September 11 panel report to be made into graphic book

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NEW YORK, Apr 18 (Reuters) The best-selling report by the commission that examined the September 11 attacks is being adapted into a graphic book, which the publisher hopes will widen the audience for the panel's findings.

''The 9/11 Report, A Graphic Adaptation'' will be published in September.

The independent bipartisan panel, informally known as the September 11 commission, prepared an account of the 2001 attacks and made recommendations on guarding against future attacks.

The graphic book cuts the panel's more than 500-page report down to 144 pages of stark comic-book-style images depicting the sequence of events for each of the four hijacked planes, according to a partial advance copy of the Farrar, Straus and Giroux book obtained by Reuters yesterday.

In one graphic depiction of the events on United 93, the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania, passengers are seen bloodied and battling hijackers wielding knives.

''We've got to stop them! Two planes crashed into the World Trade Center,'' one passenger says, about to land a punch on a hijacker who has stabbed a passenger in the back with a knife.

In another panel, a passenger calls his father just before the second plane crashes into the World Trade Center: ''It's getting bad, Dad ... A stewardess was stabbed ... they seem to have knives and Mace. I think we're going down ... my God, my God ...'' Publisher Thomas LeBien of Hill and Wang, a division of Farrar, Straus, Giroux, told the New York Post, ''I think we have taken a terribly important document, which I wish every American would read, and done it in a way that makes it far easier for people to grasp.'' LeBien declined to comment for this article.

The commission submitted its report in 2004 about what went wrong before and after the attacks on New York and Washington.

The report became one of the best-selling non-fiction books last year, but LeBien is hoping the graphic adaptation will add another dimension.

''If you're 80, or 14 years old, you look at those timelines and it becomes more immediately clear, the catastrophic nature of it all, in a more gripping way than you might get from the report itself,'' he said.

The book was edited by Sid Jacobson, who created the Richie Rich comic series, and illustrated by Ernie Colon, who worked on comics including Spider-Man, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman.

The book is the first in a series planned by the publisher.

Others slated for publication later this year are graphic biographies of civil rights leader Malcolm X and former U S President Ronald Reagan.

REUTERS SHB VC0925

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