My first introduction to Marjane Satrapi was her book Embroideries, which I think was original. I loved how she drew the characters and told the story. I haven't read Persepolis because several months ago when I was looking for it, it wasn't available.
Persepolis is a Greek word which means 'Persian city'. The city was the capital of the first Persian Empire. The movie itself is the personal story of Ms Satrapi: of her childhood in Iran in the 70's, and how she was sent to Vienna, and later went back to Iran again. With the revolution and the wars, the story should have been depressing, but thanks to her unique sense of humour, we can have sympathy for her and her country, and at the same time, enjoy the movie. It reminds me of Frank McCourt and his Angela'a Ashes: the story is sad, but humorous.
I like how they keep the black and white style in the movie, like in the original books. Some scenes, the present scene, are in colour. [The movie is told in flashback style.] I am also glad that they make this in cartoon, because I have to admit that cartoon characters make the movie more universal. In the end, what we, ordinary people, want is not much: we want to live in peace, without fear, and have enough money to eat and send the kids to school.