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Graphic Journalism by Dan Archer


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2010 February 19

Rebranding Iraq, Nawlins, and a new Honduras page

News today that the US has decided to rename the Iraq war ‘Operation New Dawn’ to vaunt the US’s evolving relationship with the Government of Iraq. So it’s goodbye “Operation Iraqi Freedom”,  hello new dawn. Despite the predictable media fanfare (drowning out the rising death toll, you say?), it seems no one actually did a google search before coining the moniker. Had they done, they’d have seen that amongst the top billings for ‘New Dawn’ is a rehab center for getting people back on the right track.  The company’s slogan says it all: “Confidence. Security. Hope. Always” – sounds like a military press release to me. Speaking of which, here’s the original memo from the Dept of Defense suggesting the name change. Lest you commit the social faux pas of mismatching the wrong war to the wrong sobriquet, here are some personal favourites of mine:

“Operation Earnest Will” – no, it’s not the abortive first draft title of Good Will Hunting, it was the 1987-1988 Inter-State War in Iran

“Operation Deliberate Force” – best not to think about the need for the word ‘deliberate’ here – NATO Intervention in Bosnia 1994-1995

Both still sound better than “Operation WTF WMDs”, mind you.

This week’s book review corner features New Orleans: After the Deluge, an amazing piece of comics journalism that recreates the chaos and panic when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. It was originally serialised online, so you can actually read it here. The story focuses on half a dozen characters around the city and their contrasting reactions to the impending disaster. Based on actual testimonies, it’s a towering work that earns Josh Neufeld a place in the comics journalist hall of fame, next to Joe Sacco. Ok, so it’s still a small hall, but you get the idea.

Lastly, the more observant among you will have noticed the chipin widget on the right sidebar has been replaced by a new button, which will take you directly to the paypal checkout for a copy of the Honduran coup comic. Yours for $5 plus $2 shipping to the US, or $4 to the rest of the world. Not only that, but for those of you who are new to the site (welcome) or who haven’t ordered your hard copy of the Honduran Coup: A Graphic History (for shame), I’ve created this new page with all the information, links, quotes and background you could ever want, plus a radio interview thrown in for good measure.

A sneak preview…

…from my first graphic novel and current long-term project. More about this next week. In the meantime, scroll down for news.