In 2010 I went to the Democratic Republic of Congo to report on the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group. In 2011 I wrote a graphic novel script based on my reporting and artist Tim Hamilton agreed to draw it. Cartoonist Matt Bors edited the story and early this year the Dutch Website Cartoon Movement serialized the art online, following which book publisher Public Affairs acquired the paperback rights. And last month, the federal Office of Foreign Assets Control confiscated the majority of the advance payment, claiming that we were laundering the money for onward transfer to a terrorist organization.
Yes, you read that right: the feds believe Tim and I are terror financiers. See our press release below:
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE”
Dec 20, 2012
Artist’s Advance for Graphic Novel Seized by Office of Foreign Assets Control — OFAC
Brooklyn, NY — Tim Hamilton, artist of the Eisner-nominated adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, had his advance payment for the upcoming graphic novel ARMY OF GOD, a non-fiction telling of Joseph Kony’s activities in the Congo, seized by the OFAC under suspicion that the money was being laundering for a terrorist organization.
The graphic novel, written by journalist David Axe, was originally serialized on the Website Cartoon Movement, and is being published next year by Public Affairs, a member of the Perseus Books Group.
Hamilton’s money was seized early in December 2012 when his agent attempted to wire the advance payment for the extra chapters that the artist illustrated for the graphic collection. When Hamilton’s agent contacted the bank to find out more, he was told that the party holding the funds was the federal wire fraud unit, which suspected that the creators were laundering funds for a terrorist organization.
The federal banking authority, which monitors every wire, foreign and domestic, apparently seized the funds due to the title of the book, ARMY OF GOD, which threw up a red flag.
At the time of this release, the funds have not been released to Hamilton or his agent despite the involvement of lawyers. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has also been contacted and apprised of the situation.
Official ARMY OF GOD copy:
It started with a visit from spirits. In 1991, Joseph Kony, the leader of a Ugandan rebel group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army, claimed that spiritual beings had come to him, instructing him to lead brutal raids against civilians supporting the Ugandan government. In the decades since, wars have been waged to supplant him, yet for all the horror and condemnation his brutality has aroused around the world, Joseph Kony still survives. In ARMY OF GOD, war correspondent David Axe collaborates with illustrator Tim Hamilton to create the first-ever graphic account of the global phenomenon surrounding Kony, from the chaos he has left behind to the long campaign to defeat him for good.
David Axe is a freelance reporter based in Columbia, South Carolina. Since 2005 he has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Somalia, Chad, Congo and other conflict zones, for Wired, the BBC, Salon, Esquire, C-SPAN, Voice of America and many others. David is the author of War Fix, War is Boring, and, most recently, The Accidental Candidate.
Tim Hamilton is a Brooklyn artist who has produced illustrations for The New York Times, Cicada magazine, DC comics, Marvel comics, Mad magazine, Nickelodeon magazine, and Lifetime. He adapted Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 into a graphic novel, which was nominated for an Eisner award.
Editor, Public Affairs
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High resolution art available upon request.