The Cartoon Art Museum, Top Shelf Productions, and IDW Publishing proudly present They Called Us Enemy featuring artist Harmony Becker’s artwork from the acclaimed graphic memoir written by actor, author, and activist George Takei in which Takei revisits his haunting childhood in American concentration camps, as one of 120,000 Americans imprisoned by the U.S. government during World War II. The exhibition includes an inside look at Becker’s creative process, including excerpts from her reference library and never before seen preparatory illustrations.
This exhibition also features a selection of original artwork from the Cartoon Art Museum’s permanent collection, including comic strips and animation from the 1940s, providing patrons with a snapshot of popular entertainment on the home front during the second World War.
A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei‘s childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon—and America itself—in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.
George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father’s—and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future.
In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten “relocation centers,” hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard.
They Called Us Enemy is Takei’s firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother’s hard choices, his father’s faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future.
What does it mean to be American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do? To answer these questions, George Takei joins co-writers Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker for the journey of a lifetime.
Exhibition on view January 18–May 17, 2020