REVIEW: The Infidel

Comics creator Bosch Fawstin was born into an Albanian-Muslim family and for a good chunk of his youth, didn’t question his faith. Until one day he had an awakening which made him question it all. In his self published “The Infidel”, Fawstin works out his feelings about Islam and Jihad in a powerful narrative that pits two brothers with deeply opposing views on the faith and religious fanaticism.

It’s bound to upset some people because, like the fictional hero in the story, it doesn’t pull any punches.

It starts out with two men, Frank and Mohammad, on a rooftop in lower Manhattan, having an argument. In the middle of their debate, a plane flies over and hits the World Trade Center. From that moment on, Frank is awakened and Mohammed sees it as a religious sign. The two men become profoundly changed by the experience, in opposite ways.

We soon discover this is a fictional narrative told in a comic book called Pigman by comics artist Killian Duke. Killian as an athiest and objectivist with a real cause. He wants to speak out against radical Islam through his comic. He wants to expose the dangerous fanaticism that the Islamic faith inspires. His avatar, Pigman, acts out his frustrations with his fists, taking his battle all the way to Osama Bin Laden himself.

Killian has a devout Muslim brother named Salaam. The characters in his comic are a reflection of Killian’s own relationship with his brother. Just as the comic The Infidel is a reflection of Bosch Fawstin’s own world view. The Infidel is drawn in an art style that reminds one in turns of Frank Miller and Alex Toth, with some David Mazzuchelli thrown in. Fawstin shows very strong storytelling and graphic design skills. It’s no wonder that he was nominated for an Eisner award and a “Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer” award for his first graphic novel, Table for One. Fawstin shows a lot of progress in his sophomore effort. It’s well worth the $2.50 it costs to download it.

Highly recommended. Not for the politically correct.

This first issue is available for download on the author’s site.