Sunday, April 3, 2016

Review- Persia Blues: Leaving Home

Persia is the ancient name for the modern country of Iran.  Or something like that. I must admit I'm not too knowledgeable about Persia/Iran.  I believe I first heard of the country when I was in grade school, in the late 1970s.  A group of Iranians had taken Americans hostage after invading the American embassy in Tehran.  That's not the best way to come to know about a country.  So there was a lot of hate towards Iran going around ("bomb Iran") and some fear that the USA would get involved in another war. This was not long after Vietnam- a war I do not remember.

Anyway, my point being that when there is conflict between two countries it is often easy to accuse the other guys of being inhuman monsters.  We so it all the time.  Since I was raised in the Cold War era, I heard about how Russians were "not like us".  And this, somehow, leads me into talking about Persia Blues.

Persia Blues tells the tale of Minoo Shirazi, a young Iranian woman and an ancient Persian warrior with magic powers. Yes, somehow she's both.  The story changes settings regularly and with great effect, keeping the reader interested and wondering what is going on.  The art is different in each era.  In ancient tomes, artist Brent Bowman uses a grey pencil effects with lots of cool shading.  In modern times, he uses ink lines for a traditional, black and white comic book look.  He also draws horses very well- just thought I'd mention that 'cause it's cool.

Since this is volume 1, we don't get to find out the ultimate connection between Minoo and Minoo, but they are definitely the same person somehow.  I'm hoping there's something here I'm not seeing that ends up a big surprise.  In the story in ancient Persia Minoo is a swords-woman and has some magic powers. she ends up on a quest involving some gods and has a over and companion accompanying her. It's very classic fantasy I'd say.  In the modern world we learn Minoo is a bit rebellious and not conforming to the strict religious rules of Iran. She has the same independent personality as the ancient Minoo, and this leads her to getting an education in Oklahoma.  Or maybe it was Columbus.

Writer Dara Naraghi was also born in Iran and educated in the United States.  So he's really writing about what he knows.  At my age, I really enjoy learning about other places and cultures. It's nice to see that people are, in general, the same everywhere.  We need to be careful about stereotyping "those people" as "not like us".  As the Russians ended up regular human beings, I'm sure all our "axis of evil" foes will turn up likewise eventually.

By the way, I wrote a review of the preview of Persia Blues some time ago.  And I should note that Persia Blues is an award-winning comic!  Volume 1 and 2 are currently available.  Se details here


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