Tattoo Two

HPIM0797

You may remember Josh, my first-ever tattoo art client. He requested a canary in a cage for his arm. Now he’s back! He wanted the proverbial frog in a pot, getting slowly warmer but not realizing it, and here it is. The frog will have a different colored belly, color to be added after the current tattoo heals.

Syndicated Ted Rall Column: So Much Stupidity on Afghanistan

Democrats, Republicans Equally Dumb

As I pack for my return trip to Afghanistan next month, many people are asking me: Why are we losing? What should we do there?

The short answer is simple: Afghan resistance forces live there. We don’t. Sooner or later, U.S. troops will depart. All the Afghan resistance has to do is wear us down and wait us out. As I have pointed out before, no nation has successfully invaded and occupied any other nation since the 19th century. All occupations ultimately fail.

For those who prefer their punditry longwinded, here’s a longer answer.

Even taking historical precedent into account, America’s post-9/11 occupation of Afghanistan—its longest war ever—has been notably disastrous. Wonder why? Everything you need to know was contained in this week’s war of words between the chairmen of the two major political parties.

The Afghan War kerfuffle that revealed the boundless stupidity of our national political leadership began on July 1st. Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele told GOP donors in Connecticut that the war in Afghanistan could not be won and should never have been fought: “If [Obama is] such a student of history, has he not understood that, you know, that’s the one thing you don’t do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right? Because everyone who’s tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed,” Steele said.

Steele’s main point is beyond dispute. There’s a reason Afghanistan is known as “the graveyard of empires,” as opposed to as, say, the “number one producer of tasty, nutritious pomegranates.”

Steele’s all too typical ahistoricity is in the details. Which he gets wrong.

Would-be conquerors have had trouble with Afghanistan not for over 1,000 years, but for 2,000 years. Alexander the Great sent supplies through the Khyber Pass in 327 BCE in an attempt to subjugate the Konar Valley. Characteristically, the locals waged a ferocious resistance. The Macedonian conqueror, nearly killed by an Afghan arrow, beat a retreat to the Indus River and withdrew.

But it’s Steele’s “land war” qualifier that really gets me. According to the GOP chairman, the British Army might have spared itself total annihilation in 1842 if it had conducted an air war instead. Using what—hot air balloons?

Then things got really weird.

“This was a war of Obama’s choosing,” Steele said.

Huh?
True, Obama made the Afghan war his own by sending in more troops. But Bush started this mess. Doesn’t Steele remember that? Or—this thought is even more frightening—does he really think WE forgot?

“This is not something the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in,” he continued. This surely comes as welcome news to the tens of thousands of Afghans killed by tens of thousands of American bombs. Chin up. Imagine how many more would have died if the U.S. had “actively prosecuted” this fiasco!

Not to be outdone in the moronitude department,

Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse retorted that “we are there because we were attacked by terrorists on 9-11.”

Um…We were attacked by Saudis and Egyptians. Who were trained and funded by Pakistanis. None of the major figures linked to 9/11—including Osama bin Laden—were in Afghanistan on 9/11. (Bin Laden was in a Pakistani military hospital in Islamabad.) By 9/11, both Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan had been closed. Al Qaeda’s operations were based entirely in Pakistan.

Afghanistan had nothing to do with 9/11.

Nothing.

None of the Afghans I interviewed in November and December of 2001 had even heard of 9/11. None had heard of Al Qaeda. Other journalists reported the same thing.

As far as I can tell, we attacked Afghanistan for fun. To disrupt Iran and India. To test weapons that would be used against Iraq. To test the resolve of the American antiwar movement. And to build an oil and gas pipeline between Central and South Asia.

Not because of 9/11.

Woodhouse continued: “It’s simply unconscionable that Michael Steele would undermine the morale of our troops when what they need is our support and encouragement. Michael Steele would do well to remember that we are not in Afghanistan by our own choosing, that we were attacked and that his words have consequences.”

Dubya—is that you?

Can we even tell which party is which anymore?

No wonder we’re losing. The parties have forgotten what they stand for—and they never learned the history of the countries they invade.

(Ted Rall’s “The Anti-American Manifesto” will be published in September. He will return to Afghanistan in August.)

COPYRIGHT 2010 TED RALL

Francavilla’s Orson Welles

It’s been three long years since I commissioned Francesco Francavilla to illustrate a cover for THE BROADCAST. Three years!! That’s a long time, especially in comics. They’ve two Harry Potter movies in that time, I think.

I’m sure Francesco reached a point where he assumed it wasn’t going to come out. Part of me thinks he probably forgot about it all together. Anyway, I was ecstatic to send him an e-mail a while back to let him know we finally had a publisher and the gorgeous piece he did was going to see print.

To celebrate the book’s debut next month, Francesco did a new piece over on his Pulp Sunday blog that features Orson Welles. I’ve already requested a print. I’ve pasted it below, but I highly suggest everyone take a look at his blog. He is incredibly talented and is a future star in comics. We’re going to work together someday… he just doesn’t know it yet. 😉

Don’t forget to pre-order your copy of THE BROADCAST.

