Wednesday, August 19, 2015


I'll admit this right out of the gate - I don't feel comfortable criticizing someone's 9/11 memorial and benefit comic. All I can really say in my defense is that Joe Michael Linsner's 2002 reminiscence of the events of the year previous is an experience which deserves to be documented and commented upon, and also that at least I'm not so tacky as to wait for September to talk about it.

The book, for the most part, catalogs Linsner's experiences and perspectives in the days following, and flashes back to the day of the attacks itself. Like many of us, he was asleep when the World Trade Center was first hit, and received the news secondhand. Then there came the difficult job of processing the loss and the sense of invasion, the gathering with friends, and acclimating one's self to the different ways in which others dealt with the news.

And then there's the all-important sixth stage of grief, throwing in an unnecessarily bolded and accentuated aside about a GAY dude's ASS ...

Why those words are bolded and called out so strongly is particularly odd, but it's the sort of construction which, for many people, happens unconsciously. You have certain attitudes and predilections which lend you to add undue importance to the other-ness of people not like yourself. It's something done by many creators who find themselves asleep at the wheel...

So as to contextualize the shock and sorrow at the sight of the Twin Towers on fire, it's phrased in a way that we can all find ourselves familiar; when a girl breaks a man's heart. That's certainly what I walked away feeling at the time, that this was exactly like the time a girl I liked didn't like me. But lest you think that's a frivolous comparison, please keep in mind that he never felt that way over no woman.

And then, of course, there's the use of poetry - metaphor and turn of phrase - to deal with complicated emotions. I bring you, then, this:

" human cold cuts in a concrete sandwich of death" is what they used to call me when I sang the blues.

The book then swerves into a dream sequence apocalypse which, you know, isn't terribly out of place in the Dawn books. I'll also admit that I absolutely lost the plot at this point.

Still, to give credit where credit was due, the book apparently raised a significant amount of money for the American Red Cross, which is frankly where these sorts of literal memoirs do the most good and is more than this blog ever did for charity, really. You could also buy prints of the cover of this book to hang on your wall, proceeds of which I assume also went to the Red Cross, because who wouldn't want to look at the burning Twin Towers every day of their goddamn lives?

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