Middle East Envoy


Chris Ware

Chris Ware is the modern master of comics. His work has squared the comic / narrative circle. The Gordian knot untied. Comic’s essence distilled. Storyteller par excellence. Etc.

The image above is from the first issue of the ACME Novelty Library. The series occupies one of the high points of modern western art and literature.


David Mazzucchelli


David Mazzucchelli spent an all too brief period in mainstream superhero comics, but definitely made a big impression. He worked on Daredevil (working with writers like Denny O’Neil and Frank Miller) and Batman (again working with Frank Miller) before eventually leaving mainstream comics altogether to publish his own anthology comic entitled Rubber Blanket.

“My education in comics almost goes sort of backwards and laterally. I grew up with a certain thing, and that’s what I came to comics with, which would have been the comics of the 60’s, and then sort of crept back into, Well, what were people doing right before then? Who was the influence on this person, who was the influence on that person? and back that way. So by the time I was doing Batman I was very interested in Chester Gould and Hergé, and Alex Toth. And the Angel story [in Marvel Fanfare #40] definitely had more of a Kurtzman… I mean, it looks nothing like Kurtzman, but I was thinking about a certain simplicity of shape, a certain kind of expressiveness.”

The image is the cover of Marvel Fanfare 40 (the Angel story mentioned above) which is a favourite of mine. I was hoping to post some of the story art, but the cover was all I could find. It’s a simple tale; Warren Worthington III (Angel) falls from the sky, badly injured from some battle or other, and is found and cared for by an old woman. She is religious, and believes him to be an actual angel, fallen from heaven. While tending to the wounded playboy certain feelings stir within her, feelings she hasn’t experienced for many years. Upon recuperation he leaves, but not before winking cheekily at the old woman who has nursed him back to health. She blushes as he soars off into the sky.

It’s a sweet story but, more importantly, the artwork is absolutely incredible. It has a classical comic book style that, in my opinion, perfectly represents comic’s essential nature (the essence of comics). Visually it’s a tribute. If you ever see it, be sure to buy it.

I miss his work. He is a true modern master.


The best thing about New York…

I just came across this on my travels (trawling through my feeds in Akregator). I’m sure I’ve heard the line before, but I quite like the idea of putting it on a business card, and quite enjoy his blog, so I thought I’d post it.


Surf’s Up

Happy birthday Brian.


Yo Blair!

Nuke The Afghans
Blair knew US had no post-war plan for Iraq

In a documentary to be screened this Saturday (23rd of June) we will witness a wonderfully cynical attempt by some of Blair’s closest allies to paint his involvement in the war of terror is a positive light;

Tony Blair feared George Bush would “nuke the s**t” out of Afghanistan in revenge for 9/11, a sensational documentary will claim this week.

As did we all;

“Blair’s real concern was that there would be quote unquote ‘a kneejerk reaction’ by the Americans… they would go thundering off and nuke the s**t out of the place without thinking straight.”

How prescient of Blair. I know a kneejerk reaction from the Americans seems a little out of character, but nonetheless, aside from the “nuke the s**t out of the place” bit, all of the above has come to pass;

In Channel 4’s candid two-part documentary The Rise and Fall of Tony Blair, Mr Meyer claims the threat explains why the Prime Minister vowed to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Bush over the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan – to thwart his allguns blazing battle plan.

So it seems we were wrong to see Blair as little more than the snarling, warmongering lapdog of the first great 21st century genocide artist / artists. After all he was merely trying to protect all of us (Atlas-like) from Bush’s allguns blazing plan. What a cross to bear for such a Christ-like man;

Tony Blair agreed to commit British troops to battle in Iraq in the full knowledge that Washington had failed to make adequate preparations for the postwar reconstruction of the country. In a devastating account of the chaotic preparations for the war, which comes as Blair enters his final full week in Downing Street, key No 10 aides and friends of Blair have revealed the Prime Minister repeatedly and unsuccessfully raised his concerns with the White House. He also agreed to commit troops to the conflict even though President George Bush had personally said Britain could help ‘some other way’.

So he was offered an out, and chose not to take it. Maybe Bush called him a chicken…

‘Obviously more attention should have been paid to what happened after, to the planning and what we would do once Saddam had been toppled,’ Mandelson tells The Observer’s chief political commentator, Andrew Rawnsley, who presents the documentary. ‘But I remember him saying at the time: “Look, you know, I can’t do everything. That’s chiefly America’s responsibility, not ours.”‘ Mandelson then criticises his friend: ‘Well, I’m afraid that, as we now see, wasn’t good enough.’.

“Look, you know, I can’t do everything.”; may this become Blair’s legacy.