Tag Archives: sarah glidden

People Over Politics: Rolling Blackouts and Refugees

A few months ago, for one of my English classes, we dove into the murky waters of refugees, examining the motive behind closing off borders and the way in which that fits or doesn’t fit American ideals (hint: I don’t think it does).  The conversation quickly became pretty heated, with most of my students arguing for letting in refugees against a few very vocal opponents. I’m not going to unearth every part of that conversation, but I do want to dust off the jewel offered by one of my students who is Muslim and has family friends that are refugees–one of those family friends had her family killed by ISIS, a long cry from being an ISIS member herself.

Throughout the course of the conversation, she focused on the idea that a conversation like this quickly unfurls into abstract language, and in doing so, we lose the thread that a conversation like this should focus on: people. We should be seeing faces instead of statistics, hearts instead of hatred.  Perhaps not surprisingly, my students who were against refugees sidestepped this question and continued to talk in generalizations, arguing in abstractions loosely connected with reality.

And perhaps this is the very reason that a graphic novel like Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq exists, a non-fiction graphic novel that follows Sarah Glidden as she journeys with journalists to Turkey, Iraq and Syria to examine refugee life. Yes, it discusses refugees who fled Iran after the US invaded (running to countries like Syria and Turkey) not refugees fleeing Syria. But, the core of the book–its attempts to anchor this abstract issue with real people and stories; its examination of what journalism is and what the responsibility of journalists should be; its insight into the impact this war had on US soldiers–all of those are not only still relevant, but even more relevant than they were in the time period this non-fiction graphic novel covers. But no matter how relevant a text is, people will throw it aside if it’s not any good. Fortunately, that’s not the case: Glidden has a subtle, yet effective, sense of structure, of how much detail to include in a panel (her cartooning style is simple, warm and enormously effective), of how much exposition to give so it informs rather than weighs down the story.

rolling blackouts pic--refugees are people.jpg

The graphic novel expertly shows that refugees are people, but that doesn’t mean it glorifies them to sainthood. No, it means that it shows them with their hopes and fears, their successes and failures. For example, we visit with refugees who were formerly middle class, mainly concerned about their children’s ability to go to college and live a better life. That’s not too far from the American Dream, but then again, the US doesn’t hold a monopoly on the idea that children should become more successful than their parents. At the same time, we see refugees who harbor a lot of hatred towards the American government, although this hatred that doesn’t prevent them from dealing with Americans kindly, realizing they don’t can’t treat a person as a generalized group…if only we had the same compassion and curiosity.

rolling blackouts--regret over fleeing.jpg

If this piece of graphic journalism only concerned itself with removing the blinders that prevent people from truly seeing refugees as people, it would be a powerful work of art. But Glidden doesn’t stop there. As in the real-world, one topic can’t be separated completely from the rest: each person and event is connected by silken strands to others in the web. And it’s almost impossible to talk about refugees without talking about the role of media in their story and the role that US soldiers played in their exile. Although Glidden is not a journalist by trade, she reports these scenes with so much objectivity and emphasis on relevance that one could almost believe she is working from the same cookbook that journalists use. Glidden knows how to balance ingredients so that one taste doesn’t overpower. She knows how to make them gel into something greater than the individual parts, much like a cake is greater than an egg or butter.

rolling blackouts pic--emotions during interview.jpg

And this journalistic instinct also serves her well when turning to the subject of journalism itself.  Glidden focuses on the controversial parts of journalism–the commercialization of it as industry, the need to keep audience reaction in mind when shaping a story, the at-times naive ambitions that let journalists see themselves as an authority on objective reality. These snapshots of the challenges of journalism combine with the images of journalists acting nobly to create a collage that dazzles in its complexity.

The final piece Glidden adds to this story also creates further complexity. A US soldier who had tours in Iraq is along for the ride, giving his perspective on these issues. While he spends most of the novel touting the company line, toward the end of the work, we start to see more nuance to those feelings. But that nuance doesn’t mean the soldier switches perspectives and denounces the war. Instead, it just means that his conflicting emotions are finally brought to light without any resolution, which is more realistic than the Hollywood ending the journalists themselves might have been hoping for.

rolling blackouts pic--shape of story.jpg

With President Trump’s recent ban on refugees there has never been a better time to study this topic. And what better way to do that then with a graphic novel that is informative in its simplicity, thought-provoking in its complexity, and defiant in its belief in the human heart, whether that heart was born American or not.

