To some people Bradley Manning is a superhero for shedding light on some of the misdeeds the U.S. military had been committing when he shared thousands of documents with WikiLeaks. Now Manning's story will be told in the same medium as a superhero's because graphic artist and WikiLeaks supporter Clark Stoeckley is creating a comic based on Manning's trial, according to the Guardian.
The graphic novel will be called "The United States vs PFC Bradley Manning: A Graphic Account From Inside the Courtroom" and is already available for presale through OR Books.
Stoeckley has been driving a truck emblazoned with the WikiLeaks logo to Fort Meade every day where he is the only sketch artist observing the trial. Some of the drawings created by Stoeckley so far include depictions of courtroom observers who have been told to turn their shirts that say "truth" inside out, the hacker that reported Manning to the authorities Adrian Lamo and Manning sitting at the defense table, reports the Guardian.
"No other sketch artists are coming to the trial here in Fort Meade regularly," Stoeckley said. "I'm here all the time. I want to record every single witness and create a visual record of what's going on so that people can put faces to transcripts. I'm trying to capture the atmosphere in the courtroom and that characters who are part of the story...I'm doing this in a style that's never been used in courtroom sketch art."
Part of what makes the style Stoeckley is using different than other courtroom sketch art is that he is attempting to tell the story that is being revealed by the trial as well as the story of the trial. For example, while illustrating comments Manning made about the Guantanamo Bay detention center Stoeckley doesn't just draw Manning talking, he draws the detention center and President Barack Obama alongside it, according to the Guardian.
Stoeckley was inspired to create the comic by a desire to show humanize the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan for the average Americans who are so distant from the warzones that it fails to impact their daily lives.
"I wanted the American public to know that not everyone in Iraq and Afghanistan are targets that needed to be neutralized, but rather people who were struggling to live in the pressure cooker environment of what we call asymmetric warfare," Stoeckley said. "As I hoped, others were just as troubled, if not more troubled, than me by what they saw."
Stoeckley's comic is set to be published in October following the conclusion of the court-martial. People who decide to preorder the book will receive weekly summaries of the trial from Stoeckley via e-mail.