Rolling Blackouts

Sarah Glidden. Drawn & Quarterly, $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-77046-255-7
Following her well-received How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, Glidden does a brilliant job in chronicling a two-month journey with journalist friends through Turkey, Syria, and Iraq to report stories about the impact of the Iraq War on Middle Eastern inhabitants. Traveling with them is Dan O’Brien, a U.S. veteran of the Iraq War, whose story is of significant journalistic interest. Whether he is able to tell the kind of story that people want to hear is another matter. The power of Glidden’s narrative is in how it asks fundamental questions about what journalism is, what kinds of stories it tells, and what purpose these stories serve. She also manages to crystallize hours of recorded interviews with the locals into insightful discussions of complex situations. Hand-drawn panels, word balloons, and text combine with gorgeous watercolors to keep the story visually interesting, with many small storytelling touches—an interpreter’s balloon printed over one from the person being interpreted—that help tell a complicated story with no pat answers. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/2016
Release date: 10/04/2016
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