joshneufeld.jpgSign o’ the times: Josh Neufeld was being sent around the world by the US State Dept. as am ambassador of free speech:

“As with my trip to Burma [in March], it seems that — because of ‘A.D.’ — I am being invited to showcase the cultural freedoms of American society, especially in comparison to the more authoritarian-style policies of the countries I’ll be visiting,” writes Neufeld, who leaves today for the Middle East and North Africa as part of the U.S. Speaker and Specialist Program. His three-week tour includes Egypt, Algeria, Bahrain and “a country to be named later.”

A.D.- AFTER THE DELUGE is Neufeld’s graphic novel on Hurricane Katrina, telling the story of survivors of the tragedy. Neufeld is no stranger to traveling, having previously written and drawn A FEW PERFECT HOURS about his backpacking adventures with now wife Sari.

The State Department invited me “specifically because of the Katrina book, which is blatantly so critical of the government,” Neufeld tells Comic Riffs of his comics reportage. “The program brings in cultural figures who disseminate [this message] — the State Department is proud of that freedom of expression. … They bring me over as a statement of how our civil society welcomes voices of dissent in all forms.”


  1. Awesome to see Josh is a part of this program. My father Daryl Cagle ( does this as well — the State Department loves comics! I really hope this is a growing trend.

  2. And yet Christopher Handley sits in jail for reading comics. Sorry, if this sticks in my craw as government hypocrisy at it’s best.

  3. Josh,

    I wrote a novel, MIRA, MISTRESS OF DESTINY, about a female Maya shaman with supernatural powers who fights domination during the Spanish conquest.

    This story 9with accompanying screenplay) is made for a graphic novel.

  4. This is truly enlightened of any government to be able to open itself up to personal reflection and construction criticism. I only wish this could spread throughout all areas of OUR government.

    Paul Harris
    Author, “Diary From the Dome, Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina”