Arts, Culture & Media

Ethiopian Boy's Journey Becomes an Interactive Comic

"Stowaway" is the story of an Ethiopian boy named Fanuel who makes a harrowing 12,000-mile journey to the United States with the help and hindrance of samaritans and traffickers alike.

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More and more, the comic and cartoon art form is being used to explore non-fiction subjects: serious stuff, like stories in news.

"Stowaway" is the latest example. It is an e-comic being released this week by The Atavist, a digital publishing company.

It is the story of an Ethiopian boy named Fanuel who makes a harrowing 12,000-mile journey to the United States with both the help of samaritans and the hindrance of traffickers.

"Stowaway" was written by reporter Tori Marlan, a reporter and editor based in Montreal, and illustrated by Brooklyn-based comics artist Josh Neufeld. Neufeld is currently a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan.

Marlan met Fanuel in Chicago at the International Children's Center.

Fanuel had been sent there shortly after turning himself in after crossing into the United States from Mexico. Marlan was at the Center researching the plight of unaccompanied minors and was struck by Fanuel's personality. "He just struck me as someone who had gone through a lot," Marlan said, "but really still had hope."

The interactive comic is only available online.