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I recall reading this and thinking of Art Spiegelman's epic graphic novel called MAUS. This novel portrayed the Holocaust but had a similar energy and emotional impact as Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood.
The medium of storytelling is as important as the story itself in a graphic novel. By using frames of drawing with minimal text, the graphic novel calls on the reader to enter into a different kind of textual interpretation. A reader must read the captions of the frames and interpret this text within the context of the paneled art. Artistic style becomes as important as text for relaying narrative to the reader.
Persepolis brings a particular graphic style to the autobiographical narrative. Satrapi draws in a minimalist style: black and white, often only six to eight panels on a page. This style is meant to represent a childlike understanding of the world since the novel follows Satrapi's own childhood. The black and white symbolizes both the past and how the Islamic revolution left Iran devoid of its rich colorful cultural history. The medium of the graphic novel is also important here because iconic representations of Islam are forbidden by the Islamic regime. The novel is, thus, a form of protest as well as art.