They Called Us Enemy|George Takei
They Called Us Enemy
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New York Times Bestseller

A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon -- and America itself -- in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.

George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father's -- and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future.

In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten relocation centers, hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard.

They Called Us Enemy is Takei's firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother's hard choices, his father's faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future.

What does it mean to be American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do? To answer these questions, George Takei joins co-writers Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker for the journey of a lifetime.


  • ISBN-13: 9781603094504
  • ISBN-10: 1603094504
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
  • Publish Date: July 2019
  • Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Page Count: 208
  • Reading Level: Ages 12-17

Graphic memoirs: It all comes flooding back

Readers who love coming-of-age tales will welcome these two graphic memoirs, both of which poignantly explore the ways childhood experiences reverberate through our lives. In these pages, there is fun and frolicking, confusion and sorrow—the bittersweet nature of life, finely drawn.

In They Called Us Enemy, pop culture icon and social activist George Takei harks back to his childhood, several years of which were spent in internment camps during World War II. He was 4 when Pearl Harbor was bombed, and 120,000 Japanese Americans were subsequently removed from their homes and sent to prison camps along the West Coast.

Takei and co-writers Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott capture the terror, fear and frustration of those years, and Harmony Becker’s art masterfully conveys the harsh violence of warplanes and bombs, as well as the sweet sadness of kids playing within barbed-wire fences.

They Called Us Enemy is an important read for anyone who wants to learn the full truth of our country’s history of institutionalized racism and gain greater context for our present. A tribute to Takei’s parents, this meditation on citizenship and community will educate, challenge and inspire.

Set in 1980s Massachusetts, King of King Court is also a trip down a bumpy memory lane, one that winds through Travis Dandro’s life from age 6 to 16 and contemplates the ways in which love, anger and loneliness collide. Dandro’s art is expressive, his storylines often impressionistic.

Kinetic dream sequences feel whimsical yet enlightening, dark shadows reveal even as they conceal, and scenes of kids making mischief are unquestionably cute. Thanks to the adults who loomed large in young Dandro’s world, such contrasts (and confusion) were not uncommon, especially when it came to his biological dad, Dave. He’s macho, mustachioed, addicted to drugs and still appealing to Dandro’s mom.

Readers will sympathize when teen Dandro feels beleaguered and angry at adults’ ill-advised choices, and they’ll appreciate grown-up Dandro’s empathy. Dedicated to his mother, this moving book is a happy ending to their story—and perhaps a beginning, too.