cover image Kabul Disco #1: How I Managed Not to be Abducted in Afghanistan

Kabul Disco #1: How I Managed Not to be Abducted in Afghanistan

Nicolas Wild. Humanoids, $19.95 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-59465-868-6

Wild’s exuberant, chaotic graphic memoir returns readers to the early days of the war in Afghanistan when Western expatriates still partied in Kabul and roamed the countryside like it was their own private extreme adventure. Answering a job posting almost by accident, Wild arrives in wintry Kabul circa 2005. His assignment is to help a misfit crew of non-Afghans assemble a comic book series that will help explain the country’s new constitution to a mostly illiterate people. After delivering a pocket history of the country’s recent turmoil, Wild alternates evocative accounts of being a Westerner in an exotic land with seriocomic tales of expat life—drinking in a technically dry country and realizing his smoking habit dramatically interferes with exploring ancient ruins—as the growing threat of war comes ever closer. Wild’s satirical depictions of his grandiose bosses and his own misadventures, accented by his pop-eyed comical drawing style, are funny enough, which doesn’t square well with the tragedy that surrounds him. Yet, he delivers a textured travelogue that mixes the open drawing style and self-mocking voice of Guy Delisle with a cynical, Rajiv Chandrasekaran–like takedown of insular war zone expat life. (Apr.)