By: Kaveh Adel
Published in 2019
Aspersian is a lifetime work of art. An educational yet, enchanting and poignant graphic novel
written and illustrated in 12 chapters, which resonates Mr. Roger’s humble approach towards life. Immensely encouraging and inspiring, the book deals with disquiet life and unquiet mind during the turbulent times where a thin line between death and life, brutality and empathy, normality and strangeness dominate the life of a little boy.
Realistic and surrealistic, blended with history, mythology and politics, Kaveh Adel’s touching graphic novel, engulfs the reader in the labyrinthine life of a little boy growing up in Iran during revolution, war, religious tyranny, divorce and emigration. The author emphasizes his journey into a deep search for self-identity, meaning of life and sanctuary in this world flooded by instability and ambiguity.
Each chapter begins with the boy waking up in the morning, a metaphoric image portraying one who is emerging from the darkness, going through an enlightening day, experiencing another haunting yet surprising encounters and finally learning something preciously original and life changing.
The title, Aspersian, is a mixture of two words (Asperger) and (Persian). It resonates the word “Aspersion”. A word indirectly relatable to the soul of the book. The content of Aspersian brought to my mind the essence of The Aleph a short story by Jorge Luis Borges and Julia, a film based on Lillian Hellman’s book Pentimento.
Reading this book is challenging, evocative and surprising in so many different levels. I highly recommend it.