“Aaron and Ahmed: A Love Story”
Written by JAY CANTOR
Art and Cover by JAMES ROMBERGER
On Sale April 6, 2011
Vertigo; 144pg.; Color; Hardcover; $24.99 US; Mature Readers
I’m really not interested in politically charged literature. I know that makes me seem apathetic and not “politically correct.” Unfortunately, I really don’t care. When I open up a comic book or graphic novel, I want to be entertained. I don’t mind if the writer is trying to tell me something as long as it’s done in a “sneak-it-in ‘Star Trek'” manner.
“Aaron and Ahmed: A Love Story” asks the question “What causes terrorism? After his fiancée dies during the 9/11 attacks, the question plagues Aaron Goodman. It makes him give up his career as a doctor to become an interrogator/torturer at Guantanamo Bay. And yet, he’s still no less obsessed. He begins overseeing experiments of how meme theory might program people into becoming suicide bombers. (Could there be a science behind terrorism?) Still nothing – until he meets Ahmed, a Gitmo prisoner who might know how the jihadists are using a variation of meme theory in their camps. To finally learn the truth, Aaron and Ahmed’s search will take them from Gitmo to the jihadist camps in Pakistan right back to Ground Zero in New York City. But where do Ahmed’s real loyalties lie, and will Aaron’s exploration into terrorist camps make him as much of a threat as those he’s protecting his country against?”
Vertigo Comics’ “Aaron and Ahmed: A Love Story” proved to be an interesting read. I didn’t necessarily agree with author Jay Cantor on all his viewpoints, but I found the book ambitious and out of the norm. He has done a great expose on what the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay went through at the hands of sadistic military doctors and guards. His insight into the process of programming or brainwashing individuals to become suicide bombers was very intriguing.
Artist James Romberger perfectly captures the details of the narrative in every panel of “Aaron and Ahmed: A Love Story.” He has a feeling of “realism” in his drawings, but veers off into the abstract or “artsy” world when needed. Colorist Jose Villarrubia does a great job of making each frame jump out at the reader with his mixed color scheme of bright and earthy tones.
As I said above, I found “Aaron and Ahmed: A Love Story” to be an engaging read but I wouldn’t call it entertaining. This is a graphic novel that is solely trying to tell or teach the reader something. That’s not a bad thing, just as long as I don’t have to completely succumb to the message or ideas presented to me within it’s pages.
You can buy “Aaron and Ahmed: A Love Story” right here .