Books Read in 2013 # 66-68,70 - Comic Books about Fairies and the Middle East (not together)
Exit Wounds is a more puzzling book since everything is underlined by the constant wars of Israel (cold or otherwise) but everything is even more pushed off to the side. The author's interview with Joe Sacco states that the reason why there are no Palestinians (or even Israeli Arabs) in the book is because she wanted to depict Israel as a place where the context is something that no one thinks about except in terms of "those horrible people that want to kill us" (I'm thinking that she's overstating her case, but considering how often Gush Khatif gets into the Tisha B'Av narrative without noting that the settlements were a major problem in terms of constant casualties, subjugated peoples, greater security risks, it might not be as overstated as one might like) whereas the main narrative is about a cab driver and a young woman bonding over a John Doe victim of a suicide bombing who may or may not be his father. As the story progresses, it becomes obvious that the two are actually hoping that the father died in the suicide bombing since the alternative explanation involves a deeply neglectful individual who won't talk to his son and just stops calling his young girlfriend after he's done with her. There are the requisite points of gallows humor, but mostly this book tends to depict Israelis as emotional cripples who aren't much for empathy (even in the tenderest moments there are creepy scenes such as when the characters have sex and she reminds him that she did it first with his father and then doesn't quite get why he's not happy with her).
67-68. The Good Neighbors 2 & 3 - Kith & Kind by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh - I'm happy that I found book 2 at the library before reading book 3 since there is really not much connection between the first book which is a family drama of a girl discovering that she is half-fairy and connected to a world that involves her father and his inability to keep his fairy wife and the third book where the realm of Faery has taken over. Book 2 is the bridge where the fairies are planning on letting loose their power on the world. What makes book 3 so fascinating is just how much it is advocating segregation. Fairies can be the ultimate Other and a way to play with the Exotic Foreigner motifs that used to be ascribed to Asians, but of course, they can also be the ultimate imperialists. I did not intend to read this book at the same time I'm reading books about the Middle East, but it is interesting just how much the Two State solution can work in books about fairies - and just how little it works in books about humans.