Comic Review: Yasmeen #1 (Scout Comics)

Things go from bad to very very bad, to even worse in Yasmeen #1, from Scout Comics. And that’s just a start! It’s Iraq in 2014. Yasmeen is 16, and […]

Things go from bad to very very bad, to even worse in Yasmeen #1, from Scout Comics. And that’s just a start!

It’s Iraq in 2014. Yasmeen is 16, and her parents are buying a brand new house. It’s time to move up! But it’s also bad timing. Just as the deal is signed, ISIS invades Mosul, and the family is under threat.

Yasmeen’s family makes a run for it, but Yasmeen is captured by terrorists, and likely to be tortured or sold into slavery. And her uncle is executed!

Two years later, Yasmeen is reunited with her family in the United States. How will Yasmeen and her family readjust as they gain distance from the religious tension they seem to have outrun?

Writer Saif A. Ahmed (The Dinner, etc), an Iraqi screenwriter and structural engineer, has been living in the US since 2015. His dialogue, sense of story progression, and character development put Yasmeen in a fascinating category. For us North Americans, the politics of Iraq may appear opaque and puzzling, but Ahmed walks us through the dynamics of the situation. The undertones of suspense and suspicion, the climate of intolerance are made real.

Likewise, illustrator Fabiana Mascolo (Caput Mundi, Ruggine), a Rome-based artist brings a carefully crafted thin line style to Yasmeen. Mascolo’s lines are exquisite, her colours atmospheric without exaggeration. The spacial quality of the visuals in this first of six issues gives us the illusion of wide-open areas, of uncramped surroundings. The character gestures and expressions are fascinating, as they, in turn, reveal and conceal their thoughts and motives.

This is a really engrossing book, full of the threat and weight of political and cultural reality, and well worth reading. In the first issue, we have just lifted the lid on the strange and difficult struggle that Yasmeen has undergone to reach the United States to rejoin her family.

Scout Comics, Yasmeen #1 (of 6), $3.99 for 23 pages of content. Assume Teen rating

@ASaifA1, @FabianaMascolo

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!