I found Sarah Glidden's first graphic memoir How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less so compelling and thoughtful and reflective so I was very keen to read Rolling Blackouts. It's in a similar style, but with Glidden taking more of an observer's view to the rest of her group, which comprises of two journalist friends and an ex Marine as they travel through Turkey, Syria and Iraq in 2010, pre Arab Spring.
Glidden's two friends, Alex and Sarah, are reporters and founders of a non profit journalism site, who are researching stories of the effects of the Iraq War. They talk to refugees, an Iraqi American deportee, a UN refugee administrator, an Iranian blogger; gathering stories about their experiences in the aftermath of war. Alongside these encounters and the stories they bring, is the story of childhood friend of the journalists, Dan, who is a former Marine, and his return to Iraq.
While in How to Understand Israel, Glidden was the centre of the story, seeking an understanding of the complicated history of her heritage, in Rolling Blackouts she becomes more of a fly on the wall as the two journalists and the ex Marine navigate their own understandings of the very complicated post war landscape of Turkey, Syria and Iraq in 2010. And in fact all the more interesting in light of everything that has happened in the last 7 years.
I really love Sarah Glidden's artwork. She has such a soft touch- subtle, with really beautiful watercolour washes, and great characters. Ugh she's good. Can't wait for next thing she does!
Super interesting, great storytelling, beautiful artwork.