We Are Not Strangers: A Graphic Novel, with Josh Tuininga
When Marco Calvo arrives at the synagogue to attend his grandfather’s funeral, he is caught off guard by something unexpected. Among his close family and friends there are some people he doesn’t recognize at all. Several Japanese American families have arrived, and no one is quite sure why they are here. Who are these strangers that knew his grandfather so well?
What Marco discovers leads him on a journey to explore the powerful true story of his Sephardic immigrant grandfather who sided with Japanese families during the incarceration camps of WW2. Inspired by a true story and set in the multicultural Seattle Central District of the 1940s, We Are Not Strangers explores the unique situation of Japanese and Jewish Americans living side by side in a country at war. These perspectives converge in a portrait of a community’s struggle with race, responsibility, and what it truly means to be an American.
Josh Tuininga is an author, artist, and designer living in North Bend, Washington. After studying fine art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he founded an art and design agency, where he continues to work as its creative director. His work has been published in the magazines Communication Arts and HOW Design, and he was awarded the Communication Arts Award for excellence in illustration. Tuininga is the author of the children’s books Why Blue? and Dream On. We Are Not Strangers, which has been awarded a 4Culture Heritage Grant, is his first graphic novel.