How an interactive comic explained the blackwater debacle in Iraq
PBS - 04/30/2015
Four former military contractors were sentenced earlier this month to lengthy prison terms for killing 14 unarmed Iraqis in a crowded Baghdad square on September 16, 2007. The Blackwater security contractors had been part of a heavily-armed convoy patrolling through a traffic circle in Baghdad’s Nisour Square when they stopped and fired at several cars with Iraqi civilians. The contractors claimed they were firing on insurgents. The handful of civilian witnesses claim the atrocity was unprovoked.
In 2010, while on a John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University, journalist and comic artist Dan Archer decided to illustrate the 2007 Blackwater incident. Archer was just starting to experiment with interactive comics and decided to illustrate the incident. Built with Flash and comprised of a timeline and many panels of hand-drawn comics, the interactive project is a powerful, bird’s eye view of the debacle. Archer shared his process with Storybench.