ABOUT The Parish
A year-and-a-half after Hurricane Katrina, St. Bernard Parish is still just a shell of its former self. Its people scattered, its buildings condemned.
AmeriCorps has come down south to help rebuild. Leo joined up to create real change, but ends up running the camp newsletter. His friends Snave, Cirelle, and Davy have Equally unglamorous jobs, while other teams get all the “real” work. Frustrated, they chafe against authority and each other. Only Kiley, the girl Leo pines after, spends her days saving houses from ruin.
Leo and his friends work, sweat, and love in a town longing for renewal. They’re all looking for something. Or running from something. Often, both.
Inspired by the author’s own AmeriCorps experience in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,The Parish is a graphic novel about the tug-of-war between selfishness and service.
In keeping with the creators’ socially-conscious spirit, and due to the publisher’s own involvement in Hurricane Katrina, Beating Windward Press donates $1 from each copy sold to the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity.
“Joel Smith and Ryan Winet’s The Parish captures the urgency and hope that defined so much of volunteerism linked to post Katrina clean-up effort. Bringing a deeply personal narrative to a story of idealism, hardship, and action, The Parish: An AmeriCorps Story reminds how much the story of Hurricane Katrina became a personal crucible for volunteers drawn to a city in crisis.”
— Julian Chambliss, urban and cultural historian, co-editor of Ages of Heroes, Eras of Men: Superheroes and the American Experience
“The Parish’s ride may not be as rough as hurricane Katrina itself, but the cast experiences their own storms working to bring relief to one of the hardest hit areas while searching for something inside of themselves. It’s a ride worth taking with them.”
— Roland Mann, comics author of Cat & Mouse, & The Remaining.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: A limited black & white print edition of The Parish: An AmeriCorps Storywas published on June 1, 2015 with clean interior pages. On August 29, 2015, the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the limited print edition was discontinued and a color, “floodwaters” print edition replaced the black & white edition. The “flooding” of the interior pages is our way to show the harsh, toxic environment the residents and volunteers lived and worked in. The initial destruction from Hurricane Katrina was significant and vital to document, but the persisting devastation and decay is often overlooked in Katrina stories and should also be documented.