Tuesday, August 22, 2006

9/11 comic released

The Today show this morning seemed to be trying to make a big deal out of this for whatever reason...

NEW YORK — It looks like a comic book and reads like a comic book, but the subject matter is deadly serious: what went wrong before, during and after 9/11.

The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation (Hill and Wang, $16.95 paperback, $30 hardcover), based on the government commission report that became a best seller in 2004, arrives Tuesday.

My initial reaction was to cringe a bit at the thought, but when David "Cheney has me on speed dial" Gregory interviewed the creators, they were very up front about their purpose. The wanted to create a visual representation of the 9/11 Report. That's it. No personal views or biases, just telling the story of what happened that day and maybe making the timeline a little easier to understand by actually putting in times things happened that day. The authors mentioned they couldn't read the 9/11 Report because it was too dense, to hard to follow. They're quoted in the article as saying, "we're in the business of clarification." Hopefully this graphic novel can clarify that report. Think of it like Cliff Notes for a hugely important document.

Gregory and the Today Show tried to up the controversy around it by interviewing a family member who lost a loved one on 9/11. She of course didn't think the graphic covel/comic was appropriate, but with all due respect to her and the loss she suffered, she's coming from a distincly biased point of view. What would she feel is an appropriate portrayal of that days events. Movies have been and will continue to be made about that day, novels and biographies have been and will be written about people's experiences that day. Are those appropriate? I'd say depending on how they approach the subject, yes, they're more than likely completely appropriate. And everything I've seen about this release is just as good.

Some will argue that kids shouldn't see it. Well, that's really up to the parents, isn't it. Parents let their kids watch all kind of stuff that they shouldn't; is this really going to be any worse than anything they'll see on TV or at the movies? I'd think this might even help some kids grasp the importance of the events that day. It might help them understand the far reaching consequences of the tragedy on 9/11.

And if that's the case, I say that this will probably help more people than it will harm. Anyone who might not find it appropriate I'd have to say don't buy it. Just like with United 93, World Trade Center, or any other movie about 9/11, if you're not ready to handle the story in those mediums then don't watch them. I know when United 93 came out, the fetching Mrs. Wookie, wouldn't go see it with me, because she didn't feel like she could handle the overwhelming emotions from that day. I can respect that, because she could differentiate between what she could handle and what the public could handle.

I'm definitely going to have to take a look at the book... see what it's all about. And unless there's some gross negligence that went in to creating the book, I'd say it's at the very least worth checking out. Give it a chance.