Archer, Dan & Trusova, Olga – Borderland



Raise your hand if you think all slavery in the world went away in 1865.  Now take a minute to feel just a little stupid, both for raising your hand and for actually believing that.  Human trafficking is alive and well, and the people doing it are finding new ways around the law at every turn.  One particularly assholish way of doing it is to kidnap people to work for months or even years, then give them a payment for their services of something like $20 so that the worker can’t say that they were never paid.  Yes, apparently that is enough to trip up some courts.  This comic tells the story of seven people who were involved in various forms of human trafficking, but at least they all eventually made it out alive.  I believe the setup is that Dan draws the stories while Olga writes them, but most of these are based on testimonials told to other people, so it wouldn’t shock me a bit if Dan occasionally worked on the writing end of things as well.  Anyway, the horror stories in here involve a woman who was cut and left for dead as a baby (and things didn’t get much better for a long, long time), a man who found himself trapped in a work camp with armed guards, a woman who was chained to a pole and forced to live with the animals (and allowed to “escape” when her foot become infected to avoid them having to pay her), a woman forced to work in a public bakery, a big tough guy trapped in a labor camp, toxic exposure to some nasty chemicals while being forced to work, and a woman forced into sex work. It’s a powerful and haunting group of stories, and it draws attention to something that is often either ignored or considered not to exist. My only quibble is on a purely thematic level, as some of the stories just trail off without any resolution.  Granted, they all lived to tell their stories so some semblance of a happy ending is implied, but the story of the big tough guy in the camp in particular baffled me, as the intro seemed to be pointing out that ANYONE could find themselves in this situation, but left how he got out of it a mystery.  Minor quibbles, like I said, but the content is heartbreaking, and it’s all too easy to see how desperate people (or even some that weren’t desperate) could find themselves stuck in this situation.  $8

Posted on November 22, 2010, in Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Archer, Dan & Trusova, Olga – Borderland.

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