What do you do? Now imagine your neighborhood was just attacked by aerial bombers. Believe it or not, both of these scenarios are true, and happened simultaneously in Iraq. April , the United States started the invasion of Iraq. During the bombing raids, four starving lions escaped from the Baghdad zoo. Later, they were shot and killed by American soldiers.
Brain K. Vaughn and Niko Henrichon cleverly used this event to venture into their thoughts and reactions of the war in the graphic novel, Pride of Baghdad. However the book is not about lions, the zoo or even the war itself, the story covers themes of freedom and survival. Can anybody write a novel? In a few minutes, the end of a year run for the Atlanta Braves. We'll visit with baseball Alan Schwarz. But first, Pride of Baghdad. War is hell for the men and women in combat and for their families back home.
And according to graphic novelist Brian Vaughan, it's pretty grueling for animals caught in the crossfire, too. Thanks very much for being with us today. I read about it - it happened back in at the Baghdad Zoo. After a mortar attack, four lions escaped the zoo. I guess it was a pretty under-reported story here, so I'd rather not ruin it for people who haven't heard about it.
But needless to say, it wasn't happy. The way you tell the story, you use this as an opportunity for allegory. I think you could read it on one level as, you know, Watership Down or Mrs. But I was definitely more influenced by something like Animal Farm. And, you know, I wanted to use this story to talk about my own conflicted feelings about the Iraq war. There's lots of conversations amongst the lions about the meaning of captivity and the meaning of freedom.
And I sort of wanted, you know, to tell a story from the perspective of non combatants. And I think it's really hard for Americans -for any of us to sympathize with that other - you know, whether it's another race or creed or nationality.
But because animals transcend that, you know, I was hoping they would sort of bridge the emotional gap. And, you know, we can sort of sadly feel for animals in ways that we can't feel for that other.
CONAN: There's a terrific part of the novel where the lions come to the Tigris River to get a drink of water and encounter a turtle and have a long conversation about the walkers as he calls them - the men - and what it is they're fighting about.
And he doesn't know. I think most of the animals don't. And they all sort of have a different perspective about what it's about. But yeah, the turtle lost most of his family to some of the oil that was spilled in previous wars, and that's based on reality. So it's not really a, you know, paint by numbers allegory in that this is all based on, you know, real events. So I think that, you know, it's nice because people will read each of those events and hopefully bring their own perspective to it, you know, rather than having me impose my intent on them.
But it's interesting. Someone was asking if we used animals because you can get away with more violence by using animals. But I actually think the opposite is true. That if you're at the movies and you put even a child, an infant, in danger, the audience will stay with you. But if you put a dog in jeopardy, you'll just watch the audience leave in droves. And it's again we just - we feel this connection to animals because of their innocence.
So, yes, in some respects there's more you can do with animals. In other respects, there's less. You have to keep the lion part of the lions there. There's one of the lions in the story is Ali, the cub, at one point as he's going out into the world with great excitement, he says I've always wanted to meet animals my own age. I've always wanted to kill a baby goat. Soundbite of laughter Mr.
Well, it's - I like to think that there is some humor in the book as well as dark moments, so yes, there is a little bit of that. Let me ask you a little bit about the process of this. It's not your book alone. You're the writer. Niko Henrichon - I assume that's the way it's pronounced? Mm hmm. And actually, there was more dialogue to begin with when I wrote the script.
Comic-book scripts look a lot like a screenplay, where you describe all of the action as well as all of the dialogue.
Although they will die because of the bombs, nobody thinks about that. As a Western reader, you may end up dismissing the death of Iraq civilians, either because you are now used to seeing war in the Middle East and are thus desensitised to it, or because you may view non-westerners as second class citizens which can happen even subconsciously. America has thus destroyed the old regime, and while obviously they did it for their own reasons, they still gave freedom to the people of Iraq. Satrapi, dissatisfied with representations she saw of Iranian women in France, decided to challenge them.
Satrapi, dissatisfied with representations she saw of Iranian women in France, decided to challenge them. Pick it up and give it a try. I think most of the animals don't. As we look deeper at the story, we come to realize that it tells us more than a simple fable or its real event.
War is hell for the men and women in combat and for their families back home. Although we can find the first impressions about the characters through the first few chapters, this book shows us the effects of those impressions on the individual characters--prejudices of the characters. Brian is the scribe responsible for Ex-Machina, which blows the doors off The Watchmen as an attempt to portray superheroes in a real world setting.