Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: The Desert Peach

Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Desert Peach

And now for something a little different. I don't know how many of you are familiar with the work of Donna Barr, but she is the creator, writer and artist for "The Desert Peach" and also for "Sintz". Her work is in heavy black inks, and all done in black and white. It is also heavily stylized, but bursting with energy and fun. And she can draw feet. Beautiful feet as a matter of fact. Pretty horses too.

The idea behind the Desert Peach, is that he is the younger gay brother of Erwin Rommel, the reknowned Desert Fox of Afrika Corps fame during WWII. Frankly, you wouldn't think a book about Nazis could be funny, but it is. It also combines some hilarious and scathing political commentary.

This is Manfred Phirsich Marie Rommel.

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As you can see, he's awfully pretty. And there is just something about a man in riding boots.


Anyway, he's the Colonel and commanding officer of te 469th Halftrack, Gravedigging and Support Unit for the Afrika Corps, which is under the command of his famous brother Erwin in 1941. The 469th is a bit of an...oddball unit to say the least, basically staffed by all the misfits and oddballs it can find. You have Doberman, who is basically delusional, who carries a live land mine around with him at all times that he's named "Fridl" There is Udo Schmidt, who is the Peach's Orderly, who it turns out is the ONLY actual party member in the entire unit, and he only joined when he was a teen because they were giving out free beer. There is Kjars Winzig, who is the self-appointed "Political Officer", who goes around handing out copies of "Mein Kampf", but never actually JOINED the Nazi Party, because they required you to pay dues.

And so on and so forth. The have a captured American prisoner named Jeff Holz, who is from Milwakee and speaks lovely old-fashioned German. He gets put in charge of writing the Unit's newspaper, and keeps trying to sneak pro-Allied propaganda past Pfirshich. It never happens, but he keeps trying. He shares a tent and ends up being best friends with the slightly rabid Kjars Winzig. They have a Catholic chaplain, who finds it annoying to try and deal with a bunch of Lutherans, but he manages to cope.

Being gay, Pfirshich is always in danger from the SS and the Powers That Be in Berlin, since they don't approve of such people. His brother manages to keep him out of trouble to a certain degree, and Pfirshich also manages to look out for Erwin, who may a great general, but who had a certain degree of naivetee when it came to Hitler. The Author doesn't shrink from confronting the tough questions, but still manages to present her characters as decent human beings, who have move in common than not, with their enemies. Donna Barr goes from the palmy early days of the war, right through the defeat and devastion of Germany, and on after the war.

However, along with the tough political and moral questions, she also adds a great deal of charm and wit to the book. There is a scene in one of the early stories that has the two Rommel brothers surfing on coffin lids in the Mediterranean, looking for Allied submarines that will have you choking with laughter.

A warning is necessary, this is NOT for kids. And it is definitely twisted and unnusual. But funny. DAMNED funny.

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