... difficult, graceful, and humble ... Through minimal editorialization and a bolstered sense of humility, Gendry-Kim sheds a deeply personal light on the affects of war during one of the most disputed portions of 20th century Asian history ... While there are so many repeating scenarios of rape and the messy brutality that comes with sexual assault in this graphic novel, they are all handled with a respectfully honest hand and knowing artwork that tries its best to convey the weight and trust behind the story being told ... Gendry-Kim makes a point of making a page dedicated to Ok-sun’s current thoughts on what had happened to her, or a portrait on her feelings all these years later. This allows the story further depth ... Though contemporary use of only black ink and brush, Gendry-Kim artfully recreates the pain experienced in Ok-sun’s life while making an effort to express the side of her that still holds true: her compassion and her humor. Rarely is it seen in biographic memoirs the ability to depict a fullness to the person who lived the tale, and Gendry-Kim has clearly taken the time to make this a tale of living instead of solely a tale of survival ... With motion-driven illustration and an uncanny ability to tell the story of someone else’s life with grace, Gendry-Kim has created something beautiful, powerful, and necessary in the world’s path to recognizing that these are things that have happened, and that we should be paying attention and paying respects to now—even if it’s decades after the fact ... For readers ready to stare into some of the more brutally untold parts of history through the eyes of a soul that has lived it, be prepared to be humbled; be prepared to cry; and recognize the importance of being able to witness it, because a graphic novel like Grass deserves so much more than even that.
Gendry-Kim depicts Korea in gentle detail, using an increasingly dark and jagged style to represent conflict in her true-life story of the ways in which war changed both an entire way of life and a single individual.
... difficult, moving ... In swift black brushstrokes that feel both contemporary and, in key wordless pauses, classical, Gendry-Kim follows Ok-sun’s narration of her life (based on interviews) with minimal editorializing ... Despite occasional moments of disjointed plotting, Gendry-Kim tells Ok-sun’s powerful story with grace, artfulness, and humility; it deserves witness.