This post originally appeared on CJ Standal’s blog and is reprinted here with his permission.

SPX 2016 Announces Special Guests Lisa Hanawalt, Jeffrey Brown, Charles Burns and Sarah Glidden

spx-logo-240Small Press Expo has announced Lisa Hanawalt, Jeffrey Brown, Charles Burns, and Sarah Glidden as special guests for SPX 2016. These guests are in addition those previously announced for the 40th Anniversary of Fantagraphics celebration; Daniel Clowes, Carol Tyler, Jim Woodring, Drew Friedman, Jaime & Gilbert Hernandez, Ed Piskor, SPX first timer Trina Robbins, and a rare festival appearance by Joe Sacco.

Hot Dog Taste Test serves up Lisa Hanawalt’s devastatingly funny comics, saliva-stimulating art, and deliciously screwball lists as she skewers the pomposities of foodie subculture. From the James Beard award-winning cartoonist and production designer/producer of Bojack Horseman, Hot Dog Taste Test from Drawn & Quarterly dishes out five-star laughs, as Hanawalt keenly muses on pop culture, relationships, and the animal in all of us.

Jeffrey Brown is the bestselling author of Darth Vader and Son as well as the Jedi Academy series from Scholastic Books. He began his comics career with Clumsy and other autobiographical comics that chronicled everyday awkward and intimate moments from life. His new book, Lucy & Andy Neanderthal from Random House Kids, is a heavily researched middle grade story about prehistoric cavemen kids. He lives in Chicago with his wife and sons.

Charles Burns is renown for his epic graphic novel Black Hole, for which he won the Eisner, Ignatz and Harvey Awards. In addition to work in set design, posters and advertising, he has worked for such periodicals as Raw, The Believer and The New Yorker. SPX 2016 will see the debut of Last Look from Penguin Random House, which presents the Nitnit Trilogy of the previously published X’ed Out, The Hive and Sugar Skull in one volume.

Cartoonist Sarah Glidden accompanies her two friends—reporters and founders of journalism non-profit—as they research potential stories on the effects of the Iraq War on the Middle East and, specifically, the war’s refugees. Joining the trio is a childhood friend and former Marine whose past service in Iraq adds an unexpected and sometimes unwelcome viewpoint, both to the people they come across and perhaps even themselves. The group travels across Turkey, Iraq, and Syria, with Glidden’s observations resulting in her latest book, Rolling Blackouts, that will debut at SPX 2016 is published by Drawn & Quarterly.  Glidden (How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less) records all that she encounters with a sympathetic and searching eye. Painted in her trademark soft, muted watercolors and written with a self-effacing humor, Rolling Blackouts cements Glidden’s place as one of today’s most original nonfiction voices.

In the next few weeks, SPX will announce the international guests coming from all over the world to attend the show, the 2016 Ignatz nominees and a full slate of programming.

SPX 2016 takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 17-18, and will have over 650 creators, 280 exhibitor tables and 22 programming slots to entertain, enlighten and introduce attendees to the amazing world of independent and small press comics.

Symbolia Magazine Launches More Graphic Journalism

This week saw the launch of Symbolia Magazine a new digital magazine bringing new and original graphic journalism to the world. The new app-based magazine of non-fiction comics journalism, edited by Erin Polgreen. The first issue is now available at iTunes or via PDF for non-tablet users. A 6-issue subscription is $11.99, but a preview issue is available. Contributors include:

  • Susie Cagle’s thoughtful exploration of California’s Salton Sea.
  • A look at life in Iraqi Kurdistan by Sarah Glidden.
  • Kat Fajardo and Audrey Quinn on evolution and a fish called “The White Man’s Office” in the Lower Congo River.
  • The bold history of Zambian Psychedelic Rock, by Chris A. Smith and Damien Scogin.
  • Andy Warner and Lauren Sommer tour the millions of microflora in our guts.

Publisher’s Weekly has a bit more details on how it all works.

Each issue of Symbolia will feature 3-5 stories and all contributors will be paid. Initial rates are $75 to $100 per page, “not the best rates,” Polgreen said, “but we’ll work to boost them once we get more exposure. Symbolia will be a vehicle that provides paid work to working cartoonists.” The journal will generate revenue initially from issue sales and annual subscriptions, but Polgreen said they are also looking to advertising and sponsored content from graphic publishers; memberships with added perks—Google Hangout interviews with contributors and workshops—as well as syndication, “we also collaborate with other organizations to share costs and further distribute the content.” Polgreen said she also intends to look at revenue share plan for contributors, “after we build a subscriber base.”

