Pedro And Me

Posted: Sunday, September 3
By: Zach Shemtob
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Writer/Artist: Judd Winick

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.

Plot: An autobiographical story, where Judd Winick becomes fast friends with Pedro Zamora, a gay HIV-positive AIDS educator, through MTV's The Real World.

It's not often that one can feel a graphic novel resonating with emotion. Nor is it often that this very comic can be a fantastic read from start to finish. Pedro and Me, written by fan favorite Judd Winick, accomplishes both of these lofty tasks.

The early reviews on Pedro and Me have been stupendous. I have read that it is being compared to the Holocaust saga Maus, and has garnered some of the best buzz in the comic book world. Pedro and Me does indeed deserve all the praise that is being thrown at it. It is a powerful, poignant, yet continuously grounded story that is best read in one sitting.

For those unfamiliar with its storyline, Pedro and Me tells the tale of Judd Winick and the extraordinary friend of his whose namesake makes up the title. Pedro Zamora is a most special person, an HIV positive AIDS educator who fights his fears to tell the world about the disease that is consuming him. Originally meeting on MTV's The Real World: San Francisco, the two become friendly, and find confidence in one another. To further summarize the plot is pointless, one should read it for themselves.

Those people looking to read strictly about The Real World (or Puck) may be somewhat disappointed. Pedro and Me is not about the TV show; what it is about, however, is something of relevance to us all. It is about promoting human understanding and compassion, dispersing lowly rumors on AIDS, and an amazing, courageous person.

This is the type of graphic novel that should be read in schools across the nation. It is further proof that Graphic Literature can be as powerful a form of literature as any. It covers ground that has already been stepped over, yet Pedro and Me still feels fresh and original.

In conclusion, let me just say that I'm not the type of guy to usually express much emotion over any forms of entertainment, but Mr Winick got me genuinely saddened without being sappy or melodramatic. He seems to have poured his heart and soul into this piece, and boy, does it show.

Even if you normally stick only to superhero books, I recommend this book. Heck, if you only buy a few comics a year, I recommend Pedro and Me.

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