Iranian Cartoonist in Exile Delivers Message in A Graphic Novel / by Alex Jarvis


Mana Neyestani is an award-winning cartoonist. In 2006, he made a cartoon to run in the government papers, a cartoon commenting on the ongoing struggle between the Iranian Azeri minority and the largely Persian population. For this cartoon, he was thrown in jail and tortured - not physically, but mentally, as he was constantly informed of the amount of people "he had killed" due to his "inciting" of the riots that followed his capture. After gaining temporary release, he and his family fled the country, now residing in political asylum in France.

These events have spurred Neyestani to write "An Iranian Metamorphosis", a graphic novel depicting these events autobiographically. Neyestani says:

"With this book, I wanted to share my experiences but also to forget my worst nightmares, when I was arrested in 2006...I protest against the regime with my drawings."

We at Spandexless applaud Neyestani for getting his message out, despite considerable danger. We look forward to reading "An Iranian Metamorphosis", if it ever makes it to our shores; currently, Neyestani has deals to publish it in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, with the United States publishing agreement still in the air. Should we get a copy, we will be proud to review it for the site. [-Associated Free Press-]