The Comic: Pride of Baghdad, written by Brian K. Vaughan, with art by Niko Henrichon.
What it’s about: The year is 2003, and Iraq is being invaded by the American coalition. An errant bomb blows a hole in the Baghdad zoo, and four lions escape together. The comic shows the early days of the Iraq war from the perspective of the escaped lions.
Why you should read it: Let’s call this one a more politically aware version of the film Homeward Bound. Part of the appeal of the subgenre is the ways the creators choose to- or not to- anthropomorphize their characters. The lions get dialogue, but beyond that they are lions. The book is well researched both in terms of biology and politics. The lions don’t understand or even care much about the war, but it affects them all the same.
Also, did you know: This really happened! An American bomb really did hit the Baghdad Zoo, and animals really did run wild on the countryside. I don’t know what the animals said, but I have to believe that Vaughan had a pretty good idea.