Sheep of Fools: A BLAB! Storybook

Overview

Sheep Of Fools describes the desperate and cruel economic phenomenon of "live transport" (sheep being transported across oceans to be slaughtered), orchestrated by Sue Coe's powerful images. Coe's true 'yarn' harkens back to the beginning of the Wool Mart (the basis of England's medieval trade, and a foundation of its later world-class Empire) through which the British refined their Parliamentary system, its rules, and dispersal of power. Today, sheep used to produce Australia's wool (descendants of those who ...
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Overview

Sheep Of Fools describes the desperate and cruel economic phenomenon of "live transport" (sheep being transported across oceans to be slaughtered), orchestrated by Sue Coe's powerful images. Coe's true 'yarn' harkens back to the beginning of the Wool Mart (the basis of England's medieval trade, and a foundation of its later world-class Empire) through which the British refined their Parliamentary system, its rules, and dispersal of power. Today, sheep used to produce Australia's wool (descendants of those who voyaged from England in the late 18th Century) voyage again: stacked and tightly packed in tiers on ancient freighters, without food or water, journeying for weeks until they reach Middle Eastern ports. Their destination: ritual slaughter and muttonhood. That woolen muffler will never look the same, after Sheep of Fools.

Fast forward past the Renaissance; the British Empire branching had claimed Australia's virgin soil for convicts and sheep ranching. Conditions were most fortunate, despite a dearth of rain. The sheep were fruitful, multiplied, then shipped off to Bahrain (and other Mid-East ports of call that wouldn't take sheep frozen but must import their sheep alive, across the vast, deep ocean).

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Longtime activist illustrator Coe has produced a striking new work. In a storybook format, Coe details the horrific conditions of the sheep industry. The book begins with a series of annotated songs complete with rhyming couplets: "Song of the Medieval Shepherd," "Song of the Venture Capitalist" and finally "Song of the Modern Shepherd," all describing the processes and economies behind the slaughter of sheep. The middle section is taken up with the gory details of the ocean and land transportation of the herds, including near-Biblical accounts of sinking ships and tens of thousands of drowned sheep. The last stop is the slaughter and serving of the animals. Coe accomplishes this narrative through layered, exacting images that combine a precise attention to detail with an expressionistic sense of mood and composition. All the facts are there, but radically enhanced by Coe's empathetic brushstrokes. The only thing hindering this book is the writing by Coe and coauthor Brody: the rhyming couplets fade in and out throughout, and the prose is somewhat overblown and precious, as if trying to compete with, rather than complement, the art. Nevertheless, few people will feel like chowing down on a lamb kebob after reading this book. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560976608
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 11/14/2005
  • Series: Blab Bks.
  • Pages: 32
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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