These are interesting days for the intersection of comics andthe Clash of Civilizations. The real-life adventures of a former al-Qaeda militant have become a popular comic book in Indonesia – the most populous Muslim nation in the world – chronicling his transformation from enemy to ally in the fight against terrorism. DC Comics, the home of Batman, sent him to Paris and replaced sidekick Robin with a French Algerian Muslim known as Nightrunner. “The 99,” a comic book creation out of the Middle East featuring 99 superheroes, each representing a different aspect of Islamic culture, has received the blessing of President Obama and is hooking up with other DC comic heroes as well as becoming an animated TV series.
And then there’s Pigman, the jihadists’ nemesis and the protagonist of Bosch Fawstin’s graphic novel The Infidel, a story of Muslim twin brothers whose lives veer in polar opposite directions in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The Infidel echoes Fawstin’s own journey from his Albanian Muslim beginnings, to apostate and Ayn Rand devotee.
Fawstin is a cartoonist who scored an Eisner Award nomination – the comics industry equivalent of an Oscar nod – for his debut graphic novel, Table For One. He’s also a FrontPage contributing artist and the author/illustrator of ProPIGanda: Drawing the Line Against Jihad, a collection of images and essays that serve as a companion piece to The Infidel.