Jack Baxter, an American documentarian, sought out an oasis from the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. He found it in 2003, when he discovered the Tel Aviv Ex-Pat haven known as Mike’s Place. The blues bar, which served customers of all nationalities, including Israelis, Arabs, and other travelers was a wonderful rarity: a locale where you could escape the specter of war and enjoy the good company of those from all walks of life, with nary a bullet in sight.
It was there that Baxter met Joshua Faudem, a bartender at the establishment who became Baxter’s director/co-writer on a documentary focusing on Mike’s Place.
Sadly, in those environs, even havens for peace are at risk; as on April 30th, a suicide bomber detonated explosives at the entrance of Mike’s Place, killing three patrons and injuring fifty. Baxter was among those injured, with burns and a brain contusion.
Through an unbelievable amount of resolve and determination, Mike’s Place would re-open within weeks and Baxter and Faudem’s documentary would see release not long after. Now, a decade later, Baxter and Faudem team with Israeli artist Koren Shadmi to tell the tale of this Middle Eastern gem in graphic novel form. Mike’s Place, available from First Second in June, is the story of those who came together in hopes of serenity, and then had to find their way through tragedy.
The Beat is proud to present this exclusive first look at the trailer for this one of kind graphic novel: