Friday, September 23, 2011

The Big Lie #1

Written by Rick Veitch
Art by Rick Veitch and Gary Erskine

I don't understand why Rick Veitch is not more revered in the comics world.  Even setting aside his ground-breaking and extremely controversial work on Swamp Thing, he has maintained a viewpoint and set of opinions that don't fit with the mainstream, while also pushing the boundaries of comic books for years.  I fondly remember his Brat Pack as the high point of dark and gritty satire, and his Rare Bit Fiends dream journals were bizarre and inspired.

With The Big Lie (which came out a couple of weeks ago, but which my comic store only got this week), Veitch returns to ground and themes that he previously touched on in his bizarre graphic novel Can't Get No, and his Vertigo war/romance satire series Army@Love.

The Big Lie is a bit of a master class in 9/11 conspiracy theory, wrapped in a time travel story.  A scientist moves back in time to rescue her husband, who was in a meeting at the World Trade Center on the morning of the famous attacks.  When she tries to convince him that he is in danger, the husband and the risk management company he works for decide instead to grill her and examine her evidence.  Basically, this provides Veitch the opportunity to lay out any number of the unexplained facts and contradictory evidence that has accumulated over the last ten years.

As a story, this comic can be a little clunky in parts, but that's not really a concern.  I don't want to weigh in on the whole 'Truther' movement, or what I personally believe, as I don't feel very qualified to discuss it.  What I will say is that this comic provides a lot of food for thought, and does it in an easily-digestible manner.  Veitch is a comics god when it comes to forcing people to question some of their assumptions, and it's nice to see him continuing to raise his voice in such a compelling way.

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