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9/11 comic book
August 21, 2006 10:50 AM   Subscribe

Remember the comic book version of the 9/11 Commission Report mentioned earlier this month? Slate have put it online.
posted by cillit bang (50 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love scrolling up and down to view artwork online. Super design job, Slate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:54 AM on August 21, 2006


That was going to be my comment, too.
posted by empath at 10:54 AM on August 21, 2006


The picture on the first page looks like sperm on a radar screen, with an ad below for "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World."
posted by Biblio at 10:54 AM on August 21, 2006


A format worthy of the data!
posted by rough ashlar at 10:58 AM on August 21, 2006




The floodgates for 9/11 exploitation projects seemed to have opened right after the Oliver Stone film was released.

"OK, we'll release this right after the Oliver Stone film to avoid any direct exploitation accusations."

There have been several TV specials and dramatizations released during the past week or so.

There was even a special on one of the cable sttions that focused on "Camp 9/11", with children of 9/11 victims.
posted by wfc123 at 11:04 AM on August 21, 2006


I love the morbid AccuQuote banner ad that appears on the bottom of the screen with an image of a moping little girl and the tagline, "Dad, what would happen to me and mommy ..... if you died?"
posted by blucevalo at 11:05 AM on August 21, 2006


What exactly are "Arab nationals"? Is that the phrase you use when you don't want to say "Saudi nationals"?
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:05 AM on August 21, 2006




Content-sensitive advertising ftw!
posted by Plutor at 11:07 AM on August 21, 2006


Hooray! It's so much fun to relive the story of 9/11 over and over again! Have they started putting all the detail into history textbooks yet? It can be one of those things we teach kids over and over again, like the Second World War.
posted by reklaw at 11:07 AM on August 21, 2006


Patriotic mythology is a powerful and necessary tool to legitimize the ruling class, be it a Greek epic poem or, heaven forfend, one of Oliver Stone's cinematic turds.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:08 AM on August 21, 2006


Tastefully done, although the BLAMM! on page 13 seems a little too cartoony for the material.
posted by brain_drain at 11:11 AM on August 21, 2006


Hoo boy, what kind of trouble have Archie and Jughead gotten themselves into this time?
posted by dr_dank at 11:11 AM on August 21, 2006


brain_drain, I came into this thread to post the exact same comment. Most of the adaptation is done with a great sense of respect for what happened, but the Batman-esque comic explosion sounds are just poor. As well, I was surprised to see the graphic nature of their depiction of the on-board struggles (one panel has a passenger clutching his throat and a splash of blood on the wall beside him).
posted by NationalKato at 11:15 AM on August 21, 2006


If we must have a 9/11 comic, can we get Warren Ellis to do it?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:16 AM on August 21, 2006


Very interesting. Not sure why there's so much lens flare in a comic, though.
posted by justkevin at 11:19 AM on August 21, 2006


(Probably should have said: They're publishing one chapter a day, so this is only Chapter 1)
posted by cillit bang at 11:20 AM on August 21, 2006


I like how there's an error on the first proper page. Flight 93 was a 757.
posted by cillit bang at 11:20 AM on August 21, 2006


The best lines:

Cheney- "How the hell could a plane... oh no, a second one!"

Bush aide- "We're on time, Mr. President, for your book reading and your talk on education."
posted by wfc123 at 11:26 AM on August 21, 2006



posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:30 AM on August 21, 2006


Karl Rove has a lot of (blonde!) hair on page 26.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:34 AM on August 21, 2006


I'm curious about who the intended audience is for this comic. At the clinic where I work we have some comic books around that were written for people who don't have a very high literacy level, but they're on very specific health subjects that are crucial to understand.
posted by OmieWise at 11:36 AM on August 21, 2006


Tastefully done, although the BLAMM! on page 13 seems a little too cartoony for the material.

Would you prefer a "BOOOM!" or perhaps its cousin, "KA-BOOM!"

"BAM!" maybe? You gotta put something there.
posted by hellphish at 11:36 AM on August 21, 2006


This ad placement is darkly amusing:

posted by brain_drain at 11:37 AM on August 21, 2006


Uh oh. Am I the only one who thinks it was a mistake to make the hijackers into comic book villians?
posted by moonbiter at 11:38 AM on August 21, 2006


"BAM!" maybe? You gotta put something there.

