When cartoonist Bosch Fawstin tried to sell the first chapter of his serialized graphic novel The Infidel through conventional channels, he received word that the distributor he had chosen rejected the comic as “violating our terms of service.” That general phrase no doubt referred to Fawstin’s use of storytelling elements that make Western publishers nervous: unapologetic American heroes delivering payback to jihadists who are motivated not by “blowback” against the CIA and colonialism, but by the religious imperative of Islam itself.
Fawstin is a cartoonist who scored a nomination for an Eisner Award – the comics industry equivalent of an Oscar – for his debut graphic novel, Table For One. He’s also a FrontPage contributing artist and the author/illustrator of ProPIGanda: Drawing the Line Against Jihad, a collection of images and essays that serve as a companion piece to The Infidel. Feeling certain that the distributor’s rejection of chapter one didn’t bode well for chapter two, Fawstin decided to digitally serialize the works himself from his blog site. Download them here.
A story within a story, The Infidel is about twin brothers Killian Duke and Salaam Duka whose lives veer in polar opposite directions after the 9/11 attacks. Killian (who just happens to closely resemble his creator Fawstin) responds to the atrocity by creating a counter-jihad superhero comic book called Pigman, while Salaam submits fully to Islam. Pigman's battle against his archenemy SuperJihad is mirrored in the escalating conflict between the twins. The novel also reflects Fawstin’s own personal journey from Albanian Muslim to apostate to Ayn Rand devotee.