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First look at art work from George Takei's upcoming graphic memoir

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Jul 19, 2018, 10:07 PM EDT (Updated)

George Takei's traumatic past is getting illustrated.

With San Diego Comic-Con 2018 now underway, the cover of the Star Trek legend's forthcoming graphic memoir, They Called Us Enemy, has just been released, and by the mournful look on the young Takei's face, it's haunting.


The 81-year-old actor's heartfelt chronicle about his years spent in a Japanese internment camp as a child is slated to be published by Top Shelf Productions in summer 2019.

And it couldn't be more timely given the Trump administration's policy of forcibly separating children from immigrant families. That's because They Called Us Enemy will revisit that time when a 4-year-old George and his parents were taken from their homes along with 1 million other Japanese Americans by the U.S. government and relocated to internment camps during World War II.

Takei is collaborating on the book with co-writers Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott, while artist and illustrator Harmony Becker, creator of the comics Himawari Share and Love Potion, will provide the artwork. The latter three, in fact, will be on hand to discuss the project and share a sneak peak of Becker's illustrations at Friday's Comic-Con panel, "The Human Condition: Connecting Humanity with Graphic Novels," set for 1 p.m. PT.

Best known for playing Sulu on Star Trek and a longtime activist for gay rights and human rights, Takei has been a loud voice speaking out against American xenophobia. As part of his efforts to educate the public regarding his own brush with it, he even used it as inspiration for a successful Broadway musical he co-created, Allegiance.

Takei previously said They Called Us Enemy is "a cautionary reminder of our past leaders' mistakes, and that as a society, we can learn from those transgressions and not repeat them."

Whether or not Takei can bring about better living through comics is unknown. But given the current state of the immigration debate, it's worth a try.

Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage SDCC 2018, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.

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