Anonymous Iranian dissidents launch online comic about Iranian current events

Gina from kick-ass comics publisher FirstSecond sez,

First Second Books is pleased to announce a new online serial project: Zahra's Paradise, a graphic novel about the social and political situation in today's Iran, will be serialized on line beginning 12:00 a.m., February 19, 2010 and be published in book form in 2011. In the beginning, the serialization will reflect events in Iran's recent past, but in the months to come, as current events unfold in Iran, they will be woven into the story.

Written by Amir, a human rights activist, and illustrated by Khalil, Zahra's Paradise tells the story of an Iranian blogger's search for his brother, Mehdi, a nineteen year old protester who has disappeared in Tehran after the June 2009 unrest. As the blogger and his mother, Zahra Alavi, begin their search for Mehdi, we are drawn into the underbelly of the Islamic Republicâ€"an elaborate labyrinth in which countless dissidents have vanished over the past decades. Although the characters are fictional composites of actual people in Iran, the context and events are real. The project is a roman à clef of history as it happens.

Zahra's Paradise (Thanks, Gina!)

(Disclosure: I'm happy to say that FirstSecond will publish a graphic novel based on one of my short stories)


  1. For the ultimate filmed graphic novel about life in Iran, check out Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi’s and Vincent Paronnaud’s animated 2008 coming of age. I can’t imagine that Zahra’s Paradise won’t be informed by this seminal flick.

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