Comic Book Star: My Role in a Comic Explaining Why Guantánamo is Such a Bad Idea, and Why It Must Be Closed

A panel from the comic 'Guantanamo Bay is Still Open. Still. STILL!' by Jess Parker and Sarah Mirk, featuring Andy Worthington.Please support my work as a reader-funded journalist! I’m currently trying to raise $2500 (£2000) to support my writing and campaigning on Guantánamo and related issues over the next three months of the Trump administration.


Three weeks ago, while I was in the US on my annual tour calling for the prison at Guantánamo Bay to be closed, to coincide with the 16th anniversary of its opening, on January 11, I received some great news from a writer friend, Sarah Mirk, that a comic about Guantánamo, in which I featured, had just been published on the website of The Nib, “a daily comics publication that is part of First Look Media,” the organization set up in 2013 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, which also includes The Intercept.

A panel from the comic 'Guantanamo Bay is Still Open. Still. STILL!' by Jess Parker and Sarah Mirk, featuring Andy Worthington.The comic is entitled, Guantánamo Bay is Still Open. Still. STILL!, and Sarah had interviewed me for it in October, although I didn’t know at the time that I would actually be immortalized in comic form!

As I explained when I posted the link on Facebook, “OK, this is very, very cool. I am now a comic book star! What else is left to achieve? Sarah Mirk, who I met in 2009 when she came to the UK with former Guantánamo guard Chris Arendt for Cageprisoners’ powerful ‘Two Sides, One Story‘ tour of the UK, with Moazzam Begg and other ex-prisoners, interviewed me recently, and used that interview as the basis for a comic about Guantánamo, illustrated by the talented Australian artist Jess Parker.”

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“The Grotesque Injustice of Guantánamo: Insiders’ Accounts” – By Video, Andy Worthington Joins Event in Portland, August 1, 2013

On Thursday August 1, I’ll be taking part, via teleconferencing, in “The Grotesque Injustice of Guantánamo: An Insiders’ Account,” an event in Portland, Oregon organized by peace activist and Vietnam veteran S. Brian Willson and Laura Sandow, a US Navy veteran, who was serving at Guantánamo when George W. Bush’s “war on terror” prison opened in January 2002.

Brian was the commander of a security unit in Vietnam, and is a trained lawyer and criminologist. He recently participated in a hunger strike in Portland in solidarity with the Guantánamo hunger strikers, and is the author of Blood On The Tracks: The Life and Times of S. Brian Willson (PM Press, 2011).

Laura first asked me to be involved back in June, when she and Brian had decided to put an event together, and her request coincided with the publication of her story in the online comic magazine Symbolia, in a powerful strip written by the journalist Sarah Mirk, based on an interview with Laura, and drawn by Lucy Bellwood. See this Think Progress article for excerpts from Laura’s story. As she explained to me in a recent email, “The more people that understand this atrocity [the prison at Guantánamo Bay], the more likely we are to prevent it from becoming an acceptable course of action for future policy decisions.”

The event is sponsored by Veterans for Peace Chapter 72, and takes place in the Buchan Room at the First Unitarian Church, 1226 SW Salmon Street, Portland, Oregon 97205, beginning at 7pm. Doors open at 6:30 pm, and there is a suggested sliding-scale donation of $5 to $20 for the event, although the organizers stress that no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Read the rest of this entry »

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer (The State of London).
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