ABQ Graphic Novel Book Club discussion

Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq
This topic is about Rolling Blackouts
Past Meetings > January 2019: Rolling Blackouts

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Heather Hay (businessendofbooks) | 105 comments Mod
Happy New Year!

Terry Mulcahy | 21 comments Just finished Rolling Blackouts.

message 3: by Heather (last edited Jan 08, 2019 10:20AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Heather Hay (businessendofbooks) | 105 comments Mod
Every once in a while the book club will discuss a non fiction graphic novel and it's always interesting to see where the conversation will go.

The subject matter almost always takes the front seat in the conversation and art or panel transitions are usually secondary. However, if you chose to read this one panel by panel you noticed that the dense book was composed of many small individual panels per page with very little variation.

Overall the book received high praise and about a third of us "loved it."

Here are the ratings;
7.5, 8, 7, 8, 10, 9.5, 7.5, 6.5, 7.95, 7.5. The average is 7.945

General Comments:
-Dan's presence and background could have been explored more. Some of us also considered whether Dan would have been more open if he had had the chance to talk to other veterans. We discussed what it's like to talk about your experiences in war when you come home. Dan was an intriguing character to some of us who had served, one of our members was in active duty during Vietnam. Dan, however, seemed more naive than those who served in the past. Other group members felt that Dan was just more open minded to his experiences than the journalists were.

-Sarah, the comic book author, took a big leap of faith and a few of us commended her on that. Her background was in art, and to discover what journalism is while doing it is a big undertaking.

-This type of book showed us how truly difficult it is to get at the truth. There is power in the narrative, and it can be difficult to find the story in reporting the facts. But then again, there can also be a powerful story when there is little to no narrative. This book seemed to fighting the narrative angle and we appreciated the meta nature again of reporting.

-We missed out on many interviews and we wondered how much it would have affected the story. The book did however go deeper than some of us anticipated.

-The pacing was slow in the beginning, but some of us read it a lot quicker than we thought we would considering how thick it is.

-The title's relevance comes from not knowing when you are going to be in the dark.

-This book is a great meta way of exploring how a journalistic comic book is written. It was great to see the process.

-Current events certainly played into how we read this book. Kurds aren't being protected anymore and the news is still reporting daily changes to America's involvement in this area.

-The art had some small artistic embellishments. One of us noted that even though the Iraqi couple had traveled with a group they were portrayed as the typical image we usually see of Mary and Joseph crossing the desert. For the cover, we loved the way Sarah put herself outside the action with her shadow reaching toward the center figures but not touching them.

-The book was a fun accessible way to learn Kurdish History. A few of us resisted the urge to google news or background information so we could stay focused on the story. This was a strong temptation considering that many of us are book lovers, research fanatics, or work in books.

-The book was a fun read because it reminds us of the excitement of traveling and discovering new people from far away lands. One of us liked the way the book was book-ended with the location of the airport.

-This book felt so meta it was like watching a behind the scenes special of a film you never saw. The translations were done really well for a comic book format.

-As far as journalism was concerned, some of us think Sarah Glidden did an excellent job of reporting accurately.

Works mentioned:
-Donald Rumsfeld's quote about "unknown knowns" https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Donald_...
-It's a Great Life If You Don't Weaken: The Power of Next
-Joe Sacco
-Burma Chronicles
-Guy Delisle
-Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City
-The Bridge of San Luis Rey
-film Rashomon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashomon
-The Bible. (The story of Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem specifically.)
-Seinfeld. For the episode of thinking of a retort too late. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Com...
-The Things They Carried
-Joan Didion's quote "A writer is always selling someone out." I couldn't find an accurate source, but it appears that she wrote it in Slouching Towards Bethlehem. Slouching Towards Bethlehem
- Mark Twain. "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." ://www.twainquotes.com/Travel.html
-Henry Rollins
-The Hurt Locker: The Shooting Script

message 4: by Gctandkat (new)

Gctandkat | 5 comments Love the re-cap! Thanks!

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