Crimbo idea for the training wheels leftie in your life

A few years ago I received John Lee Anderson’s epic biography Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life in my Christmas stocking and to be honest, regardless of the detail and it’s billing as the seminal work on a figure I’m reasonably interested in, I just never had the time or dedication to finish it.

This year I’m setting the bar a little lower and hoping someone dear to me will splash out on Spain Rodriguez’s graphic novel Che: A Graphic Biography.

I’m sure some may think a ‘comic’ on the life of a major leftist icon seems a little trashy or cheap but this comes from the pen of the man that brought us, possibly the first (only?) Marxist comic book superhero, Trashman. It’s bound to be worth a read for those that share the twin youthful delights of comics and socialist politics.

  • Mark

    What age are you? Would you ever grow up?

  • Ann

    Doesn’t appeal to me Mark. I’m looking for a few vouchers for massage at OMNI, where they heat up the medicated oils from India in a frying pan. They even give you slippers, and heat up the towel, and you can get a shower after wards. It’s magic, I can see it now.

    Ahhh 🙂

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “A few years ago I received John Lee Anderson’s epic biography Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life in my Christmas stocking”

    I watched it, it was a very well made film.

  • Mark McGregor


    You sound like my wife.


    You sound like my wife too.


    I’m talking about books not movies, you don’t sound like my wife.

  • Ann

    Mark we wimmin are all the same?

    What are you getting her? Are you tempted by the massages at omni?

    fess up.

  • percy

    I’m Brian and so is my wife.
    The Life of Brian.

  • I got two thirds through and I am one deicated Guevarista.

    Exploring Cuba on Honeymoon was much more fun. I’ll give your recommendation a road test and let you know.

    Hasta la victoria, siempre!

  • Aghh!

    What is wrong with people? Why on earth do you think comics are ‘youthful’ or that somehow a work that is produced through the medium of sequential art is of a lower quality?

    Few works on Palestine in any medium can touch upon Joe Sacco’s ‘Palestine’. Art Spiegelman’s ‘Maus’ is a masterpiece. So is Persepolis. More recently, something like Brian K. Vaughan’s ‘Pride of Baghdad’ is probably the best fictional work on the Iraqi invention published in the West.

  • Mark McGregor


    Sorry if it read like an anti piece, it wasn’t meant to be. I was suggesting it as an alternative that I, and it seems Conall too, would be interested in over a heavy and unfinished pure text biography.

  • eleanorbull

    “This year I’m setting the bar a little lower”

    Tough work, given the obnoxious sexist, racist little bastard who is the subject material.

    Read the exploits of the Angola adventures, where he liked to f*** wogs.


  • pith

    Talking of eejits in berets, there’s another one at number 42 in the Belfast Telegraph’s online archive of ‘Troubles photos’.

  • Mark McGregor

    “Read the exploits of the Angola adventures”

    If you are going to repeat right wing fantasies I’d suggest reading about the area you are claiming to know about. Angola? This spin and biased translation of a sentence relates to the Congo.

  • pith


    Could you explain where this right wing fantasy has come from and what is the detail on the biased translation?

  • nineteensixtyseven

    I had book vouchers to spend yesterday and was looking in the Latin America section for something on the new left Pink tide but it was all very new and expensive. There was a pretty nice collection of Che photos but I passed in favour of Eric Hobsbawm’s autobiography and Leszek Kolakowski’s “Main Currents of Marxism”.

  • The Raven

    I’m with Niall on this one.

    Actually, if you want social commentary, pick up a copy of “The Walking Dead”. Or indeed, “V for Vendetta”.

    Or anything by Frank Miller – especially the Dark Knight trilogy, or Sin City.

  • Driftwood

    ‘Watchmen’ anyone

    Does anyone think Robbo in his red beret would make an iconic T-shirt image?

  • What is with the SDLP and Marxism on this thread? I saw that comic book recently but never bought it. Given Miller’s politics, not sure his books are the audience Mark is talking about.

  • The Raven

    Aye, Gari, you’re right. Just making the point for the non-believers, though.

  • eleanorbull

    “Angola? This spin and biased translation of a sentence relates to the Congo.”

    Stumpy was a sexist, racist wee bastard everywhere he went.

    But you’re right. I’ve managed to conflate eoisodes from the “Congo Diaries” with “The Cuban Intervention in Angola, 1965-1991: From Che Guevara to Cuito”.

  • nineteensixtyseven


    We exist, heh. Really though, I am a History student with an interest in 19th century Europe so to understand Marx, Marxism and Marxists is key to viewing that period to challenge both the liberal orthodoxies and be critical of Marxist historians such as Hobsbawm and EP Thompson.

  • Fair enough 1967. It’s hard not to view C19th Europe through the prism of class politics. I like Robert Gildea’s Barricades and Borders quite a lot myself. Hobsbawm is great, Thompson a bit of a bollix.

  • BTW, isn’t the Green Arrow a Marxist, though not in Smallville?

  • Harry Flashman

    Ernesto Guevara was a murdering psychopathic thug of exactly the same type that invariably rises to the top during revolutions. Like Lavrenty Beria and Robespierre he is the sort of ghastly character whom you would normally cross the street to avoid but who skilfully exploits the chaos of revolution to indulge in their self indulgent fantasies at the cost of thousands of murder victims.

    Such lowlife are always hanging around the fringes of extremist organisations, you will have met them frequently if you have ever been involved in politics, generally decent people can spot them and avoid them as the creepy weirdos they are but very occasionally one of them strikes it lucky, Guevara was one of the lucky ones, the Bolivian army did the world a favour.

    In a sane world one photograph would not transform such a scumbag into an icon, unfortunately we do not inhabit a sane world.

  • Harry, shame you’re married. You and Eleanor would be perfect for each other.

    And Robespierre was heavily involved in sociability of the type typically involved by those of his class before the Revolution. And can you spot the type of people you are talking about by looking at them, so you cross the street? If you think so, perhaps you can revivify the science of measuring criminal skulls etc.

  • Garibaldy, whether Green Arrow is a Marxist at least according to the website:

    Mark, that’s fine. Slight overreaction from myself. I’m just amazed at how the medium is viewed sometimes.

  • Cheers Niall. Miller has him as one in the Batman things two, but I didn’t know if that was just him.

  • “training wheels leftie”

    Any type of ‘leftie’ advocating revolutionary politics has still got the training wheels on.

  • Including Fidel Chekov?

  • Contemporary.

  • Contemporary with Che or contemporary today? You are aware, I assume, that Fidel is still kicking about, and writing some of the best analysis of current affairs there is, including some excellent material on the damage caused by biofuels to the world food supply, and environmental issues.