Nicholas Writes Op-Ed on ‘Fist Stick Knife Gun’

By Purnell T. Cropper | November 19, 2010

“Taking a life story and translating it into a visual form allows readers to emotionally connect in a way that simply reading about it may not,” writes Jamar Nicholas, in an op-ed in the Daily News on Nov. 17.

Nicholas, Assistant to the Arcadia University Art Gallery, recently published his first graphic novel, Fist Stick Knife Gun, a graphic adaptation of the novel Fist Stick Knife Gun, by Geoffrey Canada. The novel is about Canada’s childhood in the south Bronx where as Nicholas puts it, “People solved problems with an unwritten code of violence.”

Nicholas will be signing his new graphic novel Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence at Barnes & Noble in Jenkintown on Saturday, Dec. 18, at 1 p.m. The store is located at 835 Old York Road, Jenkintown, PA 19046, 215-886-5366. Read more.

“In his memoir, Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence, Geoffrey Canada – the founder of Harlem’s Children’s Zone who was featured in the recent documentary Waiting for Superman – wrote about his early life. I took the events and emotions, and visually represented them in a new, more accessible way,” Nicholas writes in the op-ed.

“The stories of a young Geoff Canada may be shockingly commonplace if you grew up in an urban environment like Philadelphia, as I did. In many ways, I shared the same childhood – of fear, mistrust, danger and violence. My intent in adapting this book was to shed light on a subject that people may only see one side of – which has its own sets of rules, codes, and procedures. But as Fist Stick Knife Gun shows, the world of youth violence is not as black and white as it seems,” Nicholas concludes.

Read the op-ed and see his part of his book. Read a Q&A with Nicholas in the Bulletin.