Mike's Place: A True Story of Love, Blues, and Terror in Tel Aviv
By Jack Baxter
First Second Books, 2015. 189 pages. Graphic Novel
Mike's Place is a blues bar on the beachfront in Tel Aviv. Jack Baxter and his assistant Joshua decide to film a documentary about the bar and how its patrons try to leave the conflicts of politics and religion outside and have a good time. However, only a few weeks after they begin filming, Mike's Place is the target of a suicide bombing that leaves an indelible mark on the bar. Jack, Joshua, and the owners of the bar decide to continue filming and finish the story of Mike's Place and its colorful cast of characters.
This is one of the better nonfiction graphic novels out there, weaving story and characters into a compelling narrative that kept me turning pages late into the night. While this can be a hard story to read, it is told with a lot of heart and a moving resolution.