Saturday, April 16, 2011

Memento Nora Book Tour: Author Guest Post

Welcome to the 15th stop on the Memento Nora book tour! Memento Nora is Angie Smibert's debut dystopia, which came out on the 1st of April.

Nora, the popular girl and happy consumer, witnesses a horrific bombing on a shopping trip with her mother. In Nora’s near-future world, terrorism is so commonplace that she can pop one little white pill to forget and go on like nothing ever happened. However, when Nora makes her first trip to a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic, she learns what her mother, a frequent forgetter, has been frequently forgetting. Nora secretly spits out the pill and holds on to her memories. The memory of the bombing as well as her mother’s secret and her budding awareness of the world outside her little clique make it increasingly difficult for Nora to cope. She turns to two new friends, each with their own reasons to remember, and together they share their experiences with their classmates through an underground comic. They soon learn, though, they can’t get away with remembering.

At this stop, Angie Smibert will be sharing with us her top ten comic inspirations for Memento Nora:

In Memento Nora, my main characters create an underground comic to share their memories as well
as the nefarious things they discover going on around them. I’m not a comic geek, which I mean in the
nicest sense of the word. I don’t claim to know a lot about comics or graphic novels, but these are my
favorites and/or the ones that influenced the comic in Memento Nora:

1-2. Maus (I & II) by Art Spiegelman
Maus is the biography of the author’s father, a Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust.
Spiegelman documented his father’s experiences in the concentration camps in graphic novel
form. Maus is the only comic book to ever win the Pulitzer Prize (1992).

3. In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman
Spiegelman wrote this graphic novel after 9/11. He lived near the WTC at the time, and his
daughter was in a nearby school when the planes struck the towers. (She survived.) This book
was his way to deal with the experience.

4. Persepolis by Marjane Sartrapi
Persepolis, first published in France, is the author’s memoir about growing up in Iran (and
Europe) during her country’s Islamic Revolution. Satrapi has also written Chicken and Plums and

5. The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman
I love anything by Neil Gaiman. I cannot claim to have read all or even most of the series, but
it’s essentially about the nature of storytelling.

6. Fables series by Bill Willingham
Actually, I’ve just started reading these. The series is about fairy tale characters who’ve been
cast out of their land and are now living in a section of NYC called Fabletown.

7. This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow. (
This Modern World is a weekly political cartoon that appears in approximately 80 newspapers
across the U.S. and on websites such as and Credo. Tomorrow’s humor (and insight)
slays me.

8. Understanding Comics by Scott McLeod
Scott McLeod ( wrote a seminal series of books on how comics work.
The books—Understanding Comics, Making Comics, and Reinventing Comics—are all in graphic
novel form.

9. American Splendor by Harvey Pekar
Pekar told real, everyday life stories through graphic novels. The movie American Splendor is
based on him—and he appeared in parts of it.

10. Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
This is the one pulp / comic I remember reading (and liking) as a kid. The “girly” stuff like the
Archies never did anything for me.

Be sure to check out the next and final stop on the book tour tomorrow over at Teens Read And Write!