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The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation Paperback – August 22, 2006
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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The 9/11 Report for Every American
On December 5, 2005, the 9/11 Commission issued its final report card on the governments fulfillment of the recommendations issued in July 2004: one A, twelve Bs, nine Cs, twelve Ds, three Fs, and four incompletes. Here is stunning evidence that Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón, with more than sixty years of experience in the comic-book industry between them, were right: far, far too few Americans have read, grasped, and demanded action on the Commission's investigation into the events of that tragic day and the lessons America must learn.
Using every skill and storytelling method Jacobson and Colón have learned over the decades, they have produced the most accessible version of the 9/11 Report. Jacobsons text frequently follows word for word the original report, faithfully captures its investigative thoroughness, and covers its entire scope, even including the Commission's final report card. Colón's stunning artwork powerfully conveys the facts, insights, and urgency of the original. Published on the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States, an event that has left no aspect of American foreign or domestic policy untouched, The 9/11 Report puts at every American's fingertips the most defining event of the century.
A Statement on The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation
by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón
The cave paintings in Altamira, Spain, tell stories. Mostly they tell tales of the hunt. Drawn during the Paleolithic Stone Age, they still amaze us with their lucidity and directness. As an artist, and as an editor and writer in the graphic medium, we each pay homage to those delineators and interpreters of experience. They offered accounts of what happened and provided a way of remembering, honoring, and learning. When retold by the fire's flickering light, these stories must have lent the drawings a compelling, virtual movement. There is something eerie, but deeply gratifying, in knowing that a direct line runs from our contemporary comic art to these earliest efforts to record and convey what happened. Storyteller, audience, drawings depicting continuity of event: it all sounds familiar. In a culture that has become the most visually oriented in the history of humankind, comics retain the original concept of storytelling and remain a potent force of information. Read more
Excerpts from The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation
Timeline of Terror
American Airline Flight 11 (AA 11)
|United Airline Flight 175 (UA 11) |
Boston to Los Angeles
8:42: Last routine radio communication
8:42-8:46: Likely takeover
8:47: Transponder code changes
8:52: Flight attendant notifies UA of hijacking
8:54: UA attempts to contact the cockpit
8:55: New York Center suspects hijacking
9:03:11: Flight 175 crashes into 2 WTC (South Tower)
9:15: New York Center advises NEADS that UA 175 was the second aircraft crashed into WTC
9:20: UA Headquarters aware that Flight 175 had crashed into WTC
--This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School–At only 15 percent the size of The 9/11 Report: The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (St. Martin's, 2004) and more than four times the price, is this adaptation worth purchasing? The answer is an unequivocal yes. Jacobson and Colón intend this adaptation to bring to the commission's report readers who would not or could not digest its nearly 800 pages, and they have the blessing, acknowledged in this book's foreword, of the commission's chair and vice-chair to do so. Neither lurid nor simplistic, it presents the essence of the commission's work in a manner that, especially in the opening section, is able to surpass aspects of any text-only publication: the four stories of the doomed flights are given on the same foldout pages so that readers can truly grasp the significance of how simultaneous events can and did overwhelm our national information and defense systems. The analysis that follows in the subsequent 11 chapters cuts cleanly to the kernels of important history, politics, economics, and procedural issues that both created and exacerbated the effects of the day's events. Colón's full-color artwork provides personality for the named players–U.S. presidents and Al-Qaeda operatives alike–as well as the airline passengers, office workers, fire fighters, and bureaucrats essential to the report. This graphic novel has the power and accessibility to become a high school text; in the meantime, no library should be without it.–Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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The book exactly follows the chapter headings of the original, from "1 / We Have Some Planes" and "2 / The Foundation of the New Terrorism" to "12 / What to Do" and "13 / How to Do It." I have not read the original at all fully, but when I look into it to compare the two versions, I certainly see a lot of fascinating detail that I would like to pursue when I have more time, but I am also amazed by how faithful the Jacobson/Colón adaptation is to the original. Despite all the exposure to facts and analysis over the years, I learned a great deal about both the antecedents and the follow-up to the attacks. I now have a much clearer picture of the rise of Usama bin Ladin (as he is spelled here) and the earlier attacks in Africa, Aden, and the WTC itself. I have a horrifying sense of the dysfunction of communication between the various agencies which allowed so many warnings to slip by. And I get a simpler view of the frantic and often wrongheaded reactions to the disaster in the year that followed. The graphic version, unlike the original, ends with the Commission's report card on the Administration's response to its various suggestions: a depressing pox of scarlet C's, D's, and F's, with very few B's and only a single A (interdiction of terrorist financing).