Graphic journalism as a whole is seeing a Renaissance now with amazing works being released weekly, fueled by the power of the internet. Some of my favorite graphic novels this year have been of this type.

Symbolia is also open for pitches, so head to their site and submit your best ideas.


Aroung the Tubes

For our readers in the US, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  For those living abroad, HAPPY THURSDAY!  That is all….

Around the Blogs:

CBCNews – Graphic novel wins Quebec children’s book prizeCongrats!

The Beat – More Occupy Comics reports: Sarah Glidden in MiamiNice to see what’s going on in Miami.

Bleeding Cool – Marc Andreyko, on Manhunter and Being OutAn interesting read.

Bleeding Cool – Police Drop All Charges Against Phoenix JonesI know what someone is thankful for.

CBR – Millar Draws A Line On Digital DistributionCan’t everyone get along?


Around the Tubes Reviews:

IGN – Batman: The Black Mirror

IGN – Fantastic Four #600

Complex – Review: “Fantastic Four” Celebrates Its 600th Issue In Grand Fashion

Around the Tubes

It’s Wednesday which means new comic books.  What’s everyone getting?  While you think about that, here’s the news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:


Con Coverage:

Spandexless – SPX Talks: John Allison

Spandexless – SPX Pulls: Mini Comic Roundup, The Finale

MTV Geek – Catwoman Animated Short To Debut At New York Comic Con

Spandexless – SPX Talks: Box Brown

The Beat – EXCLUSIVE: NYCC 11 — Complete programming list

Spandexless – SPX Pulls: How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, Sarah Glidden

Around the Tubes Reviews:

CBR – Batman #1

IGN – Ultimate Comics X-Men #1

CBR – Ultimate Comics X-Men #1

Publishers Weekly – ‘PW Comics World’ Reviews DC Comics’ The New 52: Week 2

Small Press Expo 2011

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Small Press ExpoWith such huge names as Chester Brown, Craig Thompson, Matthew Thurber and Sarah Glidden to name just a few, this past weekend’s Small Press Expo, held each year just North of Washington, DC continued to show off why it’s one of the best comic book shows in the nation.  The intimacy of the setting and quality of not just the guests, but also the panels makes it one of the few conventions in which you can shake hands with your favorite writers and artists but also be educated along the way.

This year continued the convention’s growth seeing record crowds that cause traffic jams in the aisles on Saturday.  But the best part of the show was watching comic book fans buying books from independent creators trying to get their materials into the hands of fans.  Much of the work here you won’t find at comic book stores and you’d have to dig on the web.  This is one of those few opportunities where you can really see true independent artists and talk to them directly.

What’s great in this setting is the fact that you indeed can talk to the creator of the book you just purchased.  It’s more than just simply getting an autograph or a sketch after handing over your money, you also get a chance to pick their brain or hear them directly tell you about their work.  There’s a connection that’s often missed at larger shows where an assembly line mentality takes over to turn and burn autographs to get through the crowds.

Even after the show door closes you’re able to head to the hotel bar and continue the schmoozing with fans, publishers, artists and writers well into the night.  It provides an experience like no other show I’ve been too.

The buzz of the show was BOOM! Studio‘s first ever attendance with the focus on their BOOM! Town and kaboom! line of comic books.  Roger Langridge was their to represent his new graphic novel The Show Must Go On which is being published but the company.  Some questions were raised if this set a bad precedent, but their being there was not only appropriate but welcomed.  There’s numerous types of “small press” and “independent press” and BOOM! absolutely qualifies.  Many of the artists and writers who attended have had books sold by major publishers like Vertigo, and there was no question as to their right to attend.  Overall, it seemed to be more about snootiness and taste than an actual issue.  Here’s hoping BOOM! will be back next year.

