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Author Topic: of small interest to few..  (Read 1553 times)

Ol^ Marbles

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of small interest to few..
« on: 12 June, 2002, 10:48:02 PM »
Just noticed this exchange of letters in (believe it or not) the 'London Review Of Books'. I know its totally OT but it made me chuckle...

Nicholas Lezard's point about the more contemporary resonances of Ast?rix, and Robert Livingston's remarks about Ranger (Letters, 7 March ), remind me of the cartoon strip Union Jack Jackson, which ran in the UK comic Battle (rival to the more famous Warlord) in the mid-1970s. Jackson was a British soldier in American uniform in the Pacific, a resourceful tea-drinking hero too busy killing Japs and too loved by the Yanks to be returned to his unit.
A North American version was published in the late 1970s in War! comic. There Jackson became a cowardly deserter sponging off the martial generosity of Uncle Sam, a man who betrayed his comrades and never paid his gambling debts. In the original his friendship with Dan O'Bannon, a black soldier, was a unique example of inter-racial mateyness in British war comics; in the American version, Jackson was a white supremacist who would have been more at home in SS uniform. Dan remained, almost to the end, dutifully long-suffering, shrugging off insults that shocked white GIs, yet regularly retrieving the incompetent Englishman from death or capture by the Japanese. It is easy to see this treatment as an extreme attempt to shift blame for the US treatment of black soldiers in the war; the final instalment, with Jackson garotted by O'Bannon on the shores of Iwo Jima, could be read as a back-dated paean to the more militant forms of Black Power. The comic, which ceased publication after three years, was written and illustrated by Luke Besant, a Qu?becois nationalist who lived nearly all his life in Chicago. His other experiments in Anglophobia included an extended pornographic cartoon of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, an early (and banned) example of the graphic novel.
Yukio Ioki

Yukio Ioki is incorrect in placing the comic strip Union Jack Jackson in Battle (Letters, 21 March ). The story featured in Warlord. Indeed, the cover of the first issue of Warlord showed U.J.J. himself maniacally spraying hot lead at some unpictured assailants.

Ian Moore