Most reviews of Sowa’s memoir are positive and gives most readers a powerful sense of the world she saw in Poland during her childhood. Publisher’s Weekly states that “Marzi is the perfect guide to her world as she tries to better inform the reader in understanding the workings of the Soviet-controlled state as well as the interactions of adults around her.” The majority of the pages are drawn from Marzi’s eye-level which enables us to understand a child’s perspective. Marzi’s relationships with her father, “an affable man whom she adores, and her mother, with whom she frequently clashes, are particularly well-developed and complex.” Each page has the same six-panel layout along with the cartoon style, dialogue, and the quality. This captures Marzi’s childhood as well as the story of Poland itself. Without being careless or sacrificing any of its overall complexion. The comic portrays this comparison between the children and the oppressed.
The Forgotten “I”
The author of this scholarly review, Marta Bladek, grew up in Poland at a similar time and was deeply moved by the story Sowa’s depicted. She says, “It powerfully evokes an era that many other Polish citizens could not have dreamed of. The drawings alongside the writing capture the toll of life under Communism. It conveys both the immediacy of the child’s point of view and reflective commentary of the adult she later came to be” (26)
Andrew A. Smith of Seattle Times, “Marzi is written by Marzena Sowa as an account of her younger self as she remembers it behind the Iron Curtain. Life under communism is and was an experience completely alien to those that this book was catered towards. Sowa completely captures the perspective of a child, one universal to us all. That viewpoint is held with consistency throughout, grounding the reader, while experiencing the unique.” One comparison he makes further in the review is that in reading Marzi, “one is immediately struck by its similarities to Persepolis, a similar tale of another little girl growing up under a repressive regime. In addition, both Sowa and ““Persepolis”” creator Marjane Satrapi use a fluid, cartoony style, which serves not only to invite the reader with its gentle charm, but also to serve as a counterpoint to the harsh, serious world in which the protagonists live.”
Here’s a link to full review of Marzi on Seattle Times webpage. http://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/books/comics-marzi-a-memoir/
Posted by Sam
Bladek, Marta. “The Forgotten “I”. The Women’s Review of Books 29.3 (2012): 26–29. Web.
“Comics: ‘Marzi: A Memoir'” Publisher’s Weekly. N.p., n.d. Web.
Smith, Andrew A. “Comics: ‘Marzi: A Memoir'” The Seattle Times. N.p., 17 Nov. 2011. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.