw emotional aspect to it. I really enjoyed reading this.

Copy provided by NetGalley.
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This was a really tough read at times with content and language. There were often slurs on every page and Gill did not live an easy life. However, I urge you to read it to understand what went on in his life, as it is a really eye opening experience. The word choice and metaphors used in this novel are absolutely breathtaking and since they go on throughout the novel, they urge you to keep reading as the memoir progresses. The art style is really simple and easy to follow, while also being its own unique entity in the memoir.
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Fights has unique artwork and a powerful story to tell. A fantastic example of the graphic novel medium.
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I wouldn't say it was my fave book ever, but if I am honest I do sometimes struggle with the lack of fluidity in graphic novels so I have taken that into account when I picked a rating. 
I feel like this graphic novel was sensitive, honest and unflinching. The way this text deals with childhood and burgeoning masculinity is really wonderful. I think it's inspiring and cautionary, and will benefit the reader whatever the age.
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Love the novel graphics and how it told an amazing life story.  I felt like I understood the life story and would recommend this book to all my friends.
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Fights is an autobiographical graphic novel that tells the story of Joel Christian Gill. The wording of this story is easy to follow and engaging. The illustrations are gorgeous and realistic. As the title suggests the recurring theme of the graphic novel is fighting. Each phase of the author’s life has some type of fight involved. I was gifted this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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It was the most own voice book I ever read.
The author's childhood traumas and the difficulty he was suffering throughout his life, with his deceased father and mother always absent because he was working.
Becoming a teenager who above all just wants to integrate with friends and stop being a victim of prejudice.
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Wow... what a powerful book! 
Joel's story is a difficult one, full of ~Fights~ but also full of love.
I cried multiple times while reading this and would recommend to anyone. It has an amazing message.
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Fights viscerally chronicles one black youth's relationship to violence from ages five to around eighteen. With raw, compelling illustrations, Gill recounts resorting to fighting as a means of finding control and surviving being “adrift.” His family wavers between absent and abusive, his school friends and neighborhood foes are each carrying their own traumas, and his teachers lean towards assuming the worst from him. Throughout, Gill paints a clear picture contextualizing the pain he experienced and created. The unvarnished brutality of Gill's childhood makes the moments of joy and laughter – such as enjoying playing chess or rapping with his friends, Mike and G-Money – feel like life rafts in a sea of uncertainty and suffering. Similarly, Gill throws readers a raft with a message after the story's conclusion for both adult and young readers to keep compassion in mind. With this memoir, Joel shows us that empathy is a choice – a difficult choice to make at times - but ultimately he found it possible to redefine his story and become more than his environment and upbringing. Fights is an uncomfortable but insightful and rewarding graphic novel for teens and adults alike.
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Graphic memoirs are becoming ubiquitous and sometimes lacking in quality and vision - but Fights stands out. I love the voice of the narrator, relaying his rough childhood and trauma growing up in the South during the '80s and early '90s. The art captures a kind of wide-eyed wonder, fear, and confusion of early childhood. The timeline of girlfriends was hilarious. The fight scenes shied away from glorifying to show the perspective of the young boy and man.
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Trigger warning: molestation
This story, Joel's story is the story of many children, past, present and future. He fought his way through adversity, poverty, abuse and racism. Every child should read this novel. The story grips you and causes you to review your own life. Seek out peace because being battle worn weighs on you and one can be consumed by constantly fighting. 

Thank you for writing this book Mr. Christian. I am glad you found peace and am grateful that you shared your story with us.
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