Comic book artist David Mack discussed how his real-life travels and humanitarian work at refugee camps influenced his new work that deals with the American intelligence community. Mack told Ian Punnett he was hired by the U.S. State Department as a "Comic Book Ambassador" and sent to countries such as the former USSR, North Africa, Tunisia, Libya, and Singapore, and tasked with working with "at-risk youth" to keep them from joining radical and terrorist groups. He and his writing partner, Brian Michael Bendis both formerly worked at Marvel Comics, but are now producing a serialized graphic novel (entitled "Cover") for DC Comics based on their experiences as artists working as intel assets.
While in Tunisia, Mack says he rode in "a bulletproof car" and "interacted with a variety of people" conducting storytelling, writing, and art classes. Mack was quick to point out that the vast majority of Tunisians he met were "just wonderful normal people" who were interested in popular artistic traditions from all over the world, including Japanese manga. He also participated in a local comic-con event which was raided by extremist elements in the government. Being cagey and careful about what he thought he was allowed to say about the situation, Mack described his efforts to help with the release of those who were detained and some who were actually beaten while in captivity. Mack also said that the scenes in the original Star Wars movie that were filmed in Tunisia (standing in for the desert planet of Tatooine) were actually based on a real city in the country named Tataouine, and that the architecture and way of life practiced there was closely mirrored by the filmmakers.
He has also been tasked to bring artistic ambassadorship to the former Soviet satellite country of Georgia, using his State Department credentials and connections to assure the people and the government of the country that the US is a strong supporter of their continued independence from Russia. As in Tunisia, he also concentrated on younger individuals, because he said "these people are going to be the movers and shakers" in the future of the country. He said that the Russian government still routinely move fences on the border in order to intimidate and harass. Ian hinted that many people he knows who are working for the U.S. State Department are actually working for, or on the behalf of, the CIA.
Biblical Artifacts From the Time of Jesus?
In the first hour, Egyptologist David Elkington discussed 2000-year-old metal books which some experts say contain the original teachings of Jesus. Elkington says a chemical analysis has been performed on the books which, due to the nature of impurities in them, dates them definitively around the generally accepted time of Jesus’ life. He also pointed out that the books have seven seals on the side, which may have been referred to in the biblical book of Revelation. Elkington concluded that "these books have appeared at the exactly the right time in history" to help humanity, because of the dangers of international upheaval and worldwide religious fundamentalism.
News segment guest: Patrick Hammer