by Sarah Glidden
I enjoyed Sarah Glidden's debut graphic novel, How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, a great deal. I was excited to see that she was at TCAF last week-end, and was happy to be able to pick up her mini-comic The Rollerbladers of Sulaymaniyah, which is about her time in Iraq.
The book is a slim one, drawn in the same style that Glidden used in her Israel book. She has accompanied a pair of journalists, friends of hers, into Iraqi Kurdistan, an area of great calm compared to the rest of the country. While there, the trio interview a man who was deported from the United States because of a comment made by one of the 9/11 planners. He suggests that they leave Sulaymaniyah, the very peaceful capital, to travel close to the Iranian border and the site of Saddam Hussein's gas attack against the Kurds.
Researching online, I learned that this comic was completed in twenty-four hours, and that rush kind of shows, but at the same time, Glidden has caught my attention, and has guaranteed that I'm going to buy Rolling Blackouts, her upcoming graphic novel about her time travelling through the Middle East. Glidden's approach to comics is similar to Guy Delisle's, but as a female traveller, her experiences are quite different. Also, I enjoy the watercolour approach she takes (not evident in this photocopied mini-comic).