Mike’s Place: A True Story of Love, Blues and Terror in Tel Aviv


There’s an important new graphic novel coming out next week.

Back in 2003 when filmmaker Jack Baxter first visited Mike’s Place, a beachfront blues bar in Tel Aviv, he envisioned making a documentary about a venue where Jews, Muslims, tourists and expats could gather in peace and leave their differences at the door.

The bar had a rule — no discussing politics or religion — that appealed to the region’s young people who just wanted to let loose and enjoy themselves.

But Baxter couldn’t have predicted that a few weeks into filming, Mike’s Place would be attacked by a suicide bomber. The blast killed three people and left 50 injured, including Baxter. Baxter and Israeli filmmaker Joshua Faudem finished the documentary, “Blues by the Beach,” about the lead-up to the bombing and the bar’s rebirth after the tragedy.

More than a decade later, the filmmakers teamed up with Israeli-born illustrator Koren Shadmi to adapt their experience into a graphic novel. The result is “Mike’s Place: A True Story of Love, Blues and Terror in Tel Aviv,” out Tuesday from First Second Books.

Read more here, including an interview with Jack Baxter.

Meanwhile, here is a trailer to the film Blues By The Beach.

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