Last Post. Sad.

Posted on December 6, 2005 by Mike Scalise

While this whole book, to me, was a remarkable articulation of what many, many New Yorkers felt about 9/11 and it unfortunate (and squandered?) aftermath, I most notably identified with Spiegelman’ s statement in the preface that he felt that outside of the city, he felt like he’d "wandered into an inverted version of Saul Steinberg’s famous map of America as seen from Ninth Avenue". I moved to New York a few short weeks after 9/11, and had the rare vantage point of experiencing the event from afar, but the immediate aftermath of it up close. I do have to say that New Yorkers have an almost indecipherable ownership of the event that really can’t translate to much of the rest of the country (aside, from, of course, here in DC). I don’t necessarily agree with all of Speigelman’s commentary about extra-NY sentiment, but his viewpoint is a locationally rare one worth examining. 

Of all his re-allocations of century-old "comix" characters, I thought his keenest was McManus’ Jiggs as an iBook-addicted, paranoid theorist led astray by the media, which fed his faulty logic. The character here is less of an indictment of American foreign ignorance as in the "Bringing Up Father" plate, but rather an examination of an American made ignorant by an irresponsible media feeding off its public during one the most vulnerable times for this country’s public in recent memory. Spiegelman does the same thing with the Happy Hooligan, highlighting the fascistic abuse of the airwaves many major media outlets used then to forcefully paint a unified face on the country’s sentiment. He does acutely what his predecessors did obtusely, and his insights on the media in these regards say very completely and eloquently what (usually great) media watchdogs like FAIR have been trying to since the event’s genesis.

I’m interested, though, to discuss the other re-allocations, especially Verbek’s "Upside Downs." Spiegelman’s prose in his essays lends to a mostly-aesthetic commentary on those old plates, but there is so much more afoot here, and I hope we can talk about the possibilities in class.

That being said, nice blogging with you all.   

 Small update: just read an article about digital imagining as a branding tool. Has nothing to do with this week’s class, but still relates to some stuff we’ve talked about this semester.

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