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“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Muhammad Ali, one of the most revered—and controversial—figures of the twentieth century, immortalized those words with the beauty, strength, and originality of his boxing style. Now, his epic story is retold in this gorgeous, striking graphic novel Messenger that showcases exactly why he became celebrated worldwide as “The Greatest.”
Muhammad Ali was one of the most photographed—and photogenic—figures in the history of sports. He demanded to be looked at, to be seen, and this epic captures his meteoric rise from Cassius Clay to Olympian and heavyweight champion of the world with stunning illustrations befitting his storied legacy. Bringing readers through major moments of his life—his first meeting with civil rights leader Malcolm X, his interview with sports broadcaster Howard Cosell about his reasons for opposing the Vietnam War, and his titanic bout with then-undefeated heavyweight champion George Foreman, among others—this graphic biography will be a crucial and instantly popular resource on The Greatest.
A Junior Library Guild selection
"Salas’s noir-like b&w illustrations depict some of Ali’s career-defining matches in adrenaline-rich sequences that feature fluidly rendered sweat flying across the page and sharp lighting tracing swift punches...Bernardin employs organic dialogue to highlight his humanitarian efforts throughout...making for a well-rounded look at the subject’s impact on society."—Publishers Weekly
"Most libraries have several Ali biographies already, but this will make an excellent addition to tell his story in a more complete and captivating way." — School Library Journal
"It is a part of this book’s genius to have understood that graphic storytelling is perfectly matched to the epic of Muhammad Ali, among the most inspiring, significant, heroic, and revealing of all postwar American lives. The remainder of its genius can be attributed to the talents of Bernardin and Salas, whose compassionate scholarship, narrative inventiveness, and clear-sighted sense of humanity make Messenger an irresistible, important, and deeply delightful book." —Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
“Messenger does the impossible - the graphic novel captures the magic, charm, and unbridled power of one of the most memorable figures in modern history: Muhammad Ali. Bernardin’s well-crafted story and Salas’s clean, evocative art complement each other perfectly to create a story that feels vibrant and epic while still showcasing the many skills and very human flaws of this massive and unforgettable personality and man. I couldn’t put it down.” - Alex Segura, bestselling author of Secret Identity