So the graphics and the color make it easier to read, and altogether more inviting; do they help in other ways too? Yes and no. I don't know if the book was originally issued in a larger size, but the 6-by-9 booklet that I have is too small to read the writing with any ease. The format is best for things that are intrinsically graphic, such as the timelines of the four flights spooling in four parallel bands over the first 16 pages of the book, or the occasional maps and charts. There are some striking uses of color, for example on the page illustrating the 1998 rocket strikes on Al Qaeda bases, but some of the most sobering illustrations are in monochrome, such as a page of mugshots of President Bush's Iraq War Cabinet, and the stunning image of the smoking ruins at Ground Zero used as the header for Chapter 11.
There is also a full-page monochrome drawing of Donald Rumsfeld making some very practical suggestions about reorganization. But this is striking mainly because most of the portraits are so bad. Too many of the panels show cartoon-like figures with stunned or fatuous expressions, making it look as though few people in this entire business had any clue what they were doing. Which may have been the Commission's message -- but only on an organizational level. Seen as individuals, these are mostly dedicated public servants doing the best they can in a confusing situation. I may not agree with all their actions, but I do think they deserve a bit more respect. There is one good picture of President George W. Bush, but a dozen more that look merely vapid; President Clinton seems callow; Secretary of State Colin Powell comes over as weak and sulky; while the forceful personality of Condoleezza Rice, then National Security Adviser, is lost in a faded pastel wash. Far more than the scarlet letters depicting these terrible impacts as BLAMM! WHOOSH! and FLAMM!, which is after all a convention of the style, I regret this diminution of the human element, even of people whose actions I deplore.
I am very glad to have read this book, once, as an introduction to the official report. That impressive volume will certainly remain on my shelves, but this graphic version has served its purpose and can now be given away.
Some years later, I won a poster contest in class and received The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon as one of my prizes. Up until that point, I had never really paid attention to graphic novels, unless it was anything related to Batman or reading a compilation comic book, such as Calvin and Hobbes. I remember reading a few pages of The 9/11 Report and then putting it on my bookshelf, telling myself I would read it later. There it sat until recently when I made it a goal of mine to finish all the books I had, but had not bothered to finish.
The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation is basically a short and simplified version of the actual The 9/11 Commission Report complimented with pictures. It reviews incidents that led up to 9/11 and it examines problems or miscalls by government agencies that could have led to the prevention of the incident. The graphic novel then ends with recommendations made by the 9/11 commission to prevent similar incidents like this one from happening again.
I must admit that similar to The 9/11 Commission Report, the graphic novel has a somber feel to it. It was like reliving through parts of 9/11 again and connecting it to what I remember happening in real life. The worst part was that I couldn't just close the book and dismiss it as simply a work of fiction, there to entertain me. It was reality and the people represented in there were those people who had lost their lives thanks to the heinous act of a few people. The 9/11 Report is a great way to expose younger readers to 9/11, yet it's also a good read for those who don't like to read or are frightened by the sheer size of the thicker commission report. The forward written by the chair and vice chair of the 9/11 Commission provides even more credibility to the graphic novel and the pictures give a realistic view of the events. I particularly liked how the authors created separate timelines of the planes (flight 11, 175, 77, and 93) taking off and how they placed these timelines next to each other, helping readers to compare them side by side. It was a great way of allowing readers to see the whole picture, rather than just parts of it at a time. Overall, The 9/11 Report is well-paced and simply presents information, rather than pushing any agenda. A good read, which I wished I had read sooner.
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