Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Pride of Baghdad

From one of America’s most critically acclaimed graphic novel writers – inspired by true events, a startlingly original look at life on the streets of Baghdad during the Iraq War.

In his award-winning work on Y THE LAST MAN and EX MACHINA (one of Entertainment Weekly’s 2005 Ten Best Fiction titles), writer Brian K. Vaughan has displayed an understanding of both the cost of


In his award-winning work on Y THE LAST MAN and EX MACHINA (one of Entertainment Weekly’s 2005 Ten Best Fiction titles), writer Brian K. Vaughan has displayed an understanding of both the cost of survival and the political nuances of the modern world. Now, in this provocative graphic novel, Vaughan examines life on the streets of war-torn Iraq.

In the spring of 2003, a pride of lions escaped from the Baghdad zoo during an American bombing raid. Lost and confused, hungry but finally free, the four lions roamed the decimated streets of Baghdad in a desperate struggle for their lives. In documenting the plight of the lions, PRIDE OF BAGHDAD raises questions about the true meaning of liberation – can it be given or is it earned only through self-determination and sacrifice? And in the end, is it truly better to die free than to live life in captivity?

Based on a true story, VAUGHAN and artist NIKO HENRICHON (Barnum!) have created a unique and heartbreaking window into the nature of life during wartime, illuminating this struggle as only the graphic novel can.


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    Jayson

    (A-) 83% | Very Good
    Notes: A kind of cave allegory on liberation, it has high fantasy elements, reflected in war-torn Baghdad’s unearthly terrain.

    J.G. Keely

    Jan 07, 2009

    rated it
    did not like it

    Shelves:
    comics,
    reviewed

    Despite the originality of the idea, and the wealth of symbolism and meaning such a story might have held, Vaughan did little with this book. His predictable plot, thoughtless characterization, awkward dialogue and overpowering allegory drained this book of any strength or beauty it might have had.

    Start with some factual errors, such as antelopes being kept within sight of lions, sea turtles living in the Tigris, and zoo birds (which would have had flight feathers clipped) simply flying to escap

    Start with some factual errors, such as antelopes being kept within sight of lions, sea turtles living in the Tigris, and zoo birds (which would have had flight feathers clipped) simply flying to escape their cages. If they could just fly off, why didn’t they do it before? These small errors are negligible but typical of the thoughtlessness with which the plot, characters, and dialogue are treated.

    The overt and sensationalized sexism amongst the lions was insulting. Not only because it misrepresented animal sexual behavior (particularly that of lions), but because as a thinly-veiled analogy of human sexual behavior, it was both simplistic and chauvinistic. Like in his ‘Y the Last Man’, Vaughan is interested in rape and gender inequality only because they give his male protagonist motivation, not because of how they affect his characters or story in general.

    One thoughtful commentator pointed out that the rape scene never actually comes to the attention of the protagonist, meaning it couldn’t be an attempt to build his character. So I guess it’s just extraneous to the plot? I’ll beg off debating which is worse.

    The animal dialogue was also rather jarring, indicating that lions understood what a ‘brain’ is, that they measured time in seconds and integers, and that they felt their keepers were beneficent protectors. Vaughan did not make any attempt to create a dialogue based on the individual challenges and experiences of being a lion, he just stuck simplistic human characters in lion bodies.

    At that point, it’s not even an allegory, it’s just a cartoon. Vaughan’s lions are not lions, but melodramatic representations of the Iraqi people, a metaphor which becomes increasingly ham-fisted and awkward as the story continues. By the time we reach the climax, we have the antagonist delivering long philosophical speeches about power and rulership.

    These prolonged speeches are set directly into the action sequences, so that between winding up and hitting, he delivers a good paragraph of moralism. I can only hope if I’m ever in a fight, my opponent will try to summarize Plato’s Republic between blows.

    For all that people praise the art, I didn’t see much salvageable there, either. It was often difficult to tell the lion characters apart and action sequences were more abrupt than exciting. The cover’s pretty, but not a good representation of what’s inside.

    Tack on a weepy ending, say something unoriginal about American Nationalism, and roll credits. If you want cute, badass animals in comic form, just read WE3. It has better art, better characterization, a better plot, and less pulpit moralizing from the author.


    My Suggested Readings in Comics

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    Cait


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