Sunday, October 08, 2006

Pride of Baghdad

Pride of Baghdad

By Brian K. Vaughn, Niko Henrichon

Pride of Baghdad is a straight to graphic novel book based on the true story of a quartet of lions who escaped from the Baghdad Zoo during the American bombing of the city in April of 2003, written by the can-do-no-wrong letters of Brian K. Vaughn(Runaways, Y: The Last Man, Deus Ex Machina), and expertly drawn by Niko Henrichon, whose work I don’t think I’m familiar with.

The book essentially puts under the microscope the whole notion of giving a people it’s freedom at the barrel of a gun. A talking point for the campaign this book ain’t. Pride of Baghdad is always working on several levels like all good allegories, and when it succeeds, it succeeds like a ice block gut shot blowing out the spine—it’s a book that while relatively short, keeps you constantly thinking, grounding every event back into the wider context the book is asking us to—that the conclusion sneaks up on you. And it’s conclusion is so good that it is the primary reason why this book will probably be regarded as one of the most important graphic novels in recent times.

Really this is a no-brainer, and I question why I’m even bothering to review this book. This should be a two word reviews: Go buy.

I think all ages can appreciate this book. It has a timeless quality, that while it is pretty specific to the Iraq War on the surface, it is also, at the end of the day, about issues which will come up, especially with guys like George Bush and Saddam Hussein running around(sadly people like that are also timeless).

At the end of the day, as the Lion Noor rightly quotes, “Freedom can’t be given, only earned”. As the world begins to question more and more the worth of the “liberation” of the Iraqi people, Brian K. Vaughn’s log on the fire, is more than welcome in these quarters, and I would suppose anyone with half a heart would at least be somewhat swayed by the contents of this book.

Oh and the turtle’s speech in the first half of the book, could be easily cribbed out of a Cormac McCarthy novel, it’s that good.

Go buy.

No comments: