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

(Kaboul Disco #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  569 ratings  ·  56 reviews
A satirical autobiography about a young Frenchman and his hilarious, yet poignant, adventures in the heart of Afghanistan. PUBLICATION IN 1 VOLUME - COMPLETED WORK. It's 2005. Nicolas Wild is a French cartoonist. He's broke and about to be homeless. He's a man without a plan. That is until destiny shows up in his inbox: a paid job... In Afghanistan! In his graphic Travelog ...more
Kindle Edition, 160 pages
Published April 17th 2018 by Humanoids (first published October 4th 2007)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
Nicolas Wild tells his story as an artist working in Afghanistan. The overall impression I got is that the expatriates working in Afghanistan had little regard for the local people and culture.
Rod Brown
Apr 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
With few options available to him, Nicolas Wild decided to accept a job offer to travel from France to Afghanistan and work for a private company making educational cartoons explaining the new Afghan constitution. Somewhere in the middle, the job swings around to creating recruitment propaganda for the Afghan army.

Wild treats life in a war zone as a lark -- tossing off a string of vaguely interesting anecdotes about the vaguely colorful people he encounters -- until he finds himself locked down
Elizabeth A
I admit that it was the title of this graphic memoir that drew me in. I mean, who can resist it? You is who. This is a strange and not compelling tale of how the author, broke and unemployed, ended up in working in Afghanistan. I didn't care about this dude and his slice of life moments, but I liked the art enough to round up. ...more
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
That was... unbelievably amazing!
Recommended by a pal—this probably would have never shown up on my radar otherwise.
Based on the author’s experience as a comic book artist and graphic designer in Afghanistan in 2005, this was an interesting look at the country through a French expat’s eyes. I liked Wild’s observational humor, and the artwork was really good.
Even though my own experience living abroad was quite different—I taught English in Bogotá in 1994—there were elements of the narrative that resonated and made me nostalgi
Emi Yoshida
Nicolas Wild describes his experience as a French illustrator in Afghanistan and it's incredible. The drawings are fine but everything that happens is so confusing and crazy I was frustrated that I wasn't better able to make sense of the political history it brings to life. I think I was wanting Nicolas or any other character to take a stand and follow through on something meaningful, but everybody just seemed so opportunistic and not all that committed to anything deeper than themselves. ...more
It largely shows the isolated life of western expats in Kabul, showing almost no interaction with local people. No in depth journalism, nice story though.
The Laughing Man
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a bad memoir I liked his style, reminds me of Guy Delisle a lot , I'm always open to learning more about what goes on in Afghanistan and he delivered his story fine. ...more
Vinayak Hegde
The author travels to Afghanistan and the book is a chronicle of his stay there. The story is not very insightful about Afghanistan but revolves round him and his interaction with the people in his office.

The author is writing a book using comics and icons to explain the new constitution of Afghanistan to its people. The only redeeming factor about this book was the pages from the comic book at the end. Otherwise could be a simple page in a life of a graphic artist. It gets 3 stars just because
Laura Zurowski
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The English language edition of Kabul Disco isn't the easiest to find if you're trying to avoid Amazon (thanks to the fact that it was published by Harper Collins in India and wasn't widely distributed through the US...good luck finding it in a public library...) but it is so worth the effort of tracking down!

With dark, sarcastic, and self-deprecating humor, Kabul Disco tells the story of Nicolas, a down-on-his-luck French illustrator and comic book artist who, out of desperation, takes a job wi
Dakota Morgan
Nicolas Wild is no Guy Delisle, let's put it that way. You've got the whole "cartoonist goes to an exotic foreign country, has some interesting experiences" angle, but Wild seems more focused on partying with his comrades than learning about Afghanistan's people or culture. The narrative itself is unfocused, jumping around between episodes over an uncertain period of time. Wild seems to thrive on jokey scenarios - about half the stories have punchlines, which struck me as odd.

