Despair Suicide Despair


May 3, 2009
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Last week, on April 30, it was 34 years ago that the North Vietnamese troops entered Saigon, which was later renamed Ho Chi Minh City in honor of their great leader. And so after many years of war they were finally united, free and independant. It's interesting that everything started with a war to gain independance from the French, the same kind of war that was the origin of the United States. Because after all, isn't freedom something everyone wants? And at the beginning the US stayed indeed away from the war but then helped the French troops.

But this couldn't avoid that on May 7, 1954 the Viet Minh defeated them in the final battle of Dien Bien Phu and ended the time of French colonization. But what else could you expect from a great strategist like Vo Nguyen Giap who read The Art of War. 2000 year old principles beat modern technology. And in the Vietnam War they showed again, that they're able to defeat even the most advanced military. They didn't need thousands of helicopters to support their troops, just a bunch of trails.

When I created this strip I had to find a fitting food the Vietnamese would bring to the soldier. My first thought was of course Minh so what could you do with Minh? Mint. And what do they eat a lot in those regions? Rice. So I got mint rice. And then the next challenge: Does trice mean anything? Of course, it fits perfectly! And the best thing would of course be if mint rice even existed as a speciality of Vietnam so... wikipedia and... wow. That's a moment where I like to use this extremely cool sounding word: serendipity.

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