Friends and War

I spent the evening with my friends Wanda and April, along with some of their friends. I hadn’t seen April in over a year, so it was wonderful to have the chance to hang out with her and Wanda again like old times. We used to have a blast when she was still living here in Nova Scotia, and today was just as good. I’m sure things’ll be awesome once she moves back this summer.

During our mall-spanning adventures we decided to look around at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Though a location just 10 minutes from my door has been there for 7 months I somehow never stopped in to take a look. When I did, the candy apples amazed me. The selection and quality they offer blew the three of us away. I left with a New York Cheesecake apple and it was definitely a highlight of my night; it was absolutely delicious and the flavour combination was surprisingly well balanced. I’ll need to watch myself so I don’t go there too frequently; that stuff is sweet crack.
Otherwise, we shopped around, April gave me some badass puffin socks, I introduced April, Wanda and Jana to my cat Mithra, and had our usual zany conversations. I always have a blast with those two.
Over the course of the night we snapped a few photos and even crowded into a photo booth together. I don’t have a photo editor or scanner here, so those will have to wait until I’m home. I can tell you they’re full of our usual cheer.

I’ve been trying to catch up with as much of Brian Wood‘s work as I’m able to this past week. He’s fast become one of my favourite writers in the graphic novel and comics field. There are far too few people able to take the grand and the simple of everyday life and marry them with expert storytelling, so this makes Brian all the more important.
I read Channel Zero yesterday and had my esteem for Mr. Wood solidified. It’s a sharp, political and very well told story that focuses on media censorship and the power of errant government controlled by special interest groups.

Special interest groups have bullied the government into passing the Clean Act, effectively killing freedom of speech and silencing the country into submission. TV and God become one and the same as America wages its own Holy War against its citizens. Meet Jennie 2.5, media slut turned info-terrorist, out to save the country from itself, and restore free will and self-expression.

Written in 1997, this work is even more important for post-911 America as media narrowness, government corruption and the influence of fundamentalism mirrors the disturbing events of this book in nature, if not scope. I especially enjoyed the attention to the difficultly involved in judging revolutionary heroes, who risk becoming part of the very problems they oppose and being overshadowed and obscured by the mythologies that rise around them.
Brian’s new series, DMZ, is even more daring than Channel Zero. Set in a war-divided America, with Manhattan a de-militarized zone between the USA and Free States, it places emphasis on the everyday lives of those living in the midst of war, giving civilians the importance they deserve.

In the near future, America’s worst nightmare has come true. With military adventurism overseas bogging down the Army and National Guard, the U.S. government mistakenly neglects the very real threat of anti-establishment militias scattered across the 50 states. Like a sleeping giant, Middle America rises up and violently pushes it way to the shining seas, coming to a standstill at the line in the sand — Manhattan or, as the world now knows it, the DMZ.

What’s interesting to me is that, while less politically defined than Channel Zero, it holds a mirror up to the dangers governments have been ramping up in the past half decade and the terrible apathy most of us have developed for those lives torn asunder by war in a very effective way. The DMZ journal is worth a read to find out more.

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