Operation AIRlift: May Day!

Tomorrow is May 1st, also known as May Day – and to mark the occasion, my friend Willow is hosting an event called Operation AIRlift. The basic premise is simple – buy a copy of her graphic novel, AIR Vol 1: Letters from Lost Countries on May 1st, and she will donate a dollar to the Koru Foundation (which focuses on green energy projects in the developing world). More details about AIRlift are here.

Now, of course I am biased because AIR is written by a friend (and co-blogger at Talk Islam). But there’s something very unique about AIR – it’s a strange comic book, equal parts fantasy and science fiction, but firmly set in the modern world. Hilariously, the book has been attacked by clueless zealots like Debbie Schlussel for harboring secret Islamist sympathies, which is a real bonus point in its favor if you ask me. But the serious reviewers in the comics industry are all raving about it, because it’s a lot like Battlestar Galactica in that it explores aspects of society with enough familiarity to be relevant but with enough ambiguity to avoid taking “sides” and thus being a blank slate of sorts for projection upon. Readers who are familiar with Willow’s graphic novel Cairo will know exactly what I mean here – it’s the same team of Willow as writer and M.K. Perker doing the illustrations, so it has a familiar rhythm, but is on the whole a more mature piece of work.

And, speaking of the artwork, it’s profound and subtle at the same time. Here’s some promo art that I think should be immediately recognizable for its artistic reference:

AIR with apologies to Andrew Wyeth
AIR with apologies to Andrew Wyeth

This is simply a great comic book. I read the first 4 issues of the series and am waiting till May Day to get my copy of volume 1. Join me and help out with a good cause as a bonus.