A few weeks back when I heard about Iraq War Stories, Nick Bertozzi’s project with his School of Visual Arts Comic Book Storytelling Workshop students, I wanted to immediately interview him. Here’s the advance write-up that caught my attention: “I’ve been teaching cartooning at The School of Visual Arts for a while now and this past year I asked the students in my Comic Book Storytelling Workshop to adapt stories that take place in Iraq during the War. Most of the students found stories from bloggers on the web, a few adapted stories told to them by friends, and one student, himself a veteran of the Iraq War, wrote and drew a story based on his own experience.
My good friend Dean Haspiel was wise enough to suggest that we put the stories up on the internet for all to see at the internet comics site that I’m part of, ACT-I-VATE.com.
The purpose of this anthology is not to wave a flag for or against the war—though some of the stories certainly have a political bent—instead, I asked the students to give me stories that would give the reader a sense of how the War has affected individuals, both American and Iraqi.”
The anthology series will release its second installment this Sunday.
Tim O’Shea: The anthology series will feature 13 stories ultimately–selected from the Comic Book Storytelling Workshop, how many students in total submitted stories?
Nick Bertozzi: I’m waiting to hear back from two more students who are making very slight tweaks to their comics, so there may be 15 comics when we’re all done.