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By Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, Boston*

George Bernard Shaw once said if you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh otherwise they’ll kill you.

John Helmer’s The Complete Dances with Bears Comic Book sets out to do just that about Russia’s post-Soviet Oligarchs and their British and American paymasters. And in the process he pulls the sanctimonious veil from their naked frauds, larcenies and warmongering. But Helmer’s political truth goes much deeper than just ridicule as it expands into the kind of black humor we once enjoyed from Doctor Strangelove. His caricatures read like an illustrated bulletin board of the FBI’s and MI6’s Most Wanted Men (and Women). But Helmer’s characters are NOT the liars, thieves and murderers the FBI wants arrested—but the criminals they WANT running Russia for a blotter of incredibly corrupted Western Oligarchs. Reading The Complete Dances with Bears restores fond memories of Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club and MAD Magazines and sunny days in Harvard Square. Helmer’s savage satire adds new life to an old tradition of twentieth century graphic humor and intellectual freedom, only now it comes as a necessary curative to a fetid politically correct culture choking on the Purity of its own Essence.

Everyone of note from Barack Obama to Rupert Murdoch to Michael Bloomberg falls under Helmer’s magic pen as he parodies the twisted personalities that reign over the exceptional nation we now call our homeland. But it is his special attention to the absurdities of a few of the American empire’s more notorious Eastern European clients that caught our eye. And it will help Americans to understand the origins of the West’s failing narrative—especially as it applies to America’s favorite partners in crime – Ukraine and Poland – and likewise their joint enemy Russia.

Zbigniew Brzezinski’s face glowers from the pages as he faces off against his evil Svengali twin demonstrating the true power of the man who hypnotized President Carter into authorizing a covert action to lure the Soviets into Afghanistan.

The legacy of Brzezinski lingers in the pages that surround it as Barack Obama is joined in the cockpit of a passenger liner by CIA Director John Brennan, Hillary Clinton and Victoria Nuland (dressed as Marvin the Martian) as they plot out danger for flight MH17 in the skies over Ukraine.   

Donald Trump makes an appearance as a blind man led by a blind dog while Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum and her Polish politician husband Radoslaw Sikorski dance the two step, feet in mouths and tongues tied over the myriad lies they’ve told about Russia. Helmer gives us a short, informative historical rundown on the ethnic Galician background of Sikorski, the Polish Pope Karol Wojtyla and Brzezinski and their reputation for selling its native Russophobia to the highest bidders in Washington and Ottawa.  And we need to hear about it.

All in all, Helmer’s The Complete Dances with Bears Comic Book is a comic tour de force— witty, at times angry and deadly revealing of all the things the mainstream media won’t tell you. Helmer functions as a modern day bard whose words are intended to snap the king from his imperial dementia and bring him back to his senses, laughing all the way.  

George Bernard Shaw would approve of John Helmer’s vision. The time has come for the rest of the world to approve it too.

[*] Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are the authors of  Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story(2009 –AmazonCity Lights) and Crossing Zero: The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire (2011–AmazonCity Lights). The Valediction: Three Nights of Desmond,(2021–AmazonTrineDay.com ). Visit invisiblehistory.com  and valediction.net for more information.  The Voice , an esoteric novel, was published in 2001. Visit grailwerk.com for more information.

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