Pride of Baghdad
In his award-winning work on Y THE LAST MAN and EX MACHINA (one of Entertainment Weekly’s 2005 Ten Best Fiction titles), writer Brian K. Vaughan has displayed an understanding of both the cost of...more
Notes: A kind of cave allegory on liberation, it has high fantasy elements, reflected in war-torn Baghdad’s unearthly terrain.
Start with some factual errors, such as antelopes being kept within sight of lions, sea turtles living in the Tigris, and zoo birds (which would have had flight feathers clipped) simply flying to ...more
Pride of Baghdad is the story of four lions who escaped from the Baghdad zoo after a bombing raid and was inspired by actual events. It probably goes without saying it didn't end quite as well as The Lion King . . .
Although I was totally crossing my fingers that the male lion would have a voice like Scar . . .
I was hoping the combination of a graphic novel (a/k/a pitcherbook) and the use of animals rather than people to tell the ...more
I found "Pride of Baghdad" while browsing the graphic novels at the library. It was inspired by the true story of four lions who escaped the Baghdad Zoo during the invasion of Iraq in April 2003.
We see the bombing from the point of view of the lions. When the war started, the keepers fled the zoo, and the animals who survived the bombs suddenly found themselves free. But one of the older lions is worried about the dangers that lurk beyond the gates. ...more
Haunting allegory. I don't know whether to cry or rage.
I'm going to get political for a second. When I was in college, the university did this public installation with little white flags planted in perfect rows in the crisp green grass. The flags stretched for acres and acres, one flag for each Iraqi civilian needlessly killed during wartime. There were thousands. Walking among the nameless dead was harrowing to say the least. That's when I lost respect for my country.
So while this haunting ...more
I love the art work. This is a brutal story with heart. I love that the animals tell their own story. A group of 4 Lions are in the Baghdad Zoo when the Iraq War started. The chaos in the zoo is done well in this book.
There is a scene in a palace that take my breath away with the art. I wonder if that is acurate? This is another tell showing us the horrors of War and all the casualties that happen anytime we start killing each ...more
I held this graphic novel back from that mailing for a few reasons. First, I didn't want to send something with a political message without having read it first. Second, I'm always on the lookout for new books for middle school boys ...more
It's not even that there' so much anything wrong with Brian K. Vaughan's WE4. Really, the thing is just rather, well, slight. Shave off 75% of its page count and toss it ...more
A modern fable set at the beginning of the American led invasion of Iraq, it was inspired by a true story of the fate of the animal abandoned in an Iraqi zoo. Some of animals escaped while their caretakers fled to escape incoming American forces.
I REALLY liked this graphic novel. And after Vaughan's gratingly sexist "Y: The Last Man", I thought maybe Vaughan and I were having a falling out. But this just CLICKED for me. The characters - the story - how heartbreaking it was. It does end up alluding to rape (can we ever not use that plot device) and it gets political, but I enjoyed myself f quite a lot.
Soon it became a holocaust story : war, struggle for survival, rape, torture and violence. Especially violence among animals.
It aims to be a parable about life during wartime.
To me, it only succeeded partially in its aim. Because even if you take away the war, the story could have been pretty much the same.
To me, it's not the masterpiece others claim it to be. It's not Maus, by far not.
It begins with the Highway of Death,
with an untold number of ghosts
wandering the road at night, searching
for the way home, to Najaf, Kirkuk,
Mosul and Kanni al Saad. It begins here
with a shuffling of feet on the long road north.
This is the spice road of old, the caravan trail
of camel dust and heat, where Egyptian limes
and sultani lemons swayed in crates
strapped down by leather, where merchants
traded privet flowers and musk, aloes,
honeycombs and silk ...more
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In 2003, four lions escaped Baghdad Zoo during the USA's bombing of Iraq. Vaughan and artist Niko Henrichon embellish the tale, but despite the relatively short length it's a fairly tedious read. The various animals in the book were given very human-sounding voices that contradicted their animalistic nature.
The book also falls short thematically. The ...more
And she likes reading graphic novels and has enjoyed everything she’s read from Brian K. Vaughan. So when I came across this book, I knew I had to get it for her.
She read it and enjoyed it. Now I’ve read it. And I enjoyed it too. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever read, but to be honest not many books are. This would have been a great and thought provoking story if they had used real people, in ...more
BKV's work has been recognized at the Eisner, Harvey, Hugo, Shuster, Eagle, and British Fantasy Awards. He sometimes writes ...more