I found myself enjo
May 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an entertaining account of the French illustrator's life in the Afghanistan of NGOs, coalition forces, nascent democracy and the not-so-diminished Taliban. At times hilariously ridiculous, and at others poignant in its observation of the prevalent times, the book brings to life the contrasting mindsets of the two cultures.
I have the English version and am looking for the second volume in English too.
Started well but, despite having been a development worker myself, I found the entire focus on the NGO workers a bit much. Would have been nice to have a few Afghans who weren't merely supporting characters ...more
Nov 30, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young man accepts a job in Kabul as an illustrator. His first project is to draw comics that explain the new constitution. The second project is to create recruitment material for the new (American- and Western-trained) army. He's often clueless, careless, immature. He's young and inexperienced in life, so most of this is understandable. He usually learns the hard way (by putting his foot in his mouth) with his bosses, co-workers, and locals. The rest of the expat community is divided into two ...more
In Afghanistan, when someone invites you to have a cup of tea, you should answer 'no thank you, I've just had one, stay alive!.'
If the Afghan really wants you to have a cup of tea with him he will repeat his invitation four times. Only then are you allowed to say 'oh yes please, i'd love to, I'm actually quite thirsty...'
I knew nothing about this, so must have drunk hundreds of gallons of impolite tea because I was unaware of Afghan customs.
Comparing the style of this book with Joe Sacco woul
Raghuveer Parthasarathy
This is one of many memoirs about which I wonder: what was the point? With graphic novels there are two aspects to the question: what is about your experiences that are interesting *to others* and what do we gain by having this *illustrated*? Here, the answers are “not much” and “nothing.” The book isn’t bad, but it is dull. The author ends up in Afghanistan, working as an illustrator for materials on the new Afghan constitution. This could have been fascinating – in fact, the best part of the b ...more
Apr 25, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Grabbed a graphic novel surprise bag from the library and this was in it. Appropriate to read with last weeks announcement of the US pulling out of Afghanistan. The guy is a very talented illustrator, but this book just instilled the cynicism of “expats” all engaging in the imperialism of Afghanistan - even jobs that prop up the US army. He makes no real relationships or connections to the hardship there - and rather complains about his hard, privileged life while partying and eating in fancy re ...more
Kabul Disco is a fascinating read. Full of interesting insights , dark humour and a travelogue of his time as a French Illustrator in Afghanistan , it's hard not to love Nicolas Wild's book. I enjoyed every bit and now plunging into the next two . the illustrations made me re read just to go through them again... completely recommended ...more
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This resonated, maybe because I’ve been part of that ex-pat life of NGOs and “development”. Sometimes, I laughed at the jokes. Sometimes I felt bad about the jokes. There’s this sense, in the book, of the artist not really seeing the people of Kabul as individuals. But perhaps this is ameliorated by the fact that all the characters are caricatures? Not just the locals? Maybe not.
Ashish Kaul
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A cartoonists 3-part graphic novel based on his life in Kabul.
It paints a socio-political picture of Kabul during the period of war in Afghanistan. Wild makes the war in Afghanistan amusing while doing justice to the depiction of hardships and atrocities during the period. A must read for a satirical and slapstic interpretation of the war.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Totally enjoyed the book. The illustrations and details reminded me of Guy Delisle. Author’s graphic reportage in Afghanistan was not just series of serious events, was cynically humorous as well. Absolutely recommended for a light reading.
An unprepared French cartoonist takes a job in Kabul and manages to talk his way into all sorts of things. In some ways I was annoyed by him but it was such a surreal experience, and it's such a quick read, that it wasn't too annoying. ...more
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really fun comic book of the life of a French cartoonist in Kabul who was there for a short period on an assignment.
almost surreal. dark humor. a pretty damning picture of ngo workers in afghanistan.
May 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved the book - good art, keen observation (He's no Joe Sacco, though, he does present himself as a whimsical, self-deprecating person in spectacles, just like Sacco). I loved the little jokes peppered throughout the book, like the sequence on the copy-paste of graphic assets to create several panels.

Sayantan Ghosh
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nicolas Wild is no Joe Sacco, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Definitely on the lines of Sacco's spectacular 'Palestine', but unlike Sacco who was into the thick of things Wild is more like a fly on the wall here; observing Kabul's everyday eccentricities with the right mix of farce and urgency. ...more
Kumar Mehta
My first book by Nicolas Wild, curtsey - my colleague.
An insider's look at the war torn country, ripped apart by opportunists is full of dark humour. Loved it and can't wait to get my hands on the volume II.
Redwan Orittro
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
Such a brilliantly written novel. Witty yet the author kept the story going with interesting new characters, the portrayal of Afghanistan and the life of an expat cartoonist working for an NGO in a war torn country.
Sep 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by someone I hold in the highest esteem, this illustrates life for an expat in 21st Century Kabul in the way that Maus portrayed life for a Polish Jew in World War II.
Sep 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
engaging and full of the absurd humor that comes out of living in a war zone and trying to make sense of it.
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