News today from Myriad Editions that another artist to be recognised in their 2018 First Graphic Novel Competition has been picked up for publication. The Wolf of Baghdad by Carol Isaacs (aka The Surreal McCoy) is scheduled for the beginning of 2020. She joins winner (and Broken Frontier team member) Jenny Robins, and shortlisted artist and 2017 Broken Frontier ‘Six Small Press Creators to Watch‘ artist Sabba Khan whose debut graphic novels were announced last year by Myriad as the third creator to gain a publishing deal via the competition.
The full press release is below.
Myriad Acquires Graphic Memoir of Lost Iraqi Homeland by Musician and Cartoonist Carol Isaacs (The Surreal Mccoy)
In the 1940s a third of Baghdad’s population was Jewish. Within a decade nearly all 150,000 of Iraq’s Jews had been expelled, killed or had escaped.
Carol Isaacs’s graphic memoir of a lost homeland is a wordless narrative by an author homesick for a home she has never visited. It is illuminated by the words and portraits of her family, and a brief history of Baghdadi Jews.
Transported by the power of music to her ancestral home in the old Jewish quarter of Baghdad, the author encounters its ghost-like inhabitants who are revealed as long-gone family members. As she explores the city, journeying through their memories and her imagination, she at first sees successful integration, and cultural and social cohesion. Then the mood turns darker with the fading of this ancient community’s fortunes.
The wolf, believed by Baghdadi Jews to protect them from harmful demons, sees that Jewish life in Iraq is over, and returns the author safely back to her present home in London.
Myriad will publish The Wolf of Baghdad in January 2020. Corinne Pearlman, Creative Director at Myriad, bought world rights from Sam Ferris at Knight Features Ltd, after seeing a performance of an audio-visual version of the book at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. An excerpt of the book was also longlisted for the 2018 Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition.
Carol Isaacs is a musician and, as The Surreal McCoy, is a well-known cartoonist published in the New Yorker, Spectator and Sunday Times. The Wolf of Baghdad is also an animated slideshow with its own musical soundtrack, which is often performed by a live band including Isaacs on accordion and keyboards, playing music of Iraqi and Judeo-Arabic origin. Future performances are in Cambridge and at the School of Oriential and African Studies, London.
Praise for performances of The Wolf of Baghdad:
‘The Wolf of Baghdad is a ‘tour de force’—the moving story of the destruction of a community seen through the eyes of an Iraqi Jew—and a wolf. The most exciting animated audio-visual experience since Persepolis.’ Lyn Julius, Harif
‘A brilliant and truly transporting piece of work.’ Mekella Broomberg, JW3
‘An enthralling and moving combination of art and music. It is magical.’ Claudia Roden, Cultural Anthropologist and Food Writer