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Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos, and Me

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  423 ratings  ·  82 reviews
"A wonderful graphic memoir, tinged with humor and tenderness. An intimate look at Philippine society and culture, but above all, a deeply endearing father-daughter love story." —Michel Rabagliati

When she learns of her beloved father's fatal car accident, Lorina Mapa flies to Manila to attend his funeral. Weaving the past with the present, Mapa entertains with stories abou
Paperback, 140 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Conundrum Press
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Dave Schaafsma
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Filipino Canadian Lorina Mapa pens a very interesting graphic memoir prompted by the death of her father, which led her back from Canada to Manila, and a flood of reminiscences about her life there and its culture. It’s also a father-daughter love story, a tribute to him with anecdotes of the times they had together, but the most enduring part of the story for me is her stories of the 1986 People Power Revolution/EDSA where we read about the fall of Marcos, which was a kind of bloodless revoluti ...more
Skye Kilaen
I really enjoyed this memoir, which begins when Mapa learns her beloved father has passed away. She travels from Cana back to her childhood home in Manila for the funeral, which prompts memories of her childhood. Mapa does a great job weaving together and balancing personal and family memories with recollections of the 1986 revolution that overthrew Ferdinand Marcos and re-established democracy in the Philippines. Her art is clean and expressive, and her storytelling style had me completely abso ...more
Teri Pardue
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Months ago, my sister alerted me to the upcoming release of this book. I have had it sitting in my Amazon cart just waiting for it to come out. It was worth the wait!

Lorina Mapa has created a beautiful, haunting memoir. It connects her father's death in the recent past, with her growing up in the Philippines in the 80s (during the Marcos regime and subsequent EDSA revolution).

This book has some laugh-out-loud moments. Showering with a tabo and buying playboy bunny tsinelas are things that will
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
I just started reading this; I'm on page 43. Some thoughts. I know memory does not work in a linear fashion, so I will concede that the narrative meanders because of memory. Memory itself is subjective, so the kind of over-simplicity and sentimentality Mapa writes towards the beginning of the narrative, I want to attribute to that subjectivity, and maybe also to the fact that this work is directed at younger readers.

There's this section I am currently reading, about why the Philippines is not m
This was great!

#ownvoices GN memoir about growing up in the Philippines in the 1980s. Memorably features the political activism/movements of the era. Also goes into her current life in the USA, and relationships with her siblings.

Varying panel composition, grayscale illustration.

Read with:
Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White (immediately came to mind)
The Best We Could Do
Fatherland: A Family History by Nina Bunjevac
Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey
...among others from my "graph
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
The title of this book is totally misleading. When you see that the author put the name of the band first, you think that most of the plot will be taken by music, and politics will come second. The truth is that the core of the story is politics and the People Power Revolution. There is music in the text but it takes about 2-3 pages in the middle and some in the end, when the author finds peace with herself and comes back to her roots, but it is really not enough for the book which title makes y ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: comix
One of my good friends from junior high moved with her family to Manila in 1984; they came back for an extended visit the following summer with a couple of cousins in tow, and I bonded with her cousin Alfie over our mutual love of Depeche Mode and support for Cory Aquino despite the Reagan Administration propping up the Marcos regime (hey, I had opinions even as a dumb kid!). We corresponded for a while when the whole family moved back to the Philippines at the end of the summer but eventually l ...more
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
A lovely bio-graphic novel about a Filipina woman's childhood. Her father dies, and she goes back into her memories, and describes growing up in the 1980s under Ferdinand Marcos. This is a moving and beautiful graphic novel. I really enjoyed it.

It was a bit uneven, but still worth reading.
Rod Brown
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
This memoir is about the childhood of a woman who grew up in an upper class, politically-connected family in the Philippines during the fall of the Marcos regime in the 1980s. As the title suggests, as a kid she was obsessed with English and American pop music. Being fairly close to her in age, I was into a lot of the same music and remember being mildly aware of the political developments in the Philippines. The 80s retro stuff is a fun way to offset the drier historical bits.

It was interesting
Apr 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
SOOOOO many opportunities to acknowledge her class and economic privilege, but all Mapa does is wallow in self pity; uphold damaging cultural and religious stereotypes that are simply unacceptable... there is no evidence of any critical engagement with the historical or cultural experiences, moments, traditions she includes.
This is an unsettlingly dogmatic and arrogant piece of work. An alternate title could be: Princess Uncrowned: The World No Longer Revolves Around Me As It Did When My Dad Wa
Even though my high school history classes were assuredly more expansive than other high school history curriculums (aka we did spend a good amount of time on non-Western histories), I really didn't know much about the history of the Philippines when I saw the book DURAN DURAN, IMELDA MARCOS, AND ME by Lorina Mapa. But I did know that I like Duran Duran, as New Wave is my JAM! I mean, sure, I knew about Imelda Marcos and her shoes, but not much else. So I was interested to check this one out to ...more
Mateen Mahboubi
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Simple art and great story made this an easy and enjoyable read. Mapa's family was right in the thick of things during the turbulent 80s in the Philippines and she is able to share her wonderful experience living through those times. The only thing that I missed was having more of her own perspective during the People Power Revolution. The general description of those times was appreciated by me since I wasn't as familiar with the events but it was also the chunk of the book which wasn't told fr ...more
Liz Yerby
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A decent graphic memoir, I learned a lotta history. A lot of characters to keep track of! But still very sentimentally written
Jennifer Spiegel
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved it.
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
This was interesting but I found it hard to empathize with someone who’s from a haciendero/politico family...
Maria Olaguera
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book made me laugh, cry and remember. How strange and marvellous to see parts of my own childhood drawn out, and to read in Mapa's clear, honest prose some of my own thoughts and feelings that I've kept locked away. A shining example of how casting a look back can point the way forward. ...more
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A touching memoir that draws connections between family life, the political situation in the Philippines and a good dose of 80's pop culture. The drawings are clear and complement the narrative well. In addressing family the story includes themes of religion, identify, politics and class struggle. ...more
Carnegie-Stout Public Library
"A fascinating glimpse into another culture and time from a deeply personal perspective likely to appeal to readers who might not normally read comics."

