Novelist, comic book writer, and also comic book reviewer for www.BrokenFrontier.com, also website marketing coach for the Online Marketing Solutions company Push Traffic dot com. Incidentally, I am also the worst writer in the world.
"Peach" has adherred to a 33-page "standard" format up until this point, though now it overflows into 44+ pages per book, beginning with this 48 page wedding spectacular! After the complete mess our resident secret Jew (who-is-also-a-nonbelieving-member-of-the-Nazi-party!), Udo, made of the local Muslim people's black stallion in issue #16, he's forced to make amends by marrying one of their girls, who, for her part, has had her eye on Udo for quite some time. And far be it for Oberst Pfirsich Rommel not to swoon at the idea of a happy couple coming together in coupling love.
Creator Donna Barr kicks off the story with an inspired addition to the wannabe Nazi character, Kjars, a knee-jerk Aryan who's passion for music attributed to "the lower orders" (black music - jazz) comes to the fore and offers an entertaining and (god forbid) BUYABLE tug-of-war between Kjars' unsupportable political beliefs and his actual love of an art form. This broadening of Kjars' character plays heavily into the proceedings when the wedding kicks into high gear, as a malicious rumor of Udo being a Jew starts winding its way through the camp, and neither the Germans nor the Muslims are one bit happy with this!
But before it all hits the fan, two dozen pages are devoted to a whirlwind of culture clashes as a wedding is held to appease (through trial and error) Muslims and Lutherans alike (I think it's Lutherans, anyway...I dunno, the Catholic and Christian divisions confuse the beejeezus out of me - I once knew a born-again gal who I asked point blank to explain the differences and break it down like a family tree kind of thing, and her response was, I kid you not - "there's only one Chirstianity", and proceeded to blink baffled back at me. So much for going to the source...one day I'll read a history book and get it straight). As usual, Barr's play on traditions and pre-conceived notions is as whimsical as it is critical, a celebration of human fraility that doubles as a compelte jeremiad against it to boot. It's a whacktastic blend that feels more real than reality, in a way, a caricature that holds solid layers of true-blue truth behind it, all impossible to ignore the way Barr maneuvers her story through it.
When rumors of Udo's Jewishness finally come to light, things get hairy, and Barr seems to finally get from off her chest all that she has to say on the topic of slander, the unthinking maligning of another without regard to the full conseuqences another will suffer due to the rumor, whether it be true or not. Talk about a subject that still pertains: DP #17 may be over a decade old, and cover a time period nearly half-a century back, but if there's one thing people consistently wipe their hands of, no matter the era, its responsibility of their own actions, the consequences they could have forseen, if only they'd bothered to think it through, only they don't, and so claim they couldn't have known, or anyway it's "THE TRUTH" as though there was something inherently virtuous in spreading around a fact that was, insofar as any man can determine, a fact, and "lies" are bad while "truth" is forever worthy, it's own reward, no matter the disastrous results of utilizing it. Da liegt der Hund begraben: "Truth", in so many things, is like the aethist's God, a thing to believe in at face value and without question. It's pure, it's "good", it's "godly", while lies are the devil, evil and scandalous. Fooey.
Kjars and his music are roped in with an enviously organic twist of plot - if only my own characters could dance around a story and a comic book page as fluidly as Donna Barr's! His own internal battle between what's "acceptable" and what calls to him naturally is mirrored to the Jew/Muslim/Catholic culture issues at hand and it ALL comes to a head with drinking, covorting, and a development with Kjars at the end which makes the entire trip seem, in Barr's own words: "If there's a lesson to be learned here...it's much too confusing for me!"
This is the epitome of storytelling done solid, intelligent, and unchained - unfettered by anything so pedestrian as editorial or audience concerns. Desert Peach #17 is an issue I'd recommend to be a first of the series for anyone, as it embodies and showcases to marvelous effect the every strength the book normally wields. An all-around compelte and exhaustive package of Donna Barr and DP, in a single issue. Es ist einfach zum Schießen!
Story - 10/10 (firing on all cylinders)
Art - 9/10 (incredible detail, wild layouts, more going on in any panel than most comics have happen in an entire run!)
Importance - 10/10 (the culmination of the past 16 issues, all be told)