Cover image for Johnny Jihad
Title:
Johnny Jihad
Author:
Inzana, Ryan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[New York] : [ComicsLit], [2003.]

[©2003.]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations ; 23 cm
Summary:
Somewhere in devastated Afghanistan, John Sendel of Trenton, New Jersey, speaks his "sorry, short life" into a recorder. It is post 9-11, and the 16-year-old "social misfit" met "cagey pakistani" Salim, who introduced him tot he Qur'an and eventually drove him to a terrorist training camp. After his first, nearly failed mission-an assassination-the CIA nabbed him. He accepted their proposal to go to Afghanistan as a Taliban infiltrator in exchange for never being prosecuted and eventually coming home. Now, going home is moot. Crippled by a self-inflected wound, he awaits the bomb with his name on it.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781561633531
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

John Sendel is a typical disillusioned teenager. The kind that snap and start shooting at their school. Part of a generation reared by television, he is willing to weild the impetuousness of youth in a self-destructive manner. But when he stumbles upon fundamentalist Islam through his friend Salim, his world is transformed. Now his life has a purpose: jihad. But the deeper he becomes emeshed, the more frightening the road becomes. Inspired by the story of John Walker Lindh, this is a chillingly real and hotly topical tale. In b/w throughout.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Somewhere in devastated Afghanistan, John Sendel of Trenton, New Jersey, speaks his sorry, short life into a recorder. It is post-9/11, and the Americans are bombing, but John's story began in earnest in the mid-1990s, when the 16-year-old social misfit met cagey Pakistani Salim, who introduced him to the Qur'an and eventually drove him to a terrorist training camp. After his first, nearly failed mission--an assassination--the CIA nabbed him. He accepted their proposal to go to Afghanistan as a Taliban infiltrator in exchange for never being prosecuted and eventually coming home. Now, going home is moot. Crippled by a self-inflicted wound, he awaits the bomb with his name on it. Based on the reported experiences of several young Western recruits to Islamic radicalism, John's story, even more powerfully drawn than written by graphic novelist Inzana, is alarmingly convincing, perhaps most in its portrayal of an anomic kid who sees salvation in ideologized violence and doesn't come to his senses until it is too late. --Ray Olson Copyright 2003 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Inspired by the experiences of John Walker Lindh and the Columbine shootings, this fictional exploration of our culture's casual acceptance of violence tells the story of a young martyr-in-training. Originally from New Jersey, John Sendel narrates the story as he's about to die in an American bombing run in Afghanistan. In a flashback we see Johnny in the early '90s as an unhappy suburbanite with a nowhere job, no girlfriend, an abusive, profane ex-military father, and a remote, drug-dependent mom. He's drifting through his non-life until a fellow employee shows him the Koran and involves him in an Islamic activist group. The terrorist training camp provides a family for him, while anti-Americanism provides a purpose to his life and something to blame. This is a common cultural explanation for otherwise inconceivable actions, but the treatment here pushes coincidence too far, as when Johnny manages to run into Usama Bin Laden. The story is very text-driven, with the images simply illustrating the narration instead of supporting it in a more integrated form. The expressionist art appears to be done with scratchboard, a dark, moody technique that resembles a woodcut, and paints a picture of an emotionally disconnected kid who engages in self-destructive behavior with no concern for the bigger picture. The heavy-handed indictment of all forms of violence that concludes the book will make this distasteful to some readers. Some will applaud the book for daring to challenge the conventional wisdom of the roots of terrorism; others will find it opportunistic and overly sensational, with insights that need to be more deeply thought about before being presented to the audience. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved