Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

Young Man Writes About Two Recently Translated Comics From Europe

Most comics are meant to be read quickly. Frictionless fiction’s a noble enough goal in construction. But few of those works linger in my mind. Igor Baranko’s work lingers.

I don’t know when I first bought his workJihad (no, really it’s called Jihad), but it probably wasn’t sooner than 2013. That comic’s stew of Buddhism, Chechneyan Muslim terrorists and Russian black magic to prop up the former USSR is indelible. Baranko’s an ex-Red Army vet who spent a couple years after his discharge practicing Buddhism in Siberia, so the authenticity of the insanity is never the problem.

Jihad, in one of many jaw dropping pages, suggested Lenin as the reincarnation of not only Genghis Khan but Osiris.

Jihad’s weird.

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