I think it was more the Batman-esque (as NationalKato put it) typeface and colors of the sound effect that rubbed me the wrong way, not the use of a sound effect in itself. The ones on later pages aren't so bad. Not a big deal, it just seems out of place given the very serious approach to other elements of the book.
posted by brain_drain at 11:41 AM on August 21, 2006


Abusing stereotypical comic book dialogue orphaning across a graphic spread: three times in the first page.

The screener, it was later reported, should have "resolved" what set off the alarm... he didn't!

Wtf?

This reads like and heavily resembles a goddamn Jack Chick tract. Disgusting.

Anyone else lining up to decry the presence of insurance advertising next to a pathetic graphical cough misrepresentation of the events that directly lead to one of most fantastic insurance claim of all? Someone might not have noticed the banner yet, you should probably inline the ad for all of the blue to enjoy because you're so insightful.
posted by prostyle at 11:44 AM on August 21, 2006


Now that it's acceptable to exploit 9-11, allow me to be the first to go on record and state:

9-11 never happened.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:45 AM on August 21, 2006


WTF? I didn't see my name mentioned anywhere, and the whole thing was my idea! Death to America!
posted by Osama bin Laden at 11:47 AM on August 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


You be quiet.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:54 AM on August 21, 2006


Technically ignorant - how would I download this to keep?
posted by A189Nut at 12:01 PM on August 21, 2006


Ouch. the panel layouts on some of thses pages are just nasty - your eyes have to jump all over the page to read them. On some pages the flow is just completely broken.
posted by Artw at 12:23 PM on August 21, 2006


Technically ignorant - how would I download this to keep?

wget or curl.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:27 PM on August 21, 2006


Sorry, it's bugging me. Slate has put it online. Even better-- Slate put it online.
posted by ?! at 12:37 PM on August 21, 2006


Meh... it's been done with suicide bombers already.
posted by wfrgms at 12:44 PM on August 21, 2006


Slate has put it online.

Slate is, like, more than one person...
posted by reklaw at 12:52 PM on August 21, 2006


i heard that in the end they go to war with a totally unrelated country. crrrazy plot twists these days.
posted by bernard@knowmore at 1:05 PM on August 21, 2006


Re: has vs. have.. I think that's a crazy British thing. In the US, we treat "Slate" as a single entity even though it's composed of multiple persons; in the UK, it's the opposite. Both sound strange.
posted by coffeespoons at 1:16 PM on August 21, 2006


reklaw and coffeespoons: Thanks. I didn't know about "that crazy British thing." I've learned something today.
posted by ?! at 2:30 PM on August 21, 2006


There's another error--the president looks serious on page 26. The president never looks serious.
posted by Citizen Premier at 4:30 PM on August 21, 2006


It's a little confusing. Page 6 is the start of a timeline, but the flights aren't shown on that page in chronological order (they're listed in the order they were crashed). Also, the Improvising a Homeland Defense section doesn't show President Bush sitting on his ass for five minutes reading "The Pet Goat" after being told the nation is under attack. Maybe that'll be in Chapter 2.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:40 PM on August 21, 2006


I like seeing Ernie Colon's art again, though. His Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld was a beaut. (Lotsa lens flare in that one, too, justkevin!)
posted by Superfrankenstein at 12:12 AM on August 22, 2006


I just noticed that the authors of this pointless drivel appeared on The Today Show this morning.

..and so the myth becomes The Gospel.
posted by wfc123 at 6:55 AM on August 22, 2006


The very fact that this ridiculous thing is getting so much publicity speaks volumes about how the U.S. mainstream media neatly packages gov't propaganda.
posted by wfc123 at 6:59 AM on August 22, 2006


I'm wondering how they squeeze WTC 7 into the mix, collapsing seven hours after WTC1 and 2 fell, at 5:20 PM: FEMA made preliminary findings that collapse was due primarily to fires on multiple stories caused by debris from the other two towers, and not to the actual impact damage of 1 WTC and 2 WTC as they collapsed. The report noted that, prior to this collapse, there was no record of the fire-induced collapse of a large fire-protected steel building such as 7 WTC.