While my pile of books wasn’t as big as last year, there’s some quality material here (and at the show in general).  I walked away with numerous ashcans left out on tables for free, but also purchased were:

  • Freedom – Seamus Heffernan debuted his Xeric Grant backed comic book at the show.  It explores a world in which the British won the War for Independence.
  • Forever Winter – There’s those comics you hold in your hand and have to get, this was that one.  It started off as a webcomic, the art is solid and haunting with what looks to be an excellent story about serial killer and the backdrop of a world of dark clouds and endless snow.
  • Americans UK – The crazy series’ latest issue was at the show for purchase. Not only did I grab it, but also a dirt cheap t-shirt with the comic’s logo.
  • American Terrorist – The full graphic novel will debut at New York Comic Con in a month but the sketchbooks that give you a good taste of the comic were on hand for purchase.
  • A Home for Mr. Easter – Brooke A. Allen’s comic about a young girl who finds the real life Easter bunny is cute, funny and a great read.

The worst part now is it’s another year until we get together again.

Graphic Journos Launches

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Journalists using graphic story telling is nothing new (think political cartoons), but it does seem like it’s becoming a hotter way of doing it.  With that being said Graphic Journos has launched bringing together a site to showcase some of the hottest journalists doing this sort of story telling.  According to Dan Archer (one of those involved) the site is a:

…a showcase/forum/sounding board for drawn journalistic pieces featuring a handful of up and coming journalists…

From the about on the website

We believe that this type of storytelling is an incredibly powerful and woefully untapped kind of communication worthy of broader recognition. As journalism struggles to find its way with new technology and economic constraints, we are adamant that things don’t need to be as they always have been. If there were ever a time for new narrative forms, now is it.

Readers are bombarded with more information than ever before, but art has a unique power to make those readers stop instead of flipping the page or clicking away. This kind of work is consistently popular, and yet it is all too rare. In the transition from print to the web, original art has been all but lost.

So, listen: that “Joe Sacco thing” isn’t a novel gimmick. Graphic reportage is a fast-growing medium that is being drawn to its full potential by an expanding range of talents with unique approaches and skill sets. We are just some of them.

We plan to use this space to promote not only our own work but also that of other talented visual communicators, as well as spread the good word of fact-based graphic narrative and help interested editors and creative directors to do this stuff right (and often!).

Taking part in the website are:

Dan Archer. Knight Fellow 2010-2011 at Stanford University. Published at Alternet, the Huffington Post and others.

Susie Cagle. Columbia Journalism School graduate and former words-only reporter. Published at the Awl, Campus Progress, the Rumpus, the Bay Citizen and others.

Sarah Glidden. Recently published the travelogue How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, Vertigo. Published at Cartoon Movement.

Wendy MacNaughton. Recent winner of an Awesome Grant! (Yes, that’s really the name.) Published at Pop-Up Magazine, GOOD, The Rumpus, Longshot Magazine and others.

Jen Sorensen. Cartoonist of the beloved, long-running editorial strip Slowpoke. Published at the Oregonian, Bitch and others.

Congrats and I can’t wait to see what’s in store!

graphic journos

The Right Blindly Attacks Sarah Glidden’s The Waiting Room

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Sarah Glidden who has used graphic narrative to explore her own thoughts on being Jewish and traveling to Israel for Birthright has focused on Iraqi refugees displaced since the recent war in Iraq and now reside in Syria in The Waiting Room.  The 20 page web comic is fairly balanced focusing on the hurdles of the refugees.  In Syria, they are not allowed to hold jobs, but many are educated and have skills they can bring to the workforce.  At the same time their status as refugees remains in limbo, forcing them to rely on the slow processes of international efforts to gain basic necessities such as food and education.

What a shock in the usual culprit over at The Astute Blogger Avi Green saw this as an opportunity to attack Glidden for her reporting and also not bother to fact check any of his incorrect opinions.  Right off the bat Green labels Glidden as a “would-be” graphic novelist, demeaning her first piece of work, How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less.  I thought her first piece of major work was excellent, giving it an overall 10 in the review.  She’s not a “would-be,” she is a graphic novelist.  That remark coming from a “would-be” journalist like Green is downright unnecessary and petty like much of his attacks.

I’m also not quite sure Green has read her work, as he calls it a “a negative stance on Zionism.”  The graphic novel is anything but.  Instead Glidden admits going into the story she expects a hard core stance by her Birthright guides and that she comes from a more left perspective.  Her views by the end are different than going in, as she comes out with a greater understanding of the situation in Israel.  It’s actually quite a positive depiction of Israel.

Green begins to dissect and attack the work at hand, and as usual throws out factually incorrect statements that simple Google searches debunk.  His first issue is Glidden’s commentary on the Iraqi educational system is this panel.

