Publishing company Discovered Authors' first foray into graphic novels, Death's Door: Ignorance Likes Company by Jag Lall, has been getting some good press worldwide and has been picked up as a teaching aid for young people.
The story touches on the issues of racism and terrorism in today's society and is inspired by events surrounding the terror attacks on London in July 2005.
When a young Sikh man is stopped by the police who they think may be carrying a bomb, he becomes struck by the situation and what they and the crowd are thinking.
In turn, the tale twists the situation to the viewpoint of the public and the media, giving a glimpse of hate and fear that encourages the final scenes. Reality constantly shifts between these nameless characters and perspectives, until the story builds to its climax.
The book, which Jag kindly sent us for this story, is a moving take on how we see each other: our perceptions of threat and how they're often twisted by our personal view of others, especially others of different cultures. Fully painted throughout, it's a moving tale that aims to break free of the current stigmas behind these issues of race and terrorism.
"The book came about as an expression of the heightened fear and ignorance of ethnic minorites and the stereotype of a terrorist after 9/11 and 7/7," explined Lall when he first launched the book online in 2007. "I felt I had to get a positive message across to make society just think and take time to know who that stranger in front of them is, rather then pre-judging them by their shell.
"The book is a plea for understanding and embracing eachother for who we are rather then using who we are as an excuse for bloodshed."
Well received on its initial print release in July, Death's Door has been commended by organisations across the globe, including the United Nations Association of Canada and has been used in schools and youth groups which is where Lall says he wants to take the book further, "because I feel it can really make a positive impact."
"Death’s Door: Ignorance Likes Company is more than a mere comic but a tool that could be used in schools and youth centers to assist the fragile minded work through fury and belligerence," argues Anthony Kuzminski, a writer for Unrated Magazine. "The eye-catching and visceral images help bring the issue of racism and prejudice to the forefront in a manner that will leave you breathless."
Comic artist and writer David Hine called it "a powerfully written comic", while the late James Redington, editor of Portent Comics, called it "truly a gem", and his acclaim of the piece features in the book.
Lall has already marketed it toward the young generation, and the East London-based New Choices for Youth Trust has taken it on as a resource to use in 'Safer Schools' Partnership' workshops across Newham Schools. Robin Lockhart, the leader behind these workshops has recommended Death's Door: Ignorance Likes Company as a "valuable resource for anyone working with young people".
Living on the borders between Essex and Greater London, Jag Lall is an artist who illustrated in both the comic book and book publishing industry and has contributed work to the Prince’s Trust as well as several Peace exhibitions. He wrote Death's Door for the youth of the world, but claims "the book has enough depth to also make an impression on adults" as "we all can change and learn no matter how old we are".
Lall hopes to get Death's Door into Schools and Education Organisations as an important resource to show the current views of society on terrorism and Race, and how with knowledge and a bit of insight, we can change that view.
• Death’s Door: Ignorance Likes Company ISBN: 978-1-905108-78-7 is available from all good bookshops.
• Discovered Authors Official web site: www.discoveredauthors.co.uk
• by Anthony Kuzminski
"Artist Jag Lall has created a graphic comic inspired by the events of 7/7/05 and the forty-page comic leaves you questioning your own fears, doubts and prejudices. Encased inside this mere comic are intense lessons that anyone could learn from."