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Thursday, May 22, 2014 

Will Bluewater's biography of Edward Snowden tell the whole story about him?

Bluewater's come up with another comic based on real life people, this time about the traitorous Edward Snowden, who's still holed up in Russia last time I checked. What I'd really like to know here is just how clear this graphic novel will be about the color of Snowden's personality. The Washington Post did an interview with its writer, Valerie D'Orazio, who told them in the latter part that:
CAVNA: Do you think Snowden is a patriot or a traitor? What’s your opinion on his actions, and did you let them color your storytelling at all, or were you aiming to tell this straight?

D’ORAZIO: My initial goal with this book was to tell everything “straight”—no drama, no opinions, just the facts. A straight-up educational “pamphlet,” more or less. But it quickly became clear to me that this would be impossible. I really feel strongly about protecting our rights to online privacy. I just look at all the technological advances, the innovations in social media, wearable technology, and so on, and on one hand I’m amazed…and on another, really worried. I feel like we’ve allowed the technological infrastructure for a potential Big Brother/”1984″ scenario to be installed under our very noses. I feel like we don’t care as much about this as we should.

And so in that sense: Yes, I think what Snowden did — bringing these issues to our attention — was important.

But there are also unanswered questions…holes in this narrative…that I don’t think anybody has the full story of yet. And I address those in the comic as well. I don’t think Snowden was a Russian spy…but I do think that he has been in that country a long, long time, at a distinct disadvantage. Was he pumped for info by his hosts? Who knows? These are questions. The story and revelations are far from over, in my opinion.
What I want to know is whether she's going to reference the kind of shady fiends backing him, like the anti-American network, whether she'll clearly acknowledge that Vladimir Putin's given him sanctuary, and that he received additional offers from Venezuela and Nicaragua. Unfortunately, when she says Snowden's been "disadvantaged" during his stay in Russia, it's uncertain she's being very straightforward about these details.

As for whether what he brought to the public's attention is important, that's all a matter of opinion, and it's already apparent not everybody would agree with that, not even on the left: one of The New Yorker's own staff condemned Snowden too. So there's no doubt this'll end up becoming one very divisive graphic novel Bluewater and D'Orazio are producing, but the really big questions remaining are just how honest and well researched the finished product will be? And judging from some of D'Orazio's answers, probably not much.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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