When I get a raw version if this scanned I'm going to illustrate over every point from Loose Change and republish it online. That should be fun.

What of the hijackers found alive by the BBC? What of the blackboxes that were nuked from time and space, yet a passport of one of the brown people remains? A comic book really couldn't have been more perfect vehicle for this bullshit, and it would be a wonderful place to subvert the original purpose.
posted by prostyle at 8:53 AM on August 22, 2006


Also, they published a full center section on the entertainment portion of USA Today featuring the panel with a tower collapsing. The top portion of the tower above the smoke field is seen to be veering outwards, which was not the case as the structures collapsed relatively downward upon themselves. I also didn't see any smoke plumes illustrated projecting outwards multiple stories below the cascading debris, I wonder why? The panel directly below this shows a depiction of the last moments of the cockpit struggle on Flight 93. Pathetic.

Maybe after that huge "Rrr-ruuumble" tag they should have added this: prior to this collapse, there was no record of the fire-induced collapse of a large fire-protected steel building such as any of the WTC structures. They fell down at complete freefall speed in 10 seconds.
posted by prostyle at 9:05 AM on August 22, 2006


The top portion of the tower above the smoke field is seen to be veering outwards, which was not the case as the structures collapsed relatively downward upon themselves.

Here's a picture of the top of the South Tower veering outwards as it began to fall. From a civil engineering explanation of the towers' collapse.

Comprehensive debunking of Loose Change. A detailed point-by-point critique. "Loose Change": an analysis.

Firefighters reported a 20-story hole in the side of WTC7, which was 47 stories tall.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:44 PM on August 22, 2006


I hadn't seen that picture, or any of similar suggestive angles. I have read all of your links otherwise, thanks kirk. Give it five years when Bush and all his cronies are out with the cash gone and we'll really see what's left. There's nothing left to be debated, even if we disagree - we're both getting fucked, lets not argue about what position we are in while it happens.
posted by prostyle at 1:00 PM on August 22, 2006


I mean really, there is so much sophistry involved in those debunking pages. I will always view 9/11 through a skeptical lense, because there are certain things that make no sense. None of those debunking pages actually says anything in refutation of the segment on the hijackers that were found a live. How is this possible? How can they devote so much time to writing things like this:

True, the burden of proof should be on the government, but we are faced with an administration that shows flagrant disregard for the rule of law and a population that is all too willing to accept rationalizations for outrages from pre-emptive war to illegal detentions to the normalization of torture. In the real world, the burden of proof falls on those working to explose the administration's crimes.

When they can't even refute the fact that various reported hijackers were still alive? They list a page that links to sources of the documents, half of them are from the fucking BBC. Yeah, that's probably a terrorist rag right there. Nice debunking. "In the real world" that's just so cute.

Why are we here, kirk? Because of this comic book. Why is the comic book here? Because none of this makes sense, and it's easier to dispense it in a dumbed down graphic form and movies like United 93 and WTC. Any coincidence that they all arrived in the same year, 5 years after the event? Must just be the capitalist in everyone, realizing the governments only initiative has been to make a buck off of 9/11 - might as well hop in the money pit. Yeah, right.

I don't operate under the dogma of Loose Change, it was simply a wonderful catalyst that allowed me to see the events in a different light. I would be as much of a slave of conspiracy as much as the right wingers are slaves of the neocons if I bought it all hook line and sinker.
posted by prostyle at 1:40 PM on August 22, 2006


I don't care what anyone says, this comic book can't possibly be better than the one that described what was John Paul II like as the young Karol Wojtyla. That comic book was teh sum of awe!
posted by ZachsMind at 2:22 PM on August 22, 2006


When they can't even refute the fact that various reported hijackers were still alive? They list a page that links to sources of the documents, half of them are from the fucking BBC. Yeah, that's probably a terrorist rag right there. Nice debunking. "In the real world" that's just so cute.

Seriously? Have you read the news since September 23, 2001? Have you even checked wikipedia on these "found" terrorists? Because all the rubbish that you claim has changed your perspective on things is dismissively refuted as lunatic nonsense on the pages for the hijackers in question. It took me 5 minutes of looking for myself to figure this out.

