Nothing Happens That God Hasn’t Written For Us – YASMEEN #1 Advanced Review
Yasmeen #1 (of 6)
Written by Saif A. Ahmed
Art by Fabiana Mascolo
Published by Scout Comics
I normally save my recommendations until the end of a review, but Yasmeen #1 calls for an exception. I highly recommend you buy this book. Yasmeen, the comic’s titular character, is a teenage Iraqi refugee. She is forced to flee Mosul when ISIS forces invade the city. Two years later, she finds herself in the United States, reunited with some of her family. This limited series will explore both Yasmeen’s time as a refugee in Iraq and her adjustment to life in America.
The first issue introduces Yasmeen and her family. The storyline is split between the past and the present. Admittedly, there were times where I had trouble discerning which scenes were flashbacks. Having to focus on the clothes a character is wearing in order to understand what I’m reading always makes it hard for me to enjoy the story as a whole. Yet upon my second reading, the narrative was much clearer. Luckily, this was a comic I was glad to read twice.
The creative team behind Yasmeen makes a lot of smart choices. There’s no narration and dialogue is only used when necessary. Through mostly visual storytelling, the reader is left to live Yasmeen’s experience right alongside the character. This narrative technique is enhanced by Mascolo’s beautiful artwork. The line work is so sharp, and the colors so vibrant, that there are times when the reader is transported into the images on the page. As I read the first scene in this comic, I felt like I was standing beside Yasmeen in the middle of the desert. This feeling made the events that transpire in this first issue all the more powerful and moving.
In conclusion: BUY. THIS. BOOK. The first issue will be in shops on July 22nd. Or if you just can’t wait, you can buy this issue directly from Scout. Even if it doesn’t sound like something that would interest you, buy it. Even if you never actually read it (even though you should), buy it. Buy it, buy it, buy it! Representation matters, especially in comic books. We as comic book readers should support diversity in the industry where ever possible. Yasmeen #1 is a great way to do just that. Plus you’ll also be supporting a small publisher and helping pave the way for an increased diversity and comic creators and comic books. For those who are still on the fence about buying, the first issue alone had a powerful story and gorgeous art. This is sure to continue through the rest of the series. Judging from the synopsis on Scout’s website, much of Yasmeen’s journey to America has yet to be told. I plan to experience the story right alongside her, and I hope you’ll decide to join us.