The latest title from Drawn and Quarterly is Grass. The book tells the story of Lee Ok-sun, a now-elderly woman who at a young age was forced into sex slavery as a "comfort woman" during WWII. The term "comfort woman" remains a controversial yet recognized term for the large number of women like Lee Ok-sun who were enslaved in these conditions.
The story oscillates between scenes where the author interviews a present-day Granny Lee, who remains an active advocate for compensation and recognition for herself and other comfort women, and the story Granny Lee tells in their meetings. In this earlier time, things start out bad and only get worse. Despite Lee Ok-sun's ambition to learn, to go to school, and to help her family, there are no such opportunities afforded her.
Keum Suk Gendry-Kim's pronounced brushstrokes are the perfect accompaniment to this moving story. Broad views of landscapes and plants offer moments of respite in the midst of an otherwise harrowing narrative.
A story of this dark but significant moment in history is long overdue. Grass will ensure this story is told for years to come.