Summer lovin’ had me a blast. Now i’m alone again. Words follow:
by Jacques Tardi, Jean-Pierre Vierney
(these are more stray thoughts than a review, but let's not get pedantic)
If 'Goddamn This War!' could be said to have a narrative at all; it is the author's search for a reason for it all, the bloodshed and destruction, but by the books end all he seems to come up with is nothing.
The inclusion of God in the title is interesting, it can either be read as an ironic appropriation of God similar to the way the governments and militaries appropriated ‘God’ to lure the masses to their side during the war effort. Tardi does hint at this reading in the text by turning the Tommies (English) slogan of war “‘God and my lawful right’ against the Germans” in on itself by picking the slogan apart, questioning whose God is the true God if each nation prays to him “another hypocrite with a finger in every pie” he emphatically states, eventually re-configuring the quote to fit his own view of events “Each for himself and God against all”. This leaves a sacrilegious bend to the title that, within the context of the work, puts to the forefront an important aspect of it.
The problem with the use of Goddamn though is that it elevates Tardi’s attack on institutional religion and it’s place in promoting the war, thrusting this singular aspect to the forefront. Tardi is throughout the work attacking the Military, Religion and the Government so by placing one explicitly in the title it seems to take away from the attack on the three and highlight (to the detriment of the others) the one. Fuck though, fuck this and fuck that and fuck you you mother fucker; can be related to any and all of these institutions. It is universal in its vulgarity.
It is not until the final year of the book, 1918, when victory (or whatever one wishes to call it) is achieved that color starts coming back to the narrative. Although, it is not to be seen in the idyllic fields of France where the first battles took place and Tardi’s lush color work made you think that field would be a wonderful place to have a picnic, only maybe at a different time. Nor does color return to the small towns that litter the countryside, that Tardi beautifully rendered as the French army so proudly marched through them on their way to the front line. It certainly is not in the faces of those who fought in the battles or those civilians who were subjected to long range shellings throughout the war, even though the first time we saw them, in their brightly colored and ornate uniforms, they looked so full of life.
Death contaminates them all, their color is lost.
No the only objects that regain their color are those which glorify the country and the war, the allied powers flags, which are waved in the streets of Paris when victory is declared, and the medals those who served received, like the one pinned on a man slouched down on a street corner next to his crutches begging for money. Since the country had won the war, it is they who are given the promise of a future - those who had actually fought the battles for them are not allowed to forget what they saw, but as you know it only took a few years for the governments to forget what the whole thing was about.
edited by Marc Sobel, Kristy Valenti
The L&R companion is what an autistic kid who read too many issues of 'The Comics Journal' over their summer vacation created for their book report. I'm a big fan.
links links links
currently in the process of being animated.
Lisa Hanawalt interview with The Paris Review. I liked the content of the interview, but its structured weird. No questions are actually asked - or they are but they just decided not to put them in the text of the piece. I don’t really understand why anyone would do that besides it being a mistake, since it makes it read like Hanawalt is just talking to herself about elephants in high heels unprompted and may therefore be a crazy person.
Simon Hanselmann to be published by Fantagraphics.
It’s a death cult movie about demons and witch burnings. Cultural terrorists/tourists. White girls shooting black men, directed by white privileged men.” Sarah Horrocks review/screed on "Spring Breakers". A film i have seen four times and continues to grow on each viewing.
Picture Box is having a sale on most of their stock. 40% off book and 30% off prints/posters. I’ll probably pick some shit up from that. You should too.
Mickey Z interview. She did a comic with CF recently too, which i’m waiting to come in the mail.