New graphic novel will cover NY State Senator Julia Salazar’s first year in office

The 27-year-old democratic socialist was the youngest woman ever elected to New York’s state senate.

Following in the (large) footprints left by March and They Called Us Enemy, Top Shelf will publish Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator by Sofia Warren next year.

The graphic novel will chronicle Warren’s time with Julia Salazar, the 27-year-old democratic socialist who became the youngest woman to ever be elected to New York’s state senate in 2018. Warren was embedded with Salazar’s staff during her first year in office.

“So much of this experience was a surprise to me,” said Warren, “that for their entire first legislative session, Julia and her staff let me be in the room; that ‘the room’ was just as often a food court, or a senior center, or a march in the middle of a blizzard; that they were as open with me about their frustrations as they were about their victories; and that I — an introverted, cynical millennial living through the Trump presidency — could leave the experience so motivated and inspired. I hope that readers leave this book feeling the same.”

Here’s the description from Top Shelf:

A graphic memoir to be published by Top Shelf Productions in June 2022, Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator is a remarkable first-hand account of Warren’s experience embedded with Julia Salazar and her staff during their first year in office. From candid conversations and eyewitness experiences, Warren builds a gripping and intimate portrait of a scrappy team of community organizers battling entrenched power structures, particularly to advance Julia’s marquee issue of housing rights.

At every key point during the year — setting up an office, navigating insider politics, public pushback, testy staff meetings, emotional speeches, protest marches, setbacks, and victories — Warren is up close and personal with Julia and her team, observing, questioning, and drawing, as they try to translate their ideals into concrete legislation. Along the way, Warren works toward answers to deeper questions: what makes a good leader? What does it mean to be a part of a community? Can democracy work? How can everyday people make change happen?

All these themes will be explored — with nuance, compassion, and humor — next June in Sofia Warren’s remarkable debut.

“After seeing firsthand how the award-winning graphic memoirs March and They Called Us Enemy have transformed countless readers’ understanding of essential issues, we can’t wait to bring Sofia’s book into the world,” said editor Leigh Walton. “Why do elected officials act the way they do? Is there any other way? Why are we often disappointed by our governments, and how can we talk so they will listen? Radical, in its charming, accessible style, gives us a rare look behind the curtain, filling in some of these gaps in our understanding and leaving us better equipped to shape the future.”

You can check out a few preview pages below. The graphic novel will arrive in stores next June.

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