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Nolan's Pop Culture ReviewBook Review: "9/11 Heartbreaker" by Craig Staufenberg
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, March 24, 2011    Share

Later this year, we will observe the ten-year anniversary of the national tragedy we have come to call "9/11". That, of course, stands for the date that two airliners, hijacked by Muslim terrorists, were deliberately crashed into New York's Twin Towers, effectively destroying both buildings and killing an estimated 3,000 people on September 11, 2001.

The New York skyline, and America as a nation, would never be the same.

Our personal and collective memories of that event are what is at the center of the book being reviewed today.

Author Craig Staufenberg has created an amazing little graphic novel that is touching and compelling and not at all what I expected. He sent me a PDF copy of "9/11 Heartbreaker" that I thought might be a collection of letters and/or interviews, and according to him, that is basically how it started. Instead, he has transformed his research into a narrative featuring a young woman who, on the inspiration from a friend, embarks on a quest to examine the collective impact of 9/11 on our culture as a memory in the context of greater American history.

What she finds is, well, heartbreaking. Wandering around her home in Buffalo, NY, she finds evidence of many instances of broken statues, broken buildings, and broken dreams that at one time meant something important, but time has shifted in priority. No doubt 9/11 re-solidified what it meant to be an American for many of us. Our protagonist suggests that, in time, our collective memories may shift its impact into a did-we-win-or-did-we-lose? situation.

The simple hand-drawn images and lettering lend a very personal and almost diary-like feel to "9/11 Heartbreaker". You can hear the girl speak to you as you read.

Craig Staufenberg was in high school when 9/11 happened and it's interesting to note that he and other twenty-somethings have a unique perspective on national happenings like this during their formative years.

I can safely say that "9/11 Heartbreaker" is a tight, thoughtful, poetic, and unique graphic novel that just might stick with you for a long time and make you search your own feelings as well.

Highly Recommended.


"Nolan's Pop Culture Review" is ©2011 by Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2011 by Nolan B. Canova.

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