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Friday, September 09, 2011 

Wired mag disappointed with Rick Veitch

Wired's website section called Danger Room has written about Rick Veitch's 9-11 truther comic, The Big Lie, and are quite dismayed that he's gone downhill:
It’s enough to make you void your Comixology pullbox. Rick Veitch, a legend in the comic book industry, published The Big Lie on Wednesday, a sleazy 9/11 Truther screed in sequential-art form. Spoiler alert: pseudo-scientific hysteria married to paranoia about How Bush Knew isn’t any cuter when told by cartoon figures.

[...] Veitch doesn’t stop at one conspiracy. They build in their scope and scale. First it’s about Norad unexpectedly preoccupying U.S. air defenses with frivolous training exercises. Then it’s about how the neocons in the Bush administration are looking for an excuse to invade Iraq. (“I’ve heard more than one of these nut-jobs say what the U.S. needs is a ‘New Pearl Harbor,’” says a character who informs us he voted for Reagan.) Finally, the skeptical husband, an engineer who did his thesis on the World Trade Center, dismisses his future-wife by assuring her that “the only way to bring down these structures down is with explosives.” You see where this is going.

Sigh. Yes, planes loaded with jet fuel and used as missiles can — and did — destroy the World Trade Center. Read the authoritative Popular Mechanics story about the physics of 9/11 if your mind is open to persuasion. Bush and company indeed wanted to take down Saddam Hussein from the start of his administration and they cynically tied Saddam to 9/11 absent evidence. But sorry: there is no evidence they planned an invasion before 9/11; no evidence that they knew about 9/11 and let it happen; and no evidence at all they brought the Towers down.
While I'm glad to see they recognize that it's NOT the Bush administration that did it, it's a shame they think that signs of WMDs in Iraq are "absent". As this FOX News report tells, there were samples of chemical weaponry found since 2003, as Rep. Rick Santorum reported in 2006.
Yet all that is wiped away in the scene’s final panel, where three thermite grenades are visible on a supporting beam inside the Towers — to the horror of a former skeptic — and Uncle Sam himself vouches for the truth of the story. “Folks fall so hard for the shuck-and-jive they never hear the wake up call when it finally arrives,” Sam says. This makes Frank Miller’s forthcoming Holy Terror seem calm and reasonable.

Veitch implicitly gives up the game — as Truthers tend to — when he has his Cassandra say, “Look at what was left out of the [9/11] Commission’s report,” the last recourse of those who believe the government covered up its role in the “conspiracy.” The horrible truth is that al-Qaida attacked the U.S. on 9/11.

For comic fans tethered to a sense of reality, Veitch’s descent into Trutherism is a huge disappointment. A star of alternative comics in the 80s, Veitch wrote some classic Swamp Thing stories for D.C. and illustrated a hugely important scene in Alan Moore’s seminal Miracleman. His comic Brat Pack is the best — and most disturbing — treatise on the exploitation of children implicit in the superhero-sidekick genre. It also sucks that the venerable publishing house Image Comics — which gave us Spawn, The Walking Dead, Youngblood and more — saw fit to release Veitch’s hysteria, selling it as a “riveting tale of 9/11.”
Well let's just note that, as anyone who was familiar with Image's early output knows, Spawn and Youngblood both stunk, the former was Todd McFarlane's trip downhill (a shame too, because when he began his career in the early 80s, his artwork, while not perfect, wasn't that bad either), and Youngblood was just the beginning of the real Liefeld abominations in artwork (and why do I get the feeling Brat Pack, which I never really knew about until now, is actually a rather awful book?). It's a pity that they're taking such a weak approach to some of the other stuff from Image, and even slip up by saying evidence of WMD traces was "absent". But the rest is pretty good and I'm glad to see they understand why the kind of conspiracy theories Veitch sunk into are distasteful.

They also say in response to the interview he'd given I focused on earlier, where he attacked the Patriot Act as a pre-planned Neo-Con conception:
That’s not true, either, by the way. It would appear the true controlled demolition concerns what Rick Veitch has done to his brain.
Yup. And if any Democrats also supported the Patriot Act, then Veitch is only beclowning himself further by singling out and demonizing the Republicans for drafting a law for the purpose of ensuring the public's safety.

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Good stuff, Avi. My own post on this is here.

R.V. should see if Oliver Stone would be interested in doing a movie adaptation.
By the way, sad to say, I did read Brat Pack. If I had to sum it up in one word I'd say it was, and is, vile.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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