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Both Aaron and Ahmed and the 9/11 Report felt like something completely new and surprising to me. I had never thought of comics as a medium to explore real historical events and even less tragic events such as terrorist attacks.

I suppose that the use of a comic book format seeks to reach a broader audience and to provide a more accessible view on the 9/11 events. Ernie Colon, one of the authors of the 9/11 Report said:¬†“we’re in the business of clarification.” But we wonder if sometimes popularization can lead to simplification or dramatization.

Nevertheless there is a difference between Aaron and Ahmed and the 9/11 Report. On one hand Aaron and Ahmed is still a work of fiction, “a graphic novel” like other books that we have read such as Falling Man and The Reluctant Fundamentalist. On the other hand the 9/11 Report is a “graphic adaptation” of the 568-page official¬†report known as The 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT: FINAL REPORT OF THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON TERRORIST ATTACKS UPON THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I understand the necessity of making it simpler and shorter, but I am not sure about the use of the comic book format. Images are more striking than words because they are more direct and create basic emotions such as fear, anger, and joy. But in my opinion words allow more reflection and hindsight. In this perspective, I doubt that the graphic version of the 9/11 Report can transmit equal reflection on the origins of the Attacks and their historical, political and sociological consequences. The issue seems too complex to be transposed into a comic book. I would rather advocate for a more pedagogical version of the first written report. Not to say that a comic book about 9/11 cannot be made but, it cannot replace a written analytic version.

I indeed enjoyed the reading of Aaron and Ahmed because it focuses on individuals rather than facts and I think that this art tries to capture the internal psychological process of the tragic events. Aaron and Ahmed also appeared more universal to me whereas the 9/11 Report seemed specifically made for an American audience.

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