The graphic novel adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s bestselling literary science-fiction masterpiece Kindred is a #1 New York Times bestseller and the winner of the 2018 Eisner Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium.
Kindred continues to draw in new readers with its deep exploration of the violence and loss of humanity caused by slavery in the United States, and its complex and lasting impact on the present day. Adapted by celebrated academics and comics artists Damian Duffy and John Jennings, this graphic novel powerfully renders Butler’s mysterious and moving story, which spans racial and gender divides in the antebellum South through the 20th century.
Butler’s most celebrated, critically acclaimed work tells the story of Dana, a young black woman who is suddenly and inexplicably transported from her home in 1970s California to the pre–Civil War South. As she time-travels between worlds, one in which she is a free woman and one where she is part of her own complicated familial history on a Southern plantation, she becomes frighteningly entangled in the lives of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder and one of Dana’s own ancestors, and the many people who are enslaved by him.
Held up as an essential work in feminist, science-fiction, and fantasy genres, as well as a cornerstone of the Afrofuturism movement, the intersectionality of race, history, and the treatment of women addressed in the book still remain critical topics in contemporary dialogue, both in the classroom and in the public sphere.
Frightening, compelling, and richly imagined, Kindred offers an unflinching look at our complicated social history, transformed by the graphic novel format into a visually stunning work for a new generation of readers.
Octavia Estelle Butler (1947–2006), often referred to as the “grand dame of science fiction,” was born in Pasadena, California, on June 22, 1947. She received an Associate of Arts degree in 1968 from Pasadena City College, and also attended California State University in Los Angeles and the University of California, Los Angeles. Butler was the first science-fiction writer to win a MacArthur Fellowship (“genius” grant). She won the PEN Lifetime Achievement Award and the Nebula and Hugo Awards, among others. Her books include Wildseed, Imago, and Parable of the Sower.
John Jennings is the curator of the Megascope list and illustrator of the graphic novel adaptations of Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred and Parable of the Sower. He is a professor of media and cultural studies at the University of California, Riverside, and was awarded the Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellowship at Harvard’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research. He also coedited the Eisner Award-winning anthology The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art.
Damian Duffy, cartoonist, writer, and comics letterer, is a PhD student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Graduate School of Library and Information Science, and a founder of Eye Trauma Studios (eyetrauma.net). His first published graphic novel, The Hole: Consumer Culture, created with artist John Jennings, was released by Front 40 Press in 2008. Along with Jennings, Duffy has curated several comics art shows, including Other Heroes: African American Comic Book Creators, Characters and Archetypes and Out of Sequence: Underrepresented Voices in American Comics, and published the art book Black Comix: African American Independent Comics Art and Culture. He has also published scholarly essays in comics form on curation, new media, diversity, and critical pedagogy.
Nnedi Okorafor, PhD, is a novelist of Nigerian descent known for weaving African culture into creative, evocative settings and memorable characters. Her novels include Zahrah the Windseeker (winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature), The Shadow Speaker (winner of the CBS Parallax Award), and Long Juju Man (winner of the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa). Okorafor lives in Illinois with her daughter, Anyaugo, and family. Okorafor’s recent work includes the graphic novel LaGuardia, the miniseries Antar from IDW Comics, and Wakanda Forever and the Shuri series for Marvel Comics.
"Adapting any prose novel to the graphic format is an audacious undertaking at the best of times, but translating Octavia E. Butler’s fearsomely powerful work in particular must surely have been a herculean task. Yet Damian Duffy and John Jennings have managed it…A worthy and powerful supplement to a classic.”
— The New York Times
“Awash in burnished ambers and potent violets, this illustrated adaptation of Butler’s 1979 time-traveling classic about a black woman from ’70s California suddenly transplanted to the 19th-century South amplifies the original’s visceral grace.”
— O, The Oprah Magazine