Green has this to say:

Really, was it that solid in education? Saddam lived and died a Muslim, holding a Koran at his trial, and his government run universities would most likely have incorporated the Religion of Peace and anti-Israelist education into their curriculum (one of the other panels at the political cartoon site says the colleges were free, which sounds vaguely similar to the notions some communists/marxists/socialists have of how to do things). I’m not sure you can call that solid stuff. Nor can a religion/education/political system that calls for jihad, oppression of women, and considers Jews “sons of apes and pigs” be something to learn from. And why do I get the vibe these refugees wouldn’t give a crap about how Saddam fired scud missiles at Israel back in 1991, causing plenty of people, myself included, to have to hide in airtight rooms?

A simple search online actually reveals the facts.  According to UNESCO prior to the 1991 Gulf War ” Iraq had one of the best educational performances in the region. Primary school Gross Enrollment Rate was 100% and literacy levels were high.”  Since the war with Iran and especially after the 1991 Gulf War, education has slid and declined.  However, they are still considered an educated populace.

Green also shows his blind hatred of any sort of left philosophy calling the Iraq free college education “vaguely similar to the notions some communists/marxists/socialists have of how to do things.”  I guess Green also is against the free primary education here in the United States.  I do wonder if hey actually thinks through his hypocrisy or just slings out the bullshit without even thinking.  Free education exists in many countries throughout the world and in non-communist/marxist/socialist nations like Australia and Brazil.  In Australia and Brazil that does include college education.  But again, a simple Google search would have allowed Green to do real journalism.  Not the “would-be” type he practices.

But really Green’s blind hatred for Iraq and Iraqi’s is present in this telling line:

And why do I get the vibe these refugees wouldn’t give a crap about how Saddam fired scud missiles at Israel back in 1991, causing plenty of people, myself included, to have to hide in airtight rooms?

His criticism as shown in that quote has nothing to do with facts or the story as presented, it’s his absolute hatred for Iraqis.  Green seems to forget back in 1991 there was a war that raged in the Gulf that forced allies to band together a remove Saddam from the invaded Kuwait.  Those attacks were part of that war.  That’s just a fact.  I’m sorry he needed to hide in an airtight room as the allies bombed Iraq as well.

But lets continue to dissect and disarm Green’s fantasy land attack.  He then goes on in his rant of a blog post calling the web comic “propaganda” citing this panel.

Green has this to say:

So the woman drawn in the panel blames America for her misfortunes, not Saddam for the oppression, nor the terrorists who went on a rampage after the US raid. Perhaps she might want to consider that nearly a decade ago, when the raid took place, there were terrorists going through Syria to get to Iraq, and Syria helped and encouraged many to do so. But she probably won’t. The 7th panel at the political cartoon site has the interviewee saying, “America set fire to my country and we lost everything”. Not exactly. There is a legitimate case that could be made that the US military didn’t do a good enough job at defeating the invading terrorists properly at the beginning, and this is what led to their misfortunes. But it appears she’s only blaming America for invading in the first place, and not the jihadists who crossed through Syria into Iraq. What, they don’t have any responsibility?

What Green leaves out is this panel:

Clearly there are Iraqis who have no problem with America, especially if they’re moving here or receiving their education from American universities as this web comic tells.  The above is an absolute misrepresentation of what’s presented by leaving out further panels.

But again Green shows off his hypocrisy.  He rages against, and clearly hates Iraqis for their attack against Israel as part of the 1991 Gulf War.  But when an Iraqi shows distrust and dislikes the United States for bombing their country, that’s not ok.  Pretty sure there’s something up with that logic there.

But he seems to be mixing up what people are talking about.  In his “logical” response about someone’s dislike of the United States due to the second Gulf War, Green takes a divergent discussion bringing up terrorists and jihadists invading from Syria.  One has nothing to do with the other.  This next part is brilliance by Green:

“America set fire to my country and we lost everything”. Not exactly.

So were you there Avi?  Did you see the bombs fall?  It’s kind of hard to say that this didn’t occur.  We bombed that country, infrastructure was destroyed, people lost lives, it happened.  How did it “not exactly” happen?  Because we didn’t do a good enough job of beating the shit out of the nation.  Green goes on “There is a legitimate case that could be made that the US military didn’t do a good enough job at defeating the invading terrorists properly at the beginning, and this is what led to their misfortunes.”  Green actually advocates for blowing more things up.  So I guess his “not exactly” was more in reference to the refugee’s statement of “lost everything” and the United States military could have actually destroyed more.

