The super special September issue of VICE was exclusively culled from the archives of Bob Guccione Sr.—the legendary magazine publisher who built a media empire that started with Penthouse. This portion of the issue features artwork originally published in Guccione’s science and science-fiction magazine OMNI.
Nick Gazin’s Comic Book Love-In #94
Hey, comic book lovers!
You’ve probably noticed a lack of comic columns on VICE lately. I’m sorry about that; my computer broke, and I got bronchitis. Anyways, here is my weekly column about comics, art, nerd stuff, and paper goods.
The old newsstand at the Lorimer subway stop has been taken over by a store that sells zines, comics, prints, and other stuff. This is a cool, weird thing that somewhat makes up for the great stuff that’s disappeared from the city in recent years.
Keep on trekin’…
Check out this old Scientist records’ album art.
It Don’t Gitmo Better than This – Molly Crabapple’s Account of Her Journey to the Dark Heart of Guantanamo Bay
A T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan IT DON’T GITMO BETTER THAN THIS is perhaps the definitive physical manifestation of globalization. Sewn in Honduras and sold by Jamaican contractors on land rented from Cuba, the shirt celebrates an American prison holding Muslims who’ve been declared enemies in the war on terror. It’s a popular item in the Gitmo gift shop (yes, Gitmo has a gift shop), displayed next to the stuffed banana rats and shot glasses engraved with GUANTÁNAMO BAY: DIVE IN.
Built in 1898, the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base looks like a US suburb. There’s a McDonald’s, a Subway, and even a Christmas parade. On Halloween, military members dressed as zombies complete a 5K run. Winners of the Mr. and Ms. Gitmo Figure and Fitness Competition arch their backs on the cover of the Wire,the base’s in-house magazine. The Team Gitmo outdoor movie theater screens all the big blockbusters (when I visited it was World War Z), and in the evenings, visitors can eat jerk chicken next to swaying banyan trees, get drunk at O’Kelly’s (“the only Irish pub on Communist soil”), or sing karaoke.
But since the Joint Task Force (JTF) arrived in 2002, Guantánamo Bay has been home to the world’s most notorious prison.
Gitmo’s prison camps were built, in principle, to hold and interrogate captives outside the reach of US law. Nearly 800 Muslim men have been imprisoned since it opened, and the vast majority of them have never been charged with any crime. Since he was inaugurated in 2008, President Obama has twice promised to close Gitmo, but 166 men still languish in indefinite detention. It is a place where information is contraband, force-feeding is considered humane care, staples are weapons, and the law is rewritten wantonly.
Nabil Hadjarab arrived at Gitmo 11 years ago, in an orange jumpsuit and a diaper, his head covered by a hood, eyes blinded by blackout goggles, mouth gagged, and with headphones blaring white noise into his ears.
This Slaughterhouse Mural Is Really, Really Creepy
Photos by Nate Miller
Some tours of L.A. stop in a sketchy industrial area called Vernon to show people the bucolic murals on the walls of a Farmer John pork processing compound called Clougherty Packing Co. This is where the famousDodger Dogs come from. They also convert pigs into stuff like morning sausage and sliced ham for various West Coast grocery store chains.
When you see it from your car, the mural is a shock to the system. It’s clearly a slaughterhouse and covered with artwork that looks like the painted backgrounds from Hee Haw. Which is partly because the piece is an incomplete work called “Hog Heaven” by the TV set painter Les Grimes, who died in a fall while finishing it in the 1960s. It has since been completed and retouched by painter Arno Jordan and other visionaries through the years at the request of Hormel Foods Corporation. It has also gone off the rails, sanity-wise.
These cartoony pigs are pretty close together, as I assume they really are on the other side of that wall. Though I’d imagine the seven thousand real pigs inside that building are probably smiling a lot less.
One of the many painters who’ve taken a crack at the mural over the years had a tendency to make their faces much too human. Like this terrifying lil’ guy.
Molly Crabapple Draws Guantanamo’s Camp X-Ray
Camp X-Ray is the first place that the US held detainees in Guantanamo. Captives lived there for four months in 2002 while the military built permanent prison camps.
Prisoners lived in open mesh cages under the brutal Cuban sun. Their cells had no running water. Guards gave them two buckets: one for water and one for shit.
The classic photos of GTMO, (dogs, marines, hooded captives in orange jumpsuits) were taken here. With its watchtowers, clapboard interrogation huts, and rings of barbed wire, X-Ray looks like nothing so much as a concentration camp in the Caribbean.
X-Ray has been empty for over a decade. Birds nest in the razor wire. Vines overtake former cells. Miles away, 104 prisoners are hunger-striking. Forty-four are being force-fed. Many of them first came here through X-Ray.
My press escort hates when the media uses images of X-Ray to sum up GTMO. X-Ray, she says, was very long ago.