Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Comics: Bronx Angel--Politics By Another Method (Page 11)

Bronx Angel: Politics By Another Method, Page 11
Click here to see this page at full size.
Well.  This is the typical liberal critique of conservative voters--that conservative voters tend to vote for people who don't act in the best interests of their constituents.  That these same voters, the ones who actually rely on so many national-level federal programs, are nevertheless the first to jump to the defense of the "cut spending at any costs" crowd.  I don't particularly want to get into the rights and wrongs of that critique right now; my point is merely that it exists as a point-of-view, that it's the point-of-view of most of the liberal New Yorkers that I know.  At the time that I wrote this, it struck me that it was these same folks who were both voting for the War in Iraq and volunteering to fight it.

The flip side of that, of course, is that Congress voted overwhelmingly to give President Gorge W. Bush authorization to conduct the war, and there were many--like then Senator Hillary Clinton from NY--whom we typically think of as liberal who nevertheless voted for invasion.  So in dragging out what is a standard liberal argument as part of this scene, I should certainly have had Angel use a few more facts in his rebuttal.  Having him go straight to an emotional response turns him into a bit of a Straw Man, and that's unfortunate.  Of course, it makes sense from a storytelling point-of-view in that Angel isn't a guy whose gut reactions are necessarily intellectual, but still.

In the original, 135-page version of this story, this argument plays out over several scenes, one per issue.  In both versions, the purpose of these scenes was to frame the action thematically, but with only 67-pages in the final version, I think we only get into this once now.  That's probably a good thing.

Last note: I actually started working on this story back in 1999 when I was stationed in Korea.  At that time, my father was first starting to suffer from the effects of the alcoholism and PTSD that eventually took his life, and then as now, I wrote about stuff like that in order to get it off my chest and/or organize the thoughts in my head.  Anyway, I conceived this story as a kind of deconstruction of the Robin Hood legend, starring a Scottish knight with PTSD who'd come back home to find his country a wreck.  There was a whole bit there about the rise of Christianity in Scotland and how that might have played out against the backdrop of the country's then more-traditional pagan beliefs.  I wrote maybe thirty pages of that, but it was missing something, and I didn't realize what that something was until I got to New York a few years later and started working in the Bronx.  Then I re-set the story in the Bronx, and off we went.

My point is that in the original version of the story, our college liberal here, Shirley, eventually kind of falls for Angel.  And then I think I wound up developing her father into an FBI agent for the planned sequel to PBAM, which I called To The Victor Go The Spoils, with the idea that he'd be doing Robin Hood-type vigilante work in the Bronx, basically robbing from the rich (i.e. drug dealers) to give to the poor, and that would make him a target of the FBI.  But that never really materialized, even in TVGS.  It was just a concept that wound up getting left on the cutting room floor--which is why I'm bringing it up here.  TVGS ended up being about...  Well, we'll have that discussion another time.

No comments:

Post a Comment