Pride of Baghdad

Pride of Baghdad

by Brian K. Vaughan, Niko Henrichon
4.6 11


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Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan, Niko Henrichon

This exceptional graphic novel about four lions who are freed from the Baghdad Zoo questions the nature of freedom. Can it be achieved without being earned? What is the price?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781401203153
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication date: 01/02/2008
Pages: 136
Sales rank: 237,117
Product dimensions: 6.64(w) x 10.16(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range: 15 - 18 Years

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Pride of Baghdad 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is a tradition in literature of using talking animals, usually the domain of children's stories and sugary animated movies, to portray serious political and social issues in the big adult world. Animal Farm is the progenitor of this genre, with Art Spiegelman's Maus the contemporary example. Pride of Baghdad is an impressive and moving entry into this tradition. Based on a real-world incident, the inadvertent freeing of four lions from Baghdad Zoo by an American aerial bombardment, Pride of Baghdad tells the story of the anthropomorphic lions' travels through a ghostly Baghdad, empty of almost all humans but populated by scattered, haunted animals. The lions, monkeys, turtles and bears present a microcosm of the society of conflict that exists in Iraq. Instead of rehashing the chaos of Iraq as an extended tribal and religious war, writer Brian Vaughan and artist Niko Henrichon portray something deeper. For them, the invasion didn't just unleash sectarian conflicts suppressed by Saddam Hussein for decades. Like an uncapped oil well, darker emotions of hate, fear, greed and authoritarianism comes spewing out into the open with the destruction of the zoo's gates. Regardless of creed or tribe, the most basic evils of human nature are the tragedy of Iraq, crossing all cultural boundaries. The verbal pun on 'pride' denotes the lions' role. As they roam the city, searching for food and shelter, they discuss their newfound freedom and what it means. For the lions, pride leads to sadness. With a reduced role in the brutal world around them, the lions suffer attacks and insults, pulling themselves through by sheer force of character until the climactic conflict with an American infantry patrol. Henrichon's artwork perfectly suits the story, combining a detailed portrayal of the Iraqi landscape with animals that display human-like movements and expressions. The combination of realistic detail and cartoonish characters work well to make a controversial subject accessible, much in the tradition of Mike Golden's work for Marvel Comics in The 'Nam series. The four lions (cynical old Safa, idealist Noor, romantic Zill and irrepressible cub Ali) discuss and emote like humans, while still displaying very lion-like behavior and instincts. 'You don't look a gift horse in the eat him,' Zill proclaims during one debate. Pride of Baghdad is a fresh voice in the Iraq debate. Vaughan and Henrichon point out that the real tragedy of the conflict is that there is a tragedy at all, and that there will be no winners when the higher human qualities are marginalized for greed and control. Like Orwell realized, people have a hard time facing a simple truth if it is a brutal one. Sometimes a talking lion is needed to point out that something is wrong in his kingdom.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dramatic, painful, dark, and intense. Definitely not for everyone, but definitely great.
Sean_From_OHIO More than 1 year ago
Absolutely fantastic!! Brian K. Vaughan is the best writer in comics. Of this, I’m sure. I have loved almost everything he’s written and was happy to finally get a chance to read this. He has an amazing way of humanizing so many different types of characters. The plot here, based on a true story, is simple and pure: survival. He takes it so far past that. Just an amazing story. The art was very good. Overall a fantastic must read!
Anonymous 7 months ago
The first time I read this book, I would say I was way too young. I was 13 when I read it, and it is s very intense, emotional, and bloody book. Though I was young, I did enjoy it. Now I am in my 20s, I plan on buying it myself.
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