Home » post » 9/11 Commission Comic Book – Most Unique Remix Yet

Our mission

Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

9/11 Commission Comic Book – Most Unique Remix Yet

A tip of the FGI hat to the 13th Floor blog of Governing Magazine for bringing the world news of an unusual but helpful remix of government information:

The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation (Hardcover)
by Sid Jacobson (Illustrator), Ernie Colon (Illustrator)

That’s right, a comic book version of a government report. And one I think would be useful in libraries. Currently sold by Amazon, the graphic novel is being serialized by Slate. I’d strongly suggest looking at the Slate version if you have any doubt your library could use this item. According to CBS News, this version has been endorsed by the co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission:

The 9/11 panel’s co-chairs, Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, have written a foreword for the graphic novel that praises “the talented graphic artists of this edition for their close adherence to the findings, recommendations, spirit and tone of the original commission report.”

Aside from its worth in explaining the findings of the 9/11 Commission, I think this volume will be useful in explaining the value of permanent no-fee access to fully functional government information. If the report had been done by a private group, a graphic novel would have been much harder to produce because it would be considered a “derivative work” under copyright law and the would be creators would have had to negoiate with the copyright holders who might have felt that a graphic novel would “demean” their serious work. If the report was crippled with (Digital Rights Management) DRM, the creators wouldn’t have been able to copy and paste text from the report into their manuscript which would have stretched out its creation. And finally, what would have happened to their idea for a graphic novel if the 9/11 Commission report had been reclassified and/or taken off the web because the government was uncomfortable with its findings? Having public domain, non-DRM’d gov’t information distributed in many places helped grow this graphic novel which will likely introduce more people to the report’s findings. Will the future be as productive? Look through our issues pages and judge for yourself.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.