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  June 22, 2006 | Asymmetric « Previous | Current | Next » Comments (0) | Archives | About Email lind at

This was one of those instances where the cartoon wrote itself, arising from that first quote by the Guantanamo Camp Commander. The idea of warfare being waged by prisoners who have been locked up without charge or hope for over four years and tortured is bizarre. For those who missed it, this Guardian article gives good background on Guantanamo and the American propaganda war (in a questionable PR move, they called the suicides "a good PR move").

In it, David Rose writes:

Since early 2003, when the Red Cross issued the first of many reports stating that inmates were experiencing high levels of depression, there has been mounting evidence that detention there has wrought havoc on some prisoners' mental health. It is not so surprising: most prisoners get just two 30-minute periods out of their cells - the size of a double bed - each week, except when being interrogated. Some have endured this since 2002, and have no idea when, if ever, they may leave.

By the time of my own visit in October 2003, a fifth of them were on Prozac and there had been so many suicide attempts - 40 by August 2003 - that the Pentagon had reclassified hangings as 'manipulative self-injurious behaviours'. Cannily, perhaps, it has refused to give exact statistics on how many SIBs have occurred, claiming that since the reclassification there have been (until last week) only two genuine attempted suicides.

All three [of the men who committed suicide] had been on hunger strike, with few breaks, since the middle of last summer. This meant that, four times a day, they were strapped down in restraining chairs so that they could not move their limbs and force-fed through nasal tubes, inserted and removed each time - a process the Pentagon's own court documents state causes bleeding and nausea. It is not hard to see why that may have made them depressed.

All three men, according to Lieutenant Commander Jeffrey Gordon, an official in Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's office and the Pentagon's chief press officer, had been dedicated terrorists: 'These guys were fanatics like the Nazis, Hitlerites, or the Ku Klux Klan, the people they tried at Nuremberg.'

He should watch what words he is throwing around. Why have none of them been charged after four and a half years?

The Canadian government hasn't joined the chorus of world opinion trying to get the U.S. to stop committing human rights abuses.

Attack of the Same-Sex Sleeper Cells Retailers:

Pages, 256 Queen Street West (at John). On the graphic novels table.
The Beguiling, 601 Markham Street (near Bloor and Bathurst)
Book City, three locations - 501 Bloor St. West, 348 Danforth Ave., 663 Yonge St.
Hairy Tarantula, 354 Yonge Street (near Dundas).
David Mirvish Books, 596 Markham St.

The Bookshelf, 41 Quebec Street.
Macondo Books, 18 Wilson Street

Waterloo: Words Worth Books, 100 King Street South

Kitchener: KW Bookstore, 308 King Street West

Hamilton: Bryan Prince Bookseller, 1060 King Street West

Ottawa: Collected Works, 1242 Wellington Street West (at Holland)



You can see a more extensive portfolio of my work at the blog, including This Bright Future, a distilled and partial continuation of Weltschmerz, Turtle Creek, a daily comic about a turtle and a computer, and Footprint in Mouth, a quarterly cartoon I draw for Alternatives.

Weltschmerz in Print

Weltschmerz ran in Toronto's Eye Weekly from 1997 to 2007. It ran in weekly papers in southwestern Ontario, Ottawa and Edmonton between 1995 and 2008.

Notes on Writing a Comic Strip

I wrote this 17-page, 4 MB PDF document for my workshop at the 2006 Eden Mills Writers' Festival. It details the creation of one strip and gives tips on writing comics.

Politics and Environment

Monbiot | Guardian columnist and Heat author George Monbiot's blog. Not only about global warming, but expect plenty of refutations of the flat-earthers. His writing is witty, incisive and bang-on.

Desmog Blog | An indispensible (and Canadian) resource that "clears the PR pollution that clouds climate science."


Weltschmerz playlist at CBC Radio 3 | Some of the music I listen to while drawing this comic -- independent and Canadian.

This American Life | Radio documentaries that hit the heart, brain and funny bone.

CBC Podcasts | I don't listen to much live radio. Now, podcasts allow me to catch a lot of what I miss. I listen to The Current, Ideas, Spark and Search Engine while inking.


Diesel Sweeties by R Stevens | Witty repartee between guys, girls and robots drawn in a pixelated yet surprisingly versatile style.

Scott Pilgrim Manga-style indie-rock romance by Canadian Bryan Lee O'Malley | The most fun I've had in a comic book in recent memory. Highly recommended.

Dykes to Watch Out For | Alison Bechdel's brilliant weekly strip has been ghettoized because of its gay themes but deserves a wider readership.

Doonesbury | Garry Trudeau is still great after all these years.

Kevin Heuzenga | Enviable drawing style and dry wit. Start with Time Travelling.

Graeme MacKay | The editorial cartoonist for the Hamilton Spectator has a distinctive, addictive drawing style. And he makes me chortle.

Friends and Neighbours

Blog Guelph | Hometown photos and events.

The Narrative | Riveting photoblog. Matt O'Sullivan is at the right place at the right shutter speed.

Breast of Canada | A calendar promoting women's health.

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