Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Zahra’s Paradise - Amir and Khalil (First Second Book & coop)

So a Persian writer, an Arab artist and a Jewish editor walk into a room… Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. Actually, that’s something like the start of this unusual editorial adventure, the first of its kind. Zahra's Paradise is an online, serial webcomic in various languages: English, Farsi, Arabic, French, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew and more. It is published by First Second books in cooperation with Casterman in French and Dutch, Rizzoli Lizard in Italian, and Norma Editorial in Spanish.

Zahra’s Paradise weaves together a composite of real people and events: Set in the aftermath of Iran’s fraudulent elections of 2009, this webcomic tells the fictional story of the search for Mehdi, a young protestor who has disappeared in the Islamic Republic’s gulags. Mehdi has vanished in an extrajudicial twilight zone where habeas corpus is suspended. What stops his memory from being obliterated is not the law. It is the grit and guts of a mother who refuses to surrender her son to fate and the tenacity of a brother—a blogger—who fuses culture and technology to explore and explode absence: the void in which Mehdi has vanished.

author Amir + artist Kahlil
The author Amir is an Iranian-American human rights activist, journalist and documentary filmmaker. He has lived and worked in the United States, Canada, Europe and Afghanistan. His essays and articles have appeared far and wide in the press. Khalil’s work as a fine artist has been much praised. He sculpts and creates ceramics and has been cartooning since he was very young. Zahra’s Paradise is his first graphic novel. The authors have chosen anonymity for obvious political reasons.

About First Second Book, Casterman, Rizzoli Lizard, Norma Editorial
First Second Book is an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers. Casterman is a French comic publisher ("La maison Casterman a intégré le monde de la bande dessinée dans les années 1930 en éditant les albums de Tintin"). Rizzoli Lizard is an Italian comic publisher. Norma Editorial is a Spanish comic publisher.

Amir and Khalil: Zahra’s Paradise
online serial webcomic in English, Farsi, Arabic, French, Italian, Spanish and other languages
start reading at page 1

following the theme: more daily s-press books that focus on the theme of middle east / prohibited stories / east/west etc.

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