Last week, fully in the throes of preparation for our Women in War show, this arrived in the mailbox. Never has a press copy anticipated an upcoming show so well.
Founding members of the Hot Zone Club [Rick Veitch and Gary Erskine]
The story is pretty straightforward: five years from now, a National Guard unit is fighting an interminable war in the only barely fictional Afbaghistan. Spirits are so low that the Department of Motviation and Morale arranges orgiastic “retreats” for the sex-starved recruits. Paging through, it would have been flat-out offensive had these issues not been coming up so much in Katherine’s pre-interviews. Though it’s practically impossible to find reliable statistics on sexual assault in the military, it’s safe to say the numbers rise significantly during wartime. War turns up the heat, guests keep telling Katherine. You’re away from your family, making decisions you’d never make back home. War exacerbates everything, they say.
In an author interview near the back of the comic, author Rick Veitch insists he’s writing satire.
Usually, when a country is forced to reevaluate something as catastrophic as a misconceived war, we creative types are trotted out to explore the tragic aspects of the situation metaphorically. We… are expected to offer stories about doomed, heroic characters caught in the insanity of war. As Lenny Bruce pointed out, in normal times, satire must wait until wounds heal.
But these aren’t normal times…. Army@Love collapses the old agreed-upon timeline, skipping the schmaltz and going straight to the satire.
Rick Veitch, On the Ledge, Army@Love, 2007.