Magazine article New Internationalist

Alice in Latasica; Pulp Cookies; Sea of Icebergs (A Campaign Comic on Debt)

Magazine article New Internationalist

Alice in Latasica; Pulp Cookies; Sea of Icebergs (A Campaign Comic on Debt)

Article excerpt

THE 1980S WERE SO PROMISING. OKAY, THEY STARTED ALITTLE SHAKY, BUT BY THE END OF THE DECADE...

WE WERE DOING ALL RIGHT. HAD THOUGHTS OF STARTING A FAMILY. SELLING UP, GETTING SOME PLACE 'BIGGER. THE COLD WAR WAS OVER.

LIFE WAS CALMER. WE WERE, WELL...SETTLED. COMFORTABLE. KNEW WHERE WE WERE GOING.

THEN IT ALL WENT WRONG. THE COUNTRY SLID INTO RECESSION. UNEMPLOYMENT WAS NO LONGER ASTRANGE WORKING - CLASS DISEASE. WE WERE NOT IMMUNE.

HE LOST HIS JOB. THEY CALLED IT 'DESIZING'. I TOOK A WAGE FREEZE. THE BOTTOM FELL OUT OF THE HOUSING MARKET. WHO'D HAVE BELIEVED IT?

WE CUT BACK. CANCELLED SUBSCRIPTIONS. SOLD THE FREEZER. WE COUNTED THE PENNIES AND PAID AS WE WENT.

HE TRIED TO SET UP ON HIS OWN. FREE - LANCE. BUT IF THERE'S NOT THE WORK ABOUT...

NUTZ! THE BANK'S PULLED THE PLUG ON OUR OVER DRAFT.

D'YOU WHAT!?

TWO MONTHS AGO.

AND THERE'S ANOTHER REMINDER. WE'RE ABOUT TO DEFAULT ON OUR MORTGAGE.

OK, WE'LL TALK WHEN I GET BACK. ALREADY LATE FOR THE WELFARE.

WE'RE IN TROUBLE, JACK.

I KNOW. COULD BE AS MUCH AS TEN GRAND!

URGH!

JUST ONCE I'D LIKE TO START THE DAY WITHOUT BEING REMINDED I OWE THE WORLD + HIS WIFE AN ARM + A LEG!

OH LA LA! YOU THINK YOU'VE GOT PROBLEMS!?

SORRY, JACK?

DOWN TO YOUR LAST BMW, OR AM I PITCHING TOO HIGH?

JACK? ARE YOU STILL THERE?

YOU WANT TO TALK MONEY PROBLEMS? TRY ONE TRILLION DOLLARS!

TRUE, IT'S HALF THE SIZE OF THE USA'S NATIONAL DEBT, BUT UNLIKE YOURS + THEIRS, IT'S NOT OF OUR OWN MAKING.

WE GOT SUCKED IN BY YOUR BANKS. OUI, AND OUR LEADERS.

THE ENTERPRISING EIGHTIES, REMEMBER, WHEN MONEY MEN CONQUERED THE WORLD WHILE POLITICIANS COVERED THEIR FLANK.

NOW YOU PAY, EH? SISTER, WE'VE ALWAYS PAID!

WHOW!

ONLY NOW WE PAY IN FLESH + BLOOD STONE + SOIL, FLORA + FAUNA. WHAT ELSE IS LEFT?

OWH!

OOH!

DAMN!

WHAT THE...!?

ALORS, SO THERE YOU ARE!

WELCOME TO THE SOUTH, TO LATASICA.

LAND OF SAND, SEA + EXOTIC AD LOCATIONS

WHERE MOST FOLK THINK A COCKTAIL IS THE ASS END OF A CHICKEN... THE PARSON'S NOSE... MEAT!

SOMETHING THEY DREAM ABOUT.

WHERE PARADISE IS A DAY NOT SPENT LOOKING DOWN THE BARREL OF AN AUTOMATIC.

AND WHERE ALL YOU SURVEY IS IN HOCK TO YOUR NORTHERN BANKS FOR LIFE!

I'M SORRY. I....I DON'T UNDERSTAND.

COURSE YOU DON'T, SISTER. THAT'S WHY YOU'RE HERE. TO MEET GENERAL ALI ARAP RIPOV.

BUT...

MAY I INTRODUCE OUR EX - DICTATOR.

YOWSER! I'D SEEN THE MOVIES, WORN THE T - SHIRT, LIVED UNDER COLONIALISM. I WANTED FLASH CARS, BIG HOUSES, BOOMING BUSINESS, MEGA INDUSTRIES...

I JUST WANTED TO BE LIKE YOU, BOO, HOO...

THINGS WERE TOUGH FOR LATASICA DURING THE EARLY YEARS OF OUR INDEPENDENCE. THEN THE PRICE OF OIL ROCKETED IN 1973 AND IT GOT REAL TOUGH..... EVEN FOR YOU LOT!

WHAT DO WE DO WITH IT?

INVEST IT, BOZO, AND LIVE OFF THE INTEREST!

GO SOUTH, YOUNG PIRANHA.

BANK IT, BOZO, AND LIVE OFF THE INTEREST!

SUDDENLY I HAD BANKERS FALLING OVER THEMSELVES TO MAKE ME AN OFFER I COULDN'T REFUSE.

A FREE CADILLAC WITH EVERY LOAN.

REAL EASY INTEREST RATES PLUS A FLEET OF CADDIES!

SHINE YOUR SHOE FOR YOU GENERAL? NO OBLIGATION...

Y'MEAN Y'DON'T WANT TO CHECK MY CREDIT RATING OR HOW I'M GONNA SPEND IT?!

WOULDN'T DREAM OF DOUBTING YOUR INTEGRITY, OLD CHAP...

NOT WHEN YOU'VE GOT SUCH AN ENDEARING WAY OF KEEPING YOUR PEOPLE IN LINE...

BESIDES, WHO'S EVER HEARD OF A COUNTRY GOING BROKE, WHAT!?

SOME JOKE, HUH...

JEESH. MY BANK CHECKS YOUR BLOODCOUNT AND CRAWLS THROUGH YOUR KNICKERS DRAWER BEFORE LENDING A BIRO!!

AAH, HAPPY DAYS. WE CAME BEARING BULGING BRIEF - CASES....

AND LEFT A LITTLE HEAVIER!

WITH WHAT'S CALLED FLIGHT CAPITAL

PARDON?

PAYOLA, KICKBACKS, BRIBES DESTINED FOR HIGH INTEREST OVERSEAS ACCOUNTS.

THEN THERE WERE THE TOYS FOR THE BOYS...

HEY! …

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