As we approach the 1oth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, there still exists an almost complete blackout in mainstream media of the voluminous forensic evidence that demands an immediate and independent new investigation of that fateful day.
Enter “The Big Lie” a new comic book dealing with the September 11th attacks from the vantage point of a time traveller who has returned on 9/11 to try to warn her husband and avert the catastrophe. We here at We Are Change Atlanta were fortunate enough to be granted an interview with one of the creators, Rick Veitch, who partnering with other concerned artivists at “Truth Be Told Comics” promise to continue to ask the Big questions and tackle more of the ‘The Big Lies’ of our time with their graphic novels.
We Are Change Atlanta (WACA): First of all I would like to say having read “The Big Lie” that you have done a great service to our Country and to the memory of all the lives lost because of 9/11 by creating this work. Obviously with the 10th anniversary of the attacks of September 11th a little over a month away. The release of your book is rather timely. What inspired you to create “The Big Lie” and what would you say are your intentions with this work?
Rick Veitch (RV): Personally, I’m hoping the comic book will find its way into the hands of folks who don’t normally think about these things. The whole event was so traumatic, you can’t blame people for wanting to put it behind them. But there are huge gaps in the official story and we, as a nation, need and deserve answers.
WACA: To my knowledge this is the first comic book to take a critical look at the evidence that calls into question the government’s versionof events of 9/11 according to the 9/11 commission report. Did you encounter any resistance in getting this work published or from within the comic community?
RV: No resistance at all. Quite the opposite in fact. Image Comics has been extremely supportive.
WACA: 9/11 is a very sore subject for a lot of americans, and more often than not , unfavorable conversation. But you’ve done a great job of taking a very sensitive subject and putting a very entertaining and thrilling storyline, while simultaneously educating the audience to the massive issues with the “official conspiracy theory of 9/11″. Did you find it difficult to write? How did you approach the other artists about creating the comic?
RV: Our first attempt was a much more straight propaganda, similar to what Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz did with their BROUGHT TO LIGHT book in 1988. Our first draft had a narrator ticking off the facts, page after page. But then we decided a more entertaining approach might work better. So we embedded the information we wanted readers to consider into a drama structured like an old Twilight Zone episode where a person goes back in time to save a loved one and change history. Interestingly, I just read where Stephen King has used the same device for his new book on the Kennedy assassination.
WACA: Who are some of your influences and inspiration as an illustrator and writer? Do any of these individuals share a similar concern with the government’s version of events that you are aware of? Are there any other notable creatives in your field that do so and are willing to speak out that you are aware of?
RV: My influences are as wide and deep as the comics art form itself. I’ve spent a lifetime soaking it all up. And I’ve been blessed to have met and worked with many of my heroes. But I can’t speak for anyone but myself.
WACA: You’ve managed to address some of the most glaring issues with the “official” version of events in “The Big Lie” were there any points you wish you had space to cover but were unable to do so due to the constraints of the story structure or otherwise?
RV: We didn’t have room for anything on the Patriot Act, which severely curtailed our freedoms in the wake of the attacks. And we couldn’t begin to follow the slimy money trail that leads in and out of 9/11. Hopefully, if we get to do further issues of THE BIG LIE we can get into both those worthy subjects.
WACA: If the American people were to demand a new investigation of 9/11, a common criticism we receive in our activism is that the government is not very good at investigating itself and when it does so, historically it usually either absolves itself of any alleged crimes or finds convenient scapegoats in the form of either patsies or CIA sponsored boogeymen. What would be required for a new investigation to be successful and to actually lead to some type of reform of the system in your mind?
RV: Obviously its got to be some sort of independent investigation; although who knows how such a thing could be structured. Perhaps it would need to be chaired by the United Nations? I’m certain someone within our government knows exactly what happened on 9/11. Maybe it will take a brave whistleblower like Bradley Manning or Daniel Ellsberg to get the truth out there.
WACA: What can the average American do to hold their local representatives accountable to these questions?
RV: Keep asking. And avoid getting into the on-line battles with trolls who routinely shout down any questions about the official government story.
WACA: What are your plans for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this year?
RV: I’ll probably think wistfully about how much we’ve lost because of the events that day.
WACA: It appears that 9/11 Truth has reached a tipping point in the collective consciousness. Were you surprised to see your book covered by mainstream media such as the Huffington Post and USA today? Are there any other major media outlets you anticipate will cover the debut of “The Big Lie”, or do you have a wish list of particular outlets or reporters you would like to discuss your book with?
RV: I was very surprised how quickly we caught the attention of the mainstream media. It was also gratifying that the Huffington Post broke their on-going moratorium of the subject to cover us.
WACA: I was surprised that comments were allowed on 9/11 at all on either site. With Huffpo going so far as to pull Governor Jesse Ventura’s article mentioning the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth and Building 7 after only 6 hours on the site approximately a year and a half ago, to their now allowing over 800 comments on their article discussing “The Big Lie”. This is a major achievement for establishing a more even playing field in regards to discussing these issues. Seeing this trend expanding beyond the 10th anniversary what do you anticipate will happen as more American’s become aware of the glaring contradictions and omissions of the 9/11 commission report?
RV: I agree with Abe Lincoln. ”You can’t fool all the people all the time.” All across the board, there seems to be a horrendous disconnect between what American citizens want and need and what our government is actually doing. I don’t think things can go on the way they have. I’m a firm believer that the truth will ultimately come out.
WACA: Do you feel the assimilation and purchase by major media monopolies of both Marvel and DC comics has impacted the ability of comic book creators to discuss political topics from a divergent perspective than their parent companies might approve of?
RV: I’m not a big believer in media conglomerates’ commitment to a better world. But in terms of Marvel and DC squelching ideas, I’d have to say it’s not as much as you might think. First off, both Marvel and DC are based in New York City, and from my experience, most New Yorkers want to forget about 9/11 and get on with their lives. Secondly, they make big bucks doing superhero genre stuff. The problem is superheroes are empty calories that clog up people’s minds and keep them from getting too deep into important issues. Still, if either of those companies could figure out how to make a profit doing political comics they’d be pumping them out.
In my own case, I did CAN’T GET NO, a 9/11 themed graphic novel, at DC/Vertigo. And later did a satirical anti-war series called ARMY@LOVE for them. My editors, Karen Berger and Pornsak Pichetshote, were very supportive of those titles.
WACA: Are there any films, books, or other media that you would recommend for anyone wanting to develop a more informed perspective on the attacks of September 11th?
WACA: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us. We are very thankful that there are still non conformist artists in this world willing to speak out about the most crucial subjects of our era and to utilize their freedom of speech to foster dialog and discussion about said matters. Do you have any parting words for your audience?
RV: I’ll leave with a quote from UNCLE SAM, who serves as the narrator to THE BIG LIE: “Lies are like unwashed socks. They come in all sizes and stink to high heaven.”