On January 24, 2016, a stranger contacted imam Kamil Samara seeking advice. He wanted to know if it was acceptable to God for him to attack a Milwaukee masonic temple.

“The Imam’s Choice” describes how a Milwaukee imam’s timely advice changed the course of an FBI terrorism sting. It’s a based on exclusive interviews with the imam, as well as court documents and FBI surveillance excerpts.

The story alternates between comic book panels and paragraphs of text to describe Samara’s encounter and the FBI sting.

Ailin Li | VOA News


After reading an early draft of the story, I proposed weaving the narration between graphic novel sections and paragraphs of prose. I combed through the story to find key moments to break out. The writing and illustrations were brought together through an iterative editing process.

The illustrations were drawn in brush, pen and ink, and colored in Photoshop.

In addition to illustrating and designing the main story, I also created a visualization of federal terrorism prosecutions.