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9/11 Takes to Comics – Seriously

Ernie Colón and Sid Jacobson, the comic-book vets behind The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation. By Julia Turner – Slate Magazine

This goes in the category of disbelief. Or does it?

The 9/11 Commission Report was long-winded and confusing. It was written in words not every eighth grader understood easily. It didn’t have colorful pictures. So a couple of guys with some experience in the genre adapted it to the comic book format.

At first, I was not very accepting of this idea. As I have sat here thinking about it, though, I am warming to the notion. Not all “graphic novels” are comic. Take, for example, V for Vendetta. Nothing humorous there, was there? Even Batman and Superman weren’t funny. Entertaining, yes. Gripping and compelling, yes. But not exactly newsworthy stuff.

Hang on, though. The guys who did the graphic adaptation of the 9/11 Commission Report had experience working on sweet little funnies like Richie Rich and Casper (the friendly ghost, not Weinberger). They didn’t have experience working on non-fiction, or even serious graphic fiction.

The idea is to put the commission’s report into language and context that any quasi-literate American can understand. That’s a laudable idea. Any words in balloons are direct quotes from the commission’s report, claim the authors. That, too, is laudable. The authors researched the report beyond the language of the report itself, which is certainly a good reporting practice.

Now, suppose ABC had shown similar attention to facts when it created its “docudrama” that aired on either side of the president’s speech Monday night?

It says a lot when comic books are more socially responsible than a major television news network.

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September 30, 2006 - Posted by | News, Politics

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