Green then takes issue with an article by Comic Beat on this work by Glidden:

Glidden is definitely following in the footsteps of the incomparable Joe Sacco in becoming a graphic reporter on the trouble spots of the world. While there’s only one Sacco, Glidden is finding her own place in the field with her work.

Avi spends the rest of the post beating up on Sacco who at times does take a side in his “graphic reporting.”  While the Comic Beat is just stating the fact that like Sacco, Glidden is using graphic novels as a way to report and depict real world events, Green takes it more personal (he really hates Sacco) as if Glidden has the same stances or beliefs as Sacco:

When they start comparisons with a foul fiend like Sacco, something is wrong.


And back to Glidden now, it’s tragic that the artform of comics is being abused by such loathsome people to attack Israel and America. I wonder if her next destination will be to attack the Israeli army (which I served in when I was 19-21, even if it was only in supplies duties)? She is just as bad news as Sacco.

Say what you will about Sacco’s work, the only comparison that two have is they both cover the Middle East and both use graphic journalism to tell their tales.  Their view points are divergent.  But again, Green’s attacks on Sacco are telling.  Green clearly has issues with free speech and viewpoints that aren’t his own.

Green is a Zionist, he doesn’t believe that people called “Palestinian” exist.  When that’s the viewpoint you take, it’s hard to hear the opinion, take or viewpoint of anyone else.  And as long as Green presents misleading statements, lies stated as facts and uncalled for attacks, I’ll be here to call his bullshit.

Sarah Glidden’s The Waiting Room

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Sarah Glidden, who tackled the subject of Israel in the excellent graphic novel How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less has published a twenty page web comic called The Waiting Room.  The web comic looks at Iraqi refugees who now call Syria home.

Syria is home to the world’s largest urban refugee population; hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have poured in since the 2003 invasion. Barred from joining the Syrian workforce, they attempt to navigate bureaucratic hurdles and find a new place to call home. Sarah Glidden, with contributing reporting from the Common Language Project, give us a window into their lives.

You can check out the web comic at Cartoon Movement.

Review – How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less

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How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or LessVertigo has been on a kick lately of graphic novels taking on real world topics and stories.  The latest is Sarah Glidden‘s How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less.  The story cover’s Glidden’s Birthright Israel trip and her struggle to understand the Israeli/Palestinian conflict along with her own Judaism.

Glidden, a progressive American Jew who is sharply critical of Israeli policies vis-à-vis the Occupied Territories, went on an all-expense-paid “birthright” trip to Israel in an attempt to discover some grand truths at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This graphic memoir tells the touching and often funny story of her utter failure to do so. As the tour group moves from the Golan Heights to Tel Aviv, Glidden’s struggles with propaganda and perspective lead only to a morass of deepening questions and self-doubt. Her neurotic need for objective truths and struggle to reconcile historical perspectives is hugely gratifying for the reader. This is especially true when the group visits Masada, the site of an epic confrontation between a sect of Jewish rebels and a Roman siege army that culminated in mass suicide. Gruesome fanaticism or a stirring clarion call for the burgeoning Zionism movement? You be the judge. As befits a travelogue, Glidden’s drawings have the look of something jotted down on the fly; if it weren’t for a haircut here or a pair of glasses there, many of the characters would be indistinguishable. Yet the simplicity of the drawing is offset by bright, delicate watercolors that belie our heroine’s unresolved struggle with history and heritage.

The story is interesting in that it’s not only an introspective look, but lays out the conflict, key events and locations for those not familiar, and in a way takes a shot at the liberal left.

Glidden has to come to terms with her faith, her fellow people and how that jives with her own political views.  She even shows her own fault and prejudice she herself holds.  Throughout the story she also shows different views of those living on the front lives through her interactions with various Israeli’s she meets.

She also subtly shows the hypocrisy of so many involved not just in the conflict, but also those who sit on political side lines and throw out views without living in this world or growing up in either of the faith’s involved.

The book had me asking my own beliefs having been raised Jewish and no longer practicing and I came out thinking through the prejudices I hold and my own views on the conflict and it’s resolution.  I felt like in the end I myself had a better understanding of my own faith, the history and political landscape.  This graphic novel is an education as well as a tale.

I can’t praise it enough and just think it’s flawless in it’s story telling, narrative and art.  It’s honest in it’s views and finds fault within it’s characters on all sides bringing an even handed view to the conflict.  This is an absolute purchase and read.

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