Star Trek alum George Takei to release graphic novel based on his life
Star Trek alumnus, LGBT activist, and social media icon George Takei is boldly joining the world of comics.
Takei is teaming up with IDW Publishing for a graphic novel based on his life, focusing specifically on his family’s firsthand experience in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II. The actor was 5 years old when the bombing of Pearl Harbor prompted President Franklin D. Roosevelt to sign an executive order authorizing the internment of 120,000 American citizens of Japanese heritage, without any charges or due process.
The graphic novel will chronicle Takei’s memories of that time, how his impoverished family started over after their confinement, his rise to fame on Star Trek: The Original Series, and how his experiences led him to become a vocal human rights activist.
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Takei frequently calls attention to Japanese-American internment camps “in the hope that my personal experience can serve as a cautionary reminder of our past leaders’ mistakes, and that as a society, we can learn from those transgressions and not repeat them,” the actor said in a statement. “When the opportunity to tell my story in the form of a graphic novel presented itself, I recognized the value in making it easily accessible for our youth to discover and digest the material, bringing attention to an important and relevant issue, while preserving it for generations to come. We live in uncertain times, and if stories such as mine can inspire us to do better and encourage positive change, I want to share it with as many people as possible, no matter who they are, or where they come from.”
The actor invoked his experience late last year when he spoke out against Donald Trump’s proposed Muslim registry, saying, “It is more important than ever that the story of the internment be told and heard. We must remain vigilant and mindful of our past mistakes, so that history does not repeat itself. Trump’s rhetoric and plans to profile Muslims indicate that he has not learned the folly of the internment, nor the forces of fear and prejudice that propelled it.”
Takei’s family experience was fodder for the Broadway play Allegiance, in which he also acted. Before it closed last year, EW’s critic gave the play — which was the first Broadway musical by Asian-Americans, starring Asian-Americans, and about Asian-Americans — a B+ grade, calling it “an important show with a phenomenal cast.”
Takei will oversee the as-yet-untitled graphic novel, to be released in 2018. IDW’s Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott will handle scripting duties. An artist has yet to be named.