Finally, a year after my research trip to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, the comic I went there to research LIVING LEVEL-3: IRAQ is live online and free. Chapter 1 can be read right now! New chapters will be uploaded to the Huffington Post World page every day this week. It’s thirty-five pages of story done from four different character perspectives.
Here’s a trailer that the World Food Programme communications team cut together. Below it are links to the actual comic as well as to interviews and extras, including a blog write-up I did for Huffpo. There’s also some art and some love for the WFP communications team that acted as my guides while I was there. I hope you’ll check it all out…
For over a year now I’ve been in contact with some people at the United Nations World Food Programme, the world’s largest humanitarian organization concerned with hunger and food security. We’ve been plotting to tell some stories about the complexity and necessity of feeding the world’s displaced people in an engaging way. Now we’re finally getting started and soon I’ll be leaving for northern Iraq. There, I’ll begin researching the current situation facing Kurdish refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict and the violent push of the Islamic State. The situation is incredibly dire, especially with winter coming. In the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq the temperatures can range from 40 degrees Fahrenheit down to near 0 this time of year.
Compounding the issue, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)has reported a$58 million funding shortfall this year, even as the displacement of human beings has spiked considerably throughout the region. This funding shortfall threatens to leave almost a million people without food and proper shelter as the world turns colder.
I was recently hit with some questions about the presence of politics and ethical enquiry in my Unknown Soldier and Harbinger comics. I liked the places these questions made me go to in thinking about my characters and why I’ve made certain creative decisions, so I’m sharing some thoughts on that here… Read more
Here’s a nice little interview about Harbinger and Unknown Soldier, and about my process. Check it!
Excerpt: ““I wanted to be everything when I was growing up. A scientist, a historian, an adventurer and a journalist. A pacifist and a pugilist. I wanted to spend my life in a room with one window looking out at the mountain contemplating the arc of all things, and I wanted to be out on that mountain always doing and living and never being able to see the mountain for being on the face of it. I wanted to always be learning new things. I wanted to love and understand all people. It turned out that there’s only one way to be everything and do everything and always stay a student and openly love and hate and struggle for understanding. And that’s to be a writer.”