NBM’s JULY 4th SALE.

Our 20% off sale comes to its grand finale on this summer celebration weekend, the 5th being the last day!

Order $25 (at full retail value) or more of our books and magazines and the cart will give you 20% off!

This has proven quite popular, if you haven’t taken advantage of this yet, you’ve got a few more days left. All books from Dungeon to Boneyard to Rick Geary, Ted Rall and Eurotica. Also including books to come you that you can pre-order (see Coming Up)!

Spread the word!

And, in advance, our thanks to you for helping us continue to bring you some pretty good stuff…

NBM in September: A New Dungeon

Coming this September from NBM and being solicited at your comics store now:

DUNGEON: Monstres
Vol. 3: Heartbreaker
Joann Sfar, Lewis Trondheim, Carlos Nine, Patrice Killoffer
In the first title story, the supremely talented (especially with women) and outrageous Carlos Nine gives us the complete low-down on the sexy and dangerous killer Alexandra that the young Dungeon-keeper fell for so heavily. In the second, Killoffer (“676 Apparitions of Killoffer”) also focuses on a spicy girl, daughter of a prominent character.
6 x 9, 96pp. full color trade pb.: $12.99, ISBN 978-1-56163-591-7

see the preview pages

We have online and in our Fall catalog a special where you can buy all 3 volumes of the Dungeon Monstres sub-series for only $29.99, a 20% discount!

NEW from Eurotica:

The next in this best-selling series!

BARBARIAN CHICKS & DEMONS, Vol. 3
HARTMANN
In medieval times, powerful warrior chicks getting their way shamelessly with warlords to powerful demons themselves! Beautiful fully painted artwork.
81/2x11, 48pp., full color trade pb., $11.99, ISBN 978-1-56163-596-2

See more info on this with cover and art in Eurotica, click on the Coming Up September banner on the left.

—————————————————————————-

Also, our sister company PAPERCUTZ has these coming out in September:

NANCY DREW in an all-new series of more complex and darker stories!

NANCY DREW THE NEW CASE FILES #1
Vampire Slayer
By Stefan Petrucha and Sarah Kinney
Sho Murase, artist
Nancy Drew in an all-new harder edged series and new format! Vampire-mania has gripped River Heights, with teenage girls going wild over the new “DieLite” novels and movies. But what happens when a supposedly “real” handsome young vampire arrives on the scene? Will Nancy expose him as a fraud – or fall under his dark spell? As if that wasn’t enough– there’s something dark and sinister happening while everyone’s distracted by the vampire madness. Could this possibly be linked to what’s happening in Bayport, home of the Hardy Boys?
6×9, 64pp, full color paperback: $6.99 ISBN: 978-1-59707-213-7
Also in collector’s hardcover at $10.99, ISBN 978-1-59707-214-4
From Tales From the Crypt, the next in our wildly popular spoof DIARY OF A STINKY DEAD KID:

TALES FROM THE CRYPT #9 “Wickeder”
By Stefan Petrucha, David Gerrold, Jim Salicrup
Rick Parker, Mr. Exes, artists

Tales from the Crypt is bigger and “WICKEDER” than ever! After the surprise-success of Tales from the Crypt #8 “Diary of a Stinky Dead Kid,” CRYPT is back and offering an all-new parody of the best-selling “Wicked” book. Plus, the Stinky Dead Kid himself is back in a new story, and Star Trek fan-favorite writer David Gerrold contributes “Sales of a Death Man.”

6×9, 64pp., full color paperback: $6.99 ISBN: 978-1-59707-215-1; also in collector’s hardcover at $10.99 ISBN 978-1-59707-216-8

Not in Previews but also available in September:

NANCY DREW #17-21 Boxed Set
By Stefan Petrucha and Sarah Kinney
Sho Murase, artist
Collecting FIVE Nancy Drew graphic novels with close to 500 pages of full-color comics! This Nancy Drew set has the two part stories “The Secret Within,” where Nancy travels to India, and “High School Musical Mystery” where Nancy Drew teams up with the Dana Girls! A great collection for any Nancy Drew fan.
5×7 1/2, 5 volumes in a box, 484 pp, full color: $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-59707-211-3

 

One Million Words

There’s an old saying that every writer has a million bad words in them, and that the only way you can become a decent writer is to get through those first million words as fast as you possibly can.

Now, I can’t say for sure if I’ve written a million words. I think the chances are pretty high. I’ve written an awful lot. But while I can’t tell you for certain how many words I’ve put on the page, I can tell you there was a moment when writing THE BROADCAST when I felt as if the last bad word had escaped and I was finally writing something readers would find special.

Most my stuff sees huge changes as I re-write, but this scene is almost word-for-word exactly as I wrote it the first time out. I’ve written better stuff since. Heck, it probably isn’t even the best scene in THE BROADCAST. But this scene holds a special place in my heart. It was the first time I ever sat down, read my work and believed I actually had a chance to sell the damned thing. :o)

Enjoy:

Pre-order THE BROADCAST today!