Read the rest of Sarah's review on the library's blog:
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
OMg, such a moving, beautifully told story.
Thomas Andrikus
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reading this Filipina-Canadian lady's memoir of her days growing up in the Philippines in the 1970s and 1980s gives me a sense of longing for a country I have never visited....a country with whom my eastern Indonesian ancestors shared a somewhat close connection.

Having lived in Montreal for around a decade at the time of writing, Lorina Mapa experienced a series of flashbacks when she received a sudden news of her father's demise. These flashbacks were the main story of the book, with the Marcos
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos, and Me is the 2017 graphic memoir by Filipino-Canadian Lorina Mapa, describing her coming-of-age during the rule of aspiring-despot Ferdinand Marcos in the late 70s/80s, as well as her coming to terms with the death of her much-beloved father. In works well as both a personal memoir and a retelling of a historical drama (specifically the 1986 People Power Revolution), but the two narrative arcs never quite mesh with one another.

The story is, first and foremost, about
Feb 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, graphic
According to the psychology of grief, no two people will experience the death of a loved one in the same way. How individuals express their pain depends upon a number of factors including their personality, the circumstances surrounding the death, and the way they view the world (Morris, 2011). As narrated in the last few pages of the book, writing this graphic memoir was part of Mapa’s grieving process.

It is fascinating to read a first-person account about one of the most important events in Ph
Rasmenia Massoud
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was ok
The title of this one is really misleading. While it is about growing up in 1980s Philippines during the revolution, it doesn't much get into the pop culture of the time. And I guess Imelda Marcos is in the title just because her and her gross shoe collection were so notable. The story is not about Imelda Marcos specifically, but she gets a mention or two.

Most of the scenes in the middle of the book illustrating the revolution and how the citizens fought to elect Corazon Aquino after tiring of a
2.5 stars -- lots of mixed feelings when i finally read Mapa's memoir.. almost didn't finish but i had been looking forward to borrowing this for a while now so i pushed through

as a Filipinx American whose mom & family immigrated from the Philippines to escape Marcos dictatorship before the escalation in the 80s, i was excited to hear from someone who grew up during that time. i had no idea the whole story was created because of her grief. i'm glad she shared her experience navigating grief afte
Mary Andrikus
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was such a good graphic memoir. Funny thing is (but totally unrelated), I just finished reading a graphic novel "Just So Happens" by Fumio Obata that has a similar storyline: the main character, who is a woman, moved to and adjusted on living in a developed English-speaking country but had to come back to their ancestor/origin country due to their father's death.

This graphic novel by Lorina Mapa shared her personal story during her childhood with Philippines' revolution history as the backg
Nick Klagge
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book just caught my eye in the graphic novels section of my local library. I'm surprised neither my partner nor I had ever heard of it. But, I'm very glad I found it! Rina Mapa does an excellent job blending personal and national history. Although I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about Filipino history (for a non-Filipino), I learned quite a bit about the 1986 "People Power" revolution from this book--especially regarding the specific course of events, the series of defections that er ...more
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Mapa created a fun and insightful graphic novel of a point in time pretty remote from most lives in North America. The Philippine community is a prevalent community here in Vancouver as well as in Hong Kong where I lived at the time of the novel and the political unrest under Marcos that is described in the novel. That is what drew me to the novel because I remember the time of Imelda’s closet of shoes. I find the Philippines are not a verbose, rather a self-effacing community. I enjoyed her ins ...more
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: autobio, comix, history
Filipino Canadian Mapa has penned an engaging graphic memoir of her childhood in the Philippines during the end of the Marcos regime, with an 80s new wave soundtrack to match the times. Her memories are prompted by her father's death in a car accident, and her return home for the first time in 20-odd years for his funeral. As we learn early on, Mapa came from a fairly privileged background which seems to have led to some blind spots in her characterizations of Filipino society. Her claim that Fi ...more
This uplifting graphic memoir is full of love for the author's family, joy in her Filipino culture, and pride in the political power of her countrymen. Upon returning to the Philippines as and adult for her father's funeral, the author, Lorina Mapa, shares her memories of growing up in the eighties, complete with soundtrack, surrounded by her warm and joyous Filipino family. She also unfolds the story of growing authoritarianism under Ferdinand Marcos and how the citizens banded together in powe ...more
Dakota Morgan
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lorina Mapa flies to the Philippines for her father's funeral and, in the process, explores her family's Philippine history. Society and culture play huge and fascinating parts in this story - knowing next to nothing about the Philippines, I was absolutely enthralled. Lorina's family story is just as interesting, with her mother and father both coming from powerful, connected families. The details are the best, though - what Lorina was listening to growing up, what she was eating with her grandm ...more
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