January 26, 2010 by NBM
Pop Syndicate says of Nowak’s new Graylight:
“Distinctively original and perfectly gorgeous artwork. Nowak employs a strange palette of colors, pastels mixed with earthy tones to create a lovely surreal vision of a winter landscape, a collection of characters utterly individual and reluctantly sharing a book with each other, much like the people in a Hopper painting. There is so much beauty in this little graphic novel that you will want to disassemble it and wallpaper your life with the pictures.
Intriguing story combined with powerful art makes Graylight a must-read.”
January 25, 2010 by Ted Rall
After reading that US military forces prohibited aid from reaching Haiti for as long as seven days after the earthquake–in order to establish “command and control,” whatever that is—hard-hitting editorial cartoonist Ted Rall and animator David Essman rushed out their trenchant critique of America’s bizarre post-9/11 practice of sending soldiers to disaster zones like New Orleans and the Indian Ocean after the tsunami.
Watch “Operation Haitian Freedom” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oN8zVZzdbXQ
January 25, 2010 by NBM
January 25, 2010 by Ted Rall
Haiti News Coverage Turns Sublimely Ridiculous
Ah, “1984.” As the cartoonist Matt Bors says, it’s “the dystopian novel that keeps on giving.”
Orwell’s main character worked for a government ministry that controlled the future by changing the past. Its most effective tool: the Memory Hole. Pieces of history went in—poof!—never to be heard from again. Afterward, it was as if those particular events had never happened:
“The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.”
American news producers and editors have long been masters of the Memory Hole, purposefully omitting the most relevant information stories that would otherwise make the whatever the current regime is look bad. “President Hugo Chávez,” reported The Washington Post in a typical example of spin from 2005, “has recently accused President Bush of plotting to assassinate him.” Going on to slam Chávez’s supposed “bluster and anti-American showmanship,” the Post left something out: Chávez’s accusation was true.
Still, no one could have anticipated the soaring brazenness or the cynical linguistic savagery U.S. state-controlled media would deploy while “covering” the invasion of Haiti.
[Given that it took at least four days after the earthquake before the U.S. military permitted relief supplies to land at the Port-au-Prince airport, turned away planes from such NGOs as Doctors Without Borders, and that Defense Secretary Robert Gates refused to release aid until a full week had passed, one can hardly call the deployment of 10,000 troops a relief operation.]
Vanished from news accounts of Operation Haitian Freedom—poof!—was the United States’ century-long raping and pillaging of the country, including several CIA-backed coups that installed vicious dictators and a brutal occupation by U.S. Marines that lasted several decades.
There were hundreds of candidates to choose from in awarding this week’s Haiti Memory Hole Prize, but the winner is The Oregonian, the daily newspaper in Portland, Oregon. On January 15th the paper published an editorial titled “A muscular paternalism for Haiti” with an incredible thesis:
“If the nations of the world had devoted to Haiti only a fraction of the diplomatic and military energy they have spent over the past five decades on nearby Cuba, the country would be far more advanced and able to aid in its own recovery today.”
In other words, Haiti’s problem isn’t that the U.S. expropriated 40 percent of its GDP from 1915 to 1947. Or that the U.S. installed the father-and-son Duvalier team of “anti-Communist” dictators, who looted the Haitian treasury of more than $1 billion. Or that the CIA deposed Haiti’s popular, and only democratically-elected president, not once, but twice—because he had the gall to push through an increase in the minimum wage for Haitians who work in sweatshops owned by U.S. companies.
Those events couldn’t be responsible for Haiti’s plight. Not even a little bit. Because, if you rely on The Oregonian for your news, you’d never know that that stuff happened.
“Perhaps the scope of the current disaster will at last shock these countries, including the United States, to conduct a muscular intervention into Haitian affairs,” editorialized The Oregonian.
“At last”? What do they call a 20-year-long military occupation? Half a dozen military coups?
Like most of the world, Haiti would have been better off if we really had “neglected” them. How much of our “help” can these poor people stand?
At least The New York Times acknowledged “Haiti’s long history of foreign intervention, including an American occupation” in its coverage. But like other papers that ran sickening—and treacly cartoons falsely depicting a friendly (white) Uncle Sam patronizingly deigning to assist clueless dark-skinned Haitians in their time of need—the most pertinent details had disappeared into the Memory Hole.
