Cogito Comic’s CIA: Operation Ajax uses an iPad app to tell the story of the 1953 coup that installed Mohammad Reza Shah as ruler of Iran.
Using Stephen Kinzer’s well-regarded 2003 book All the Shah’s Men as a starting point, Cogito uses a graphic novelization as a starting point but then incorporates the best elements of motion comics (sound effects & simple animations powered by the touch screen) and adds links to historical and biographical information for important players in the story and even some contemporary newsreels to give more context.
Ajax shows just how far interactivity has come from the sluggish early days of CD-ROMs. This is a compelling presentation of the events that eventually led to the 1979 hostage crisis at the American embassy in Teheran. Of course, if you don’t believe that the CIA just possibly might’ve made a few mistakes in deposing an elected government in favor of what turned out to be a dictatorship, then there’s plenty here that’ll piss you off.
CIA: Operation Ajax feels like a Batman comic book and still manages to convey an enormous amount of information about an historically important incident that’s almost faded from popular memory. Right now it’s free at the iTunes store, but it’ll still be worth your $7.99 once the price goes up in a couple of weeks (via VentureBeat).