You seem to be quite confident in the talents of the good people at the Beeb. How about the folks at Der Speigel?

Take the BBC, for example, which did in fact report, on September 23, 2001, that some of the alleged terrorists were alive and healthy and had protested their being named as assassins.

But there is one wrinkle. The BBC journalist responsible for the story only recalls this supposed sensation after having been told the date on which the story aired. "No, we did not have any videotape or photographs of the individuals in question at that time," he says, and tells us that the report was based on articles in Arab newspapers, such as the Arab News, an English-language Saudi newspaper.

The operator at the call center has the number for the Arab News on speed dial. We make a call to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A few seconds later, Managing Editor John Bradley is on the line. When we tell Bradley our story, he snorts and says: "That's ridiculous! People here stopped talking about that a long time ago."

Bradley tells us that at the time his reporters did not speak directly with the so-called "survivors," but instead combined reports from other Arab papers. These reports, says Bradley, appeared at a time when the only public information about the attackers was a list of names that had been published by the FBI on September 14th. The FBI did not release photographs until four days after the cited reports, on September 27th.

The photographs quickly resolved the nonsense about surviving terrorists. According to Bradley, "all of this is attributable to the chaos that prevailed during the first few days following the attack. What we're dealing with are coincidentally identical names." In Saudi Arabia, says Bradley, the names of two of the allegedly surviving attackers, Said al-Ghamdi and Walid al-Shari, are "as common as John Smith in the United States or Great Britain."

The final explanation is provided by the newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, one of the sources of Arab News, which in turn serves as a source to the BBC. Mohammed Samman is the name of the reporter who interviewed a man named Said al-Ghamdi in Tunis, only to find that al-Ghamdi was quite horrified to discover his name on the FBI list of assassins.

Samman remembers his big story well. "That was a wonderful story," he says. And that's all it was. It had nothing to do with the version made up of Bröckers' and Bülow's combined fantasies.

"The problem," says Samman, "was that after the first FBI list had been published, CNN released a photo of the pilot Said al-Ghamdi that had been obtained from the files of those Saudi pilots who had at some point received official flight training in the United States."

After Samman's story was reported by the news agencies, he was contacted by CNN. "I gave them Ghamdi's telephone number. The CNN people talked to the pilot and apologized profusely. The whole thing was quite obviously a mix-up. The Ghamdi family is one of the largest families in Saudi Arabia, and there are thousands of men named Said al-Ghamdi."

When we ask Samman to take another look at the FBI's list of photographs, he is more than happy to oblige, and tells us: "The Ghamdi on the photo is not the pilot with whom I spoke."

The investigative journalists should have been able to figure out just how obvious the solution to this puzzle was. They all write that a man named Abd al-Asis al-Umari had been named as a perpetrator by the FBI, and that there are apparently many individuals with this name. Bröckers and Hauß even noticed that the FBI had initially released an incorrect first name to the press. All of this certainly suggests that there was a mix-up, but it's also something that the conspiracy theorists apparently did not consider plausible.

In the case of the supposedly surviving terrorist Walid al-Shari, the truth is even more obvious. At least Bülow had the opportunity to avoid making this mistake. In his book, he writes that the alleged assassin Shari "lives in Casablanca and works as a pilot, according to information provided by the airline Royal Air Maroc."

If Bülow had inquired with the airline, he would have discovered that the name of the pilot who lives in Casablanca is Walid al-Shri and not, like that of the assassin, Walid al-Shari. This minor detail makes a big difference, namely the difference between a dead terrorist and a living innocent man. But to conspiracy theorists, discovering the truth is like solving a crossword puzzle for children: What's a four-letter word for a domesticated animal? Hrse.

Whatever doesn't fit is made to fit. And whatever fits is included without scrutiny. "The uncritical acceptance of any argument that suggests a conspiracy" is one of the cornerstones of all conspiracy theories, writes conservative US historian Daniel Pipes. "The conspiracy theorist starts with the conclusion and then looks for reasons to rule everything out that doesn't fit." If you happen to be holding a hammer, you're probably more likely to see nails everywhere.


Hopefully this has been a wonderful catalyst that will allow you to see the events in a different light...

...unless I'm in on it too!
posted by loquax at 7:15 PM on August 29, 2006


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