Here’s an unexpurgated section of the Times’ background coverage:
“President Woodrow Wilson sent American Marines to Haiti in 1915 to restore public order after six different leaders ruled the country in quick succession, each killed or forced into exile. Opposition was intense, but it would be nearly two decades before the Marines would leave, in 1934.
“When President Bill Clinton ordered troops into the country in 1994 to restore Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was ousted as president by a group of former soldiers, Haitian critics raised that earlier intervention.
“A decade later, Mr. Aristide was forced out of office, and he accused the United States of orchestrating his ouster.”
Wilson said he invaded Haiti to restore public order. The real reason, historians widely acknowledge, was to transform the country into an economic vassal state, a Caribbean colony.
It’s true that Clinton brought Aristide back to power. But his predecessor, George Herbert Walker Bush, had ordered a CIA coup that removed him in the first place.
Finally, Aristide wasn’t “forced out of office” by some mysterious random power. The Times’ editors knew that. After all, their own newspaper ran a page-one story on March 1, 2004 titled: “Aristide Flees After a Shove From the U.S.” So when Aristide “accused the United States of orchestrating his ouster,” he was “accusing” the U.S. of doing what The New York Times reported that it did.
True, this information is available to anyone who cares to spend a few minutes Googling it. The point is, few people have the time, energy or inclination to second-guess everything they read. Like Winston Smith in “1984,” they start to wonder whether they misremembered events as they were originally reported. Maybe we really have always been at war with Eurasia. Maybe we really did invade Haiti in 1915 merely to “restore order.” Or maybe, if you live in Portland, this is the first time the U.S. or any other country has ever bothered to pay attention to Haiti. Who knows?
What I want to know is: Why do editors and producers do it? Why do they leave out the basic facts? It’s not like they get a call from Big Brother ordering them to spin or delete historical facts from their coverage. They do it voluntarily.
What are they afraid of?
(Ted Rall is the author, with Pablo G. Callejo, of the new graphic memoir “The Year of Loving Dangerously.” He is also the author of the Gen X manifesto “Revenge of the Latchkey Kids.” His website is tedrall.com.)
COPYRIGHT 2010 TED RALL
January 25, 2010 by Naomi Nowak
hi, just a quick note … i’m having a raffle at my blog (here!) for a free copy of graylight. i did it for house of clay and it was fun, so i thought, why not. put your name down if you like
January 21, 2010 by NBM
Playback:stl says of The Big Khan “Very highly recommended. Kleid‘s treatment of characters is pitch perfect. One of the book’s great strengths is its pacing and tone, conveyed by the frequent use of silent panels.”
AND with all the great buzz and reviews this book has now sold out its 1st printing! The second printing has just come in to keep up with demand.
January 21, 2010 by Ted Rall
January 21, 2010 by Terry
I am very excited to introduce Brooke Allen here, see her post below. Even just a student still, she shows incredible talent already and her energetic drawing style coupled with an uproarious story will make her intro book A Home for Mr. Easter a hit, I just know it!
Take a look at the previews we’ve posted. I’m tellin’ ya her book is irresistible. Just got all the pages and I’m relishing them, snickering openly in the subway while people stare at me for reading such stuff in public. Nyeh, nyeh.
January 20, 2010 by Brooke Allen
So here I am, my first post about my first book and I’m paralyzed with enthusiasm so I guess I’ll attempt to break the ice with an introduction:
Hey NBM Bloggers and kindly readers I’m Brooke and there’s my up n’ coming book’s cover above (see Fig.A1) “A Home for Mr.Easter” that Terry’s been nice enough to publish. If you love unicorn’s, bunnies, deer, fruit roll-ups, riding horses and you’re not a 7 year old girl then this book was made with care just for you.
I look forward to posting and getting to know you all!
Three cheers for comics!!!
January 20, 2010 by Ted Rall
As I am trying to do with my proposal to return to Afghanistan, “Minimum Security” cartoonist Stephanie McMillan, who is one of the best political commentators around and certainly the best cartoonist devoted to environmental issues, is trying to raise money to fund her project, which is a children’s book co-authored with the environmental polemicist Derrick Jensen.
There are only 11 days left for her proposal, and she is only $928 away from the goal of $6000 for printing costs. Please consider kicking some cash her way. Click here!
Stephanie says: “I’m afraid of seeming tacky to ask for more support now when our focus on support is (and ought to be) on Haiti, but if I don’t make it to the end, then we don’t collect any of the pledges and will lose the $5072 pledged so far. So if you can, your contribution would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!”