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The Tin-Pot Foreign General And The Old Iron Woman


Raymond Briggs
Hamish Hamilton
                48 colour and b/w pages  

'Once upon a time, down at the bottom of
the world, there was a sad little island...'

Briggs turns political in this vicious nursery rhyme vision of The Falklands War.
In it, he fearlessly attacks the crazy mechanisms of government which pitched
two iconic figures into war over the sovereignty of an isolated, irrelevant territory
and killed an awful number of innocent soldiers in the process...

Twenty years on and Briggs' scathing work stills hits its intended target full-on.
The General (Galtieri) and The Iron Lady (Thatcher) are depicted in a lurid firework
of hot colours - wild caricatures spitting bullets, blood and brimstone. The very real
soldiers, meanwhile, have their fate depicted in stark steel toned panels - shadows,
barely discernable in the fog of reality. The contrast is abrupt, eye-opening, absoloute.

'Some men were burned alive
Some men were blown to bits
Some men were only half blown to bits
and came home with parts of their bodies missing'

In 1990 composer John Webb wrote and conducted a short orchestral piece
based on Briggs' tale. Here's his index at MUSICNOW...


  all copyright belongs to Raymond Briggs and his publishers