Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
The government of South Korea has a wee problem: Nobody believes them any more, at least when it comes to their account of the sinking of a patrol boat last March. According to polls, over half of South Koreans in their 20s don’t buy the official explanation that the boat was sunk by a North Korean torpedo. So what’s a beleaguered government to do?
Make some comics! As Bloomberg News reports, the government of Lee Myung Bak has released a 32-page comic about the incident, featuring a journalist who is investigating the story and discussing it with his fiancee. Here’s some sample dialogue:
“When it comes to security issues, I wish that all people would speak with one voice,” says a survivor of the sinking depicted in the comic strip. “The people should love and trust us in the military.”
As that sparkling bit of dialogue indicates, this comic is about as well done as most government propaganda comics, and it’s about as well received, too: Rather than stirring up support for the government, the comic appears to be resurrecting memories of the not-so-distant past, when South Korea was a military dictatorship and such propaganda was the norm.