Neighbor Valerie D’Orazio On Her Graphic Novel, “Beyond: Edward Snowden”


Valerie D'Orazio and Beyond: Edward Snowden
You may know Valerie D’Orazio from her work on Marvel’s X-Men and Punisher comics, or from her Occasional Superheroine blog. However the Ditmas Park native’s most recent project, Beyond: Edward Snowden, was released on May 21–so if you haven’t yet gotten acquainted with Valerie’s writing, now’s the time.

Beyond: Edward Snowden, which takes a close look at the former CIA and NSA contractor who leaked a large amount of classified American, Australian, and British documents in 2013, is the first in Bluewater Productions‘ series of “Beyond” books. As it turns out, the book’s release couldn’t have come at a better time–The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, who Edward Snowden initially contacted about the documents he planned to make public, also released his account of events last week.

That coupled with Sony’s lightning fast purchase of movie rights for Greenwald’s book is renewing the frenzy over Edward Snowden’s story, and Valerie has kept very busy lately with interviews for TIME, MSNBC, Business Insider, and more. Still, she carved out a little time to tell us a bit about the process of writing a graphic novel on one of the world’s most controversial modern figures.

“The international interest in this comic book has been overwhelming, and not something I expected at all,” says Valerie. “I feel really fortunate. I always found Snowden to be a fascinating and cryptic public figure, and always wondered what was going on behind those glasses… what his motivations were, and who he was before all the leaks and media hoopla. I also have a lot of respect and interest in Truth-Tellers.”

Valerie found she was surprised by where her research on Edward Snowden took her.

“At first I started out trying to make this a straight, objective and purely educational biography, told in a graphic novel format,” she says. “But as I got deeper into the research, I could not help but feel caught up in the emotional and psychological circumstances surrounding his change from a carefree young fan of ‘geek’ culture, to the serious man he became. So the narrative definitely took a more dramatic turn. And then the artist on the book, the very talented Dan Lauer, took that narrative one step further, creating something that could be at once both funny and tragic.”

If Beyond: Edward Snowden sounds like a compelling read to you, you can download it via iTunesAmazoncomiXology, and other eBook platforms, or pick up a copy (or a wholesale bunch of copies) at Comic Flea Market–and you can get updates on future Beyond books and more

Images courtesy of Valerie D’Orazio

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