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Review – Jobnik!

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jobnik!One of my finds at the 2010 Small Press Expo was Jobnik! by Miriam Libicki.  This autobiographical graphic novel covers her time in the Israeli army.  Libicki isn’t suited for the army, yet she joins anyway thinking it’s the right thing to do.  What she doesn’t expect is the Al Aqsa uprising to occur at the same time.

Miriam Libicki, an American Jewish girl from a religious home, enlists in the Israeli Army one summer against everyone’s better judgment. Many qualities seem to make her unsuited for IDF life: her Hebrew isn’t great, she is shy and passive, and she has a tendency to fall in love with anything that moves. If that weren’t enough, the Al Aqsa uprising, a.k.a the second Palestinian Intifada, erupts a few weeks after she is stationed as a secretary in a remote Negev base. Will Miriam survive threats of terrorism, the rough IDF culture, and not least, her horrible taste in men?

This is a tale of youth with a backdrop of an uprising adding interesting context for the time.  Libicki doesn’t spare any embarrassing detail, showing herself in a true naive light.  There’s little glossed over, and only brutal truth shines through.

She also handles drawing duty.  Her figures are all short and stocky with big eyes, but every so often the style changes up.  It does the job and doesn’t distract, but at the same time, this is about the story.

The story is raw and not censored.  This is an important piece of work as it covers real life during a pretty turbulent time in Israeli history and one woman’s.

Plot: Libicki tells a honest brutal tale.  There’s little glossing over the cold hard facts and she definitely puts enough in there that puts her in a somewhat bad light.  And that’s very admirable.  Along with the interesting backdrop of the Palestinian uprising, you’ve got a dual tale that’s a must read.  Rating: 9

Art: The art, also by Libicki is ok.  It’s definitely not the highlight of the comic.  There’s a definite style but every so often it does change up into very impressive pages.  If you’re reading this, it isn’t for the art.  But that’s ok, this is all about the story.  Rating: 7

Overall: This is an important graphic novel and one I’d definitely suggest checking out.  The female writer paints a brutal portrait of herself, which is beyond empowering.  Along with that we also have a shattering real world event.  Both thrusted together is something that deserves your attention.  Overall rating: 8.5

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 152 pages    Price: $18    Release Date: Out now

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