Review – The Infidel #1


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THE INFIDEL #1 coverThe Infidel #1 is a tough comic to review.  It’s almost as if it’s a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.  By “liking” it you run the risk of being labeled as endorsing its politics, if you “dislike” it, then you’re a knee jerk liberal.  Written by and art by Bosch Fawstin, The Infidel is a pretty controversial comic already taking a hard stance against Islam and more specifically extremists.  But, beyond all of that noise and distractions is potentially a great story about twin brothers with different religious beliefs and world viewpoints.

THE INFIDEL, a story about twin brothers whose Muslim background comes to the forefront of their lives on 9/11. One responds by creating a counter-jihad superhero comic book called PIGMAN, as the other surrenders to Islam. Pigman’s battle against his archenemy SuperJihad is echoed by the escalating conflict between the twins.

I’ll come out and outright say it, I enjoyed the comic.  I cringed at some things, but I believe in Fawstin’s right to say them, and in fairness I cringe at other things I enjoy too.  Now, I feel like I really need to defend my opinion here.  There’s almost an autobiographical take on this story which makes it fascinating.  Fawstin was born into an Albanian-Muslim family, and raised Muslim.  He has an interesting perspective on the subject he writes.  It’s clear 9/11 has affected him, you can feel anguish in this comic lingering from that event and it’s the spark for the comic within the comic, Pigman.

But the main focus, which comes later in this first issue, is the twin brothers.  I’m sure a psychologist can make the case this is Fawstin’s own struggle with his identity.  We’ll see as the series progresses how this plays out, but taken by itself, an Islamic brother and an anti-Muslim brother is a great story to be told.  I’m hoping this is the focus of the series, the two brothers debating their beliefs.  That’s something I want to read.

The comic within a comic is humorous if not overtly phobic of Islam.  There’s beyond insulting material in there.  But to me, I don’t really care; it is what it is and is just one part of the story.

It’s nice to see a “right-wing” comic and I’m hoping to see more out there.  This is the first issue, and I actually look forward to the next.

Plot: Forget the politics of it, the meat of the story is two brothers who disagree in their faith.  That has potential gold in it.  There’s over the top moments and statements.  Things that made me cringe, but Fawstin has a right to say these things.  Agree or disagree with the politics behind it, I can still enjoy the story.  And this is one I want to see more of.  Rating: 8.5

Art: Fawstin’s art is decent.  It doesn’t blow me away, but there are parts I liked.  I think overall, it’s the coloring that threw me, there’s just something that’s off about it.  The second part of the Pigman comic’s art kicks it up a notch, something I wish the entire comic looked like.  But, please can someone explain the Pigman logo?  It’s the twin towers, but I don’t get the red.  Rating: 7.25

Overall: Forget the politics, I liked the comic.  The story between two brothers has tons of potential and handled right, could transcend the politics surrounding it.  There’s definitely enough here for Muslims or the left to get riled up about, I cringed at times.  SPOILER But, I’ll admit, I enjoyed seeing Bin Laden thrown off a cliff.  There was something cathartic about it. End Spoiler Hopefully though, Fawstin focuses on the heart of the story, the twin brothers, as opposed to the shock and awe of the rest.  Overall rating: 8

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 26 pages    Price: $2.50    Release Date: Out Now

Bosch Fawstin provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.

2 comments

  • The Pigman sybol is explained on the graphic novel’s Facebook page:

    The Meaning behind Pigman’s chest symbol:

    Those are The Twin Towers on Pigman’s chest, with the red S making it read September 11. This being a Capitalist Pigman, it also makes out a dollar sign. As well as evoking Superman’s S.

    In addition, and not as obvious, the part of the S that goes off the left side makes out a 9, making it 9/11 …as well. And further, the two small dents on the right tower are meant to make out a number 3, making it a 93, which is an homage to the heroes of flight 93, but can also, unintended on my part, reference the first jihad attack on the towers in 1993.