In the spring of 2003, a pride of lions escaped from the Baghdad
Zoo during an American bombing raid. Lost and confused, hungry
but finally free, the four lions roamed the decimated streets
of Baghdad in a desperate struggle for their lives. In documenting
the plight of the lions, Pride of Baghdad raises questions
about the true meaning of freedom - can it be given or is
it earned only through self-determination and sacrifice...?
of Baghdad is
based on a true story in as much as a number of lions did
indeed escape from Baghdad zoo during the American airstrikes.
The ending is also loosely based on fact, but the rest of
the narrative is told from the point of view of the lions
and, occasionally, the other animals that were left to roam
Baghdad after their home/prison was destroyed.
we are presented with is a sort of adult version of Disney's
The Lion King. The illustrations of the lions are -
especially for the cub - look like something out of a kid's
story - all cute and big eyed. But, their surroundings and
situation are more akin to something out of the movie Three
stripped to the bare bones Pride
is a pretty simple tale - the whole plot could easily be summed
up in a sentence or two. But the finished result is so much
more than the sum of its parts.
Brian K. Vaughan's story is well structured, it is Niko Henrichon's
artwork that really makes this graphic novel a joy to read.
I was therefore extremely surprised to learn that this was
only his second journey into the world of graphic novels.
Watch out for Henrichon - he's already managed to hit a level
of quality that most artists take years to reach.
if you've never read a graphic novel before in your life Pride
of Baghdad will convert you to the comic medium.