A picture book about blackouts published in Ukraine


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Yakaboo Publishing has released a documentary comic book, Blackout. Chronicles of our life during the war between Russia and Ukraine. This was reported to Chytomo by Yakaboo Publishing.


The authors of the comic book are well-known Ukrainian illustrators Anya Ivanenko and Zhenya Polosina, founders of the Seri/Graph graphic studio in Kyiv. The artists’ works have been published in international publications such as The New Yorker, Deutsche Welle, and the Financial Times, and have also been used as illustrations for several Ukrainian books, including «Реактори не вибухають» (Reactors Don’t Explode), «У міста є Я» (The City Has Me), «Котик, Півник, Шафка» (The Cat, The Rooster, The Locker), and more.


“This book is a very subjective view of very specific events. We are talking about several months at the end of 2022 — the beginning of 2023, during which Ukrainians faced the blackouts due to missile attacks by the Russians. Since the first days of the full-scale invasion, we have been trying to document what we see around us. We record our everyday life, sketch what we hear from friends and acquaintances. This book is a drop in the ocean of experiences. Of course, we cannot cover everything that people in different parts of the country are going through, but we can tell the stories we have witnessed,” the illustrators said.



Blackout is a kind of documentation and chronicle of the experience that Ukrainians have had this winter, and at the same time a dedication to the courage of Ukrainians.


“On the 10th of October 2022, Russia carried out the first massive shelling of Ukraine’s power infrastructure. Since then, the word ‘blackout’ has entered the vocabulary of the whole country. Having lived for months under the Russian missile attacks, we developed new habits, adapted to the new circumstances, learned to apply some new devices. We are forced to manage our daily routine based on the power cut schedules and the planning horizon has shrunk drastically. “Blackout” is not only about the light at home. It is about operation of pump stations, pedestrian safety, greenhouse plants freezing, the total absence of any communications in entire settlements. It is also about Ukrainians who have been learning to resist and overcome the new challenges,” the annotation reads.


The picture book will be published in two limited editions, in Ukrainian and English. The English version will be published in April, and the Ukrainian version will be released in late May.


Yakaboo Publishing recalls: “The book about the blackout was created during the blackout, and this is also the story itself… We were most impressed by the sketches in the corridors during the attacks, when the authors indicated the time and number of missiles fired at the bottom of each scene: “October 22, 2022 – 33 missiles”, “November 15, 2022 – 96 missiles”… We looked at these dates and thought back to ourselves, our experiences… This book is about every Ukrainian, it is about each of us.”




You can order the picture book here.


Earlier, The Globe and Mail published a comic strip by Anya Ivanenko and Zhenya Polosina about the war.


Read also: Three strategies of Ukrainian publishers during blackouts


Images: Yakaboo Publishing