Hooked - A graphic novel about the drugs trade in Guinea-Bissau

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Explore the use of graphic, cartoon-style storytelling, to cover current affairs in Guinea-Bissau.

Hooked is a 5 part cartoon that is based on reportage. It is set in Guinea-Bissau which has come to be known as Africa’s first narco-state.

The story is about how the international drugs trade has affected the people of this small country on the west coast of Africa.

Read the Hooked story

Hooked won “Special Commendation in the Short Feature category” at the AIB Awards

Hooked - image from the graphic novel

Hooked is produced by the BBC Focus on Africa TV, the BBC News Magazine and BBC NewsLabs.

The comic was made using Al Jazeera’s ‘Pulp’. This is an open source viewer specifically developed for displaying comics online. Anyone can use it and the details are here.

Hooked - image from the graphic novel

Credits and Approach

  • Production: Hooked was produced by the BBC Focus on Africa TV, the BBC News Magazine and BBC News Labs.
  • Author: A writer from Positive Negatives travelled to Bissau to interview some of the addicts.
  • Copy & Graphics: PositiveNegatives
  • Process: As PositiveNegatives & the addicts spent more time together the understanding of how a comic could tell the story of their lives began to take shape. Once a draft of the first chapter was written, it was read back to them, and Positive Negatives allowed them to make their own edits. This made sure that the script told their story as much as possible.
  • Implementation: @Jacqui from BBC News Labs built the app using AJAM’s PULP

Get in touch!

Tweet us at @BBC_News_Labs if you want to find out more.