Get CIA: Operation Ajax app for free—for now

CIA: Operation Ajax is a standalone graphic novel iPad app about the CIA-led coup d'etat that overthrew the democratically elected prime minister of Iran and pushed the Shah, who had previously been more of a figurehead, into a position of power. The story is fictional, but it's based on a factual account of the 1953 coup, Steven Kinzer's book All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, and Kinzer acted as the story editor.

This is the first graphic novel from publisher Cognito Comics, and it has been in the works for a while—the first press release came out over a year ago. The app exploits a lot of the added features that the iPad makes possible: The story is told with limited animation that includes both the flow of the panels and the action within them, and the reader can click away to view historical documentation, including newsreels and CIA files. I read the prologue and part of the first chapter, and so far it seemed like a story that is told mostly in single panels, with a lot of variation and interesting effects—you're not just zooming from one rectangle to another. It crashed a few times while I was test-driving it this morning, but when I restarted it resumed at the point where the crash occurred. Hopefully that will get fixed in the near future.

The regular price of the app is $7.99, but it is free "for a limited time," which doesn't seem to be specified anywhere. I would grab it today, just to be sure.

(Via GeekDad.)

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