Well, I’m off to Comicfest today. Should be a great time – people to meet, things to do. And I’ll be selling copies of MEENA while I’m there.
If you want a copy, you’ll probably find me there, but if you can’t make it (say, you’re not in this country!) then just email me and we’ll sort something out. Retailers are especially welcome.
If you haven’t seen a preview for MEENA yet then check it out at Ozcomics.
One other thing that I’ve discovered – it seems that the Afterword that I’ve written at the end has been cut off slightly by the printing. It should still be readable for the most part, but if there’s any confusion, here’s the complete text:
Something you might like to read:
First of all, I just want to say that Abdul Haq is not a terrorist. It’s a strange thing to say outright, I know, but in this world where terrorist suddenly means “brown person who attacks white people” and apparently nothing else, it’s just something I want to make clear. Abdul Haq is obviously an angry, bitter and violent character, but what he did was about revenge, not terrorism. He had no links to terrorist organisations, and no terrorist motivations, or even political motivations, for his crime.
Of course, that’s not the point really. Abdul wasn’t the victim, or the tragic figure in this story. That’s Meena of course. To me, Meena is emblematic of the tens of thousands of children killed every year in pointless conflicts that erupt around them. Children died in the bombing of Afghanistan. Thousands have died in the sanctions against Iraq. Thousands more will die in an invasion. To completely reverse that, yes, children died in the Bali bombing and in other attacks perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalists. The children are always the victims in these pointless acts of violence. That’s the only real message I want people to take from this story.
For the technical and creative minded, you might like to know a few things behind how I created this book. Honestly, it’s the first comic I’ve ever done. It was written over a period of a few weeks earlier this year, and it took a couple of months to find an artist. Then it took quite a bit longer for Isaac to create the art – I never had a problem with that since I think he’s done a fine job. He used a combination of traditional, photographic and digital art to create the images. Scanned back into the computer, I assembled the pages then did the lettering. That was all done with Paint Shop Pro – no PhotoShop here (that’s only because of money though.) But PSP is surprisingly good for lettering, with an excellent set of speech balloon shapes available. And for only AU$200, it’s a hell of a lot more affordable than PhotoShop or Illustrator, the tools most people use. The font is “Digitalstrip”, from the excellent Internet resource blambot.com. A great site for comic fonts – and they’re free if you’re not a pro.
Hopefully you liked what you just read. Maybe it horrified you, maybe you enjoyed it. Hopefully it made you think. And in case you’re wondering, I don’t under any circumstances want Howard or Ruddock dead. I truly believe that John Howard is a disgusting individual and is the Prime Minister of hatred, xenophobia and fear, but this sort of end would be both enormously damaging to the country and elevate him to a position he would never deserve.
Finally, if the world out there is worrying the shit out of you, then you’re not alone. Remember though, some people still do care, some people can see the wrong in the way the US, Britain and Australia are behaving and some people and some people want alternate paths followed to achieve peace.
Sure, we certainly have to stop Al Quaeda and bring the threat they pose to an end, but how have the current totalitarian policies of our government done this? Bombing the crap out of Afghanistan didn’t stop the Bali bombing, and invading Iraq certainly won’t stop another terrorist attack (if you really think about it, it will only increase the likelihood of one.) It’s about time more people opposed the coming war that is more about corporate greed for power and oil than it is about stopping terrorists and making our world safer.
And if you think that none of this political stuff has a place in comic books, then why are you still reading this? 🙂
Steve Turner. November, 2002.
That’s all for now. Off to Comicfest. I’ve got my digital camera, so I’ll be posting some pictures here and on other sites.