Graphic Story of Jonas Finkel
Is Compelling, Literary Work

By J. Stephen Bolhafner
Published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
unday, October 25, 1998

A Jew in Communist Prague
Book 3: Rebellion
Vittorio Giardino

The promotional material that came with my copy of "A Jew in Communist Prague Book 3: Rebellion" (56 pages, NBM Publishing, $11.95 paper) says that this is part three of four. That is both good news and bad. It's good news, because the story of Jonas Finkel has grown more suspenseful since the first book. On the other hand, I'm a bit sad that this wonderful piece of graphic storytelling is coming to end.

In the Book 2, "Adolescence," Jonas fell in love with a young woman who was part of a group of friends who met in the park to read from banned books and other mildly "anti-socialist" activities. In this book, he discovers that her father is the Russian ambassador, and the ambassador discovers that his daughter is seeing a Jew whose father is in prison as an enemy of the people.

Vittorio Giardino's artwork seems to grow even more beautiful with each volume. While these individual parts aren't really "graphic novels," it is clear that the complete work will be worthy of the title in every way, a thoughtful and compelling work of literature told as much with beautifully rendered pictures as by the characters' dialogue.