Read this article after reading The Sheriff of Babylon: http://www.vulture.com/2016/07/sheriff-of-babylon-comic-book-iraq-war.html Scott Beauchamp’s article “The Best Retelling of the Iraq War is a Comic Book” notes of The Sheriff of Babylon that, “It’s a political story. It’s an unmasking of violence. It’s a noir mystery. It’s a complex rendering of an entire ecosystem of squalor, hope, and delusion.” Later in his article he quotes Tom King’s description of his book: “I worked the Iraq issue from the States, from abroad, and from Baghdad itself,” King told me during a phone interview. “I don’t have simple thoughts about it. I don’t think, ‘Oh, it was a good thing’ or ‘Oh, it was a bad thing.’ I know Saddam was a horrible person and it’s better that he’s gone. I also know that what came after was worse than what had happened before. But those thoughts don’t seem to add up to a cogent whole. I knew I wanted to write about that — how you could have two conflicting thoughts in your head at once. That’s a lot of what Sheriff is about: the idea of the invasion not being a good thing or a bad thing but a thing my entire generation had to go through.” As you read through the book, what were some themes that stood out to you? If King describes the idea of “having conflicting thoughts in your head at once,” what do you think he means by that? Is there an issue you can think of that is not so simple as good/bad, right/wrong, etc.? In 250 words, express your thoughts on the book and its refusal to simplify issues of violence, war, corruption, greed, etc.
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