Guantánamo Voices: True Accounts from the World’s Most Infamous Prison, Edited by Sarah Mirk, 192 pgs.

My mind is somewhat quarantine-feeble (or more than somewhat, maybe, how would I know?), and, probably like you, if you’re reading this, I had grander reading plans for quarantine than I’ve measured up to. Also, for example, as I write this: per Trump’s doctor, Trump is being treated for COVID-19 with an “experimental drug” as a “precautionary measure,” and I have to think the fuck out of that absurdity, along with other election-October events, and, what, I’m supposed to read history, too?

Guantánamo Voices is a graphic oral history about the U.S. government’s prison at Guantánamo Bay. It features adapted interviews with former prisoners, former military and intelligence personnel, attorneys who represented prisoners, and the coordinator of the Life After Guantánamo Project. Editor Sarah Mirk and her illustrators make reading these dark stories as effortless as any team could. None of the art is anything like impressionistic—it’s there to serve the stories.

The book re-implants Guantánamo facts that we knew and perhaps lost track of—like: it still exists—and one of the most important facts regarding its Bush-era renaissance left me floored that I somehow never knew it—and I read a fair number of articles over the years (or so I thought), and listened to the prison’s detractors, and never came across it.

In the acknowledgements, Mirk says that finding “the skills, the sources, and the support [she] needed” to create Guantánamo Voices took ten years—and then, of course, the time required to write the words and get the artwork done. In other words, Guantánamo Voices likely began as an idea for a work of reportage. Which it also is: forty people are still being imprisoned at Guantánamo without trial. –Jim Woster (Abrams ComicArts, abramscomicarts.com)