Occupy Comics #1 Review
By: Rob Neil Gruszecki
What began as a protest in New York 2011 quickly birthed an international movement, countless initiatives and an important moment in this generation, one that highlights financial disparity, anti-egalitarian policies of those in power and their blatant disregard for the well being of our fellow kind. A myriad of voices gathered in an effort to bring light to the unstable environment perpetuated by a disproportionate distribution of wealth and power manufacturing an abusive and doomed hierarchy.
Of all the things that the Movement has brought, the most important and significant is the strength of the individual voice. In a widely encompassing umbrella that houses Occupy, an opportunity for all impoverished, disparaged or simply discontented is laid out that advocates debate, thought, enlightenment and public forum to share and connect.
What Blackmask Studios has put together in Occupy Comics Issue Number 1 is exactly that. A forum for people to shout their ideas to one another and be heard over the dissonance of corporate media, the incessant hum from countless talking heads responsible for economic crashes fueled by greed and the shrill hum echoing out of the mouths of those that simply spread hate speech and counter-productive messages of Objectivism.
With a collection of fifteen short stories, illustrations and prose pieces we get a representation of several of these ideas and philosophies from creators such as Alan Moore, David Lloyd, Ales Kot, Charlie Adlard, Douglas Rushkoff, Dean Hashpiel, Art Spiegelman, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Ben Templesmith, Joshua Dysart and many more. Within each unique and entertaining story we get a very wide array of creations from articles about the comic book as an art form intrinsically geared for dissent and satire to comics about change, truth, rebellion and ultimately hope.
The highlight of the whole collection is a six-page comic from J.M.Dematteis and Mike Cavallero, one that acknowledges the movement as a much more expansive idea than simply 99% versus the 1% but instead as a plea for simple common decency in the world. The story shares a deeply humanistic and compassionate message portraying and celebrating the potential of humankind as a species, our capability and often failure to simply “Be kind”. What the mash of ideas and opinions stewing about in the haze of protest and global news coverage all share is a desire to be treated with respect. Something that often gets buried beneath anger and the mayhem of the 24-hour news cycle.
A production this unique and important doesn’t come around that often, much like Occupy itself, and within the page of Occupy Comics we are treated to a wide variety of thought provoking, poignant, informative and beautiful expressions of talented individuals all asking for equality and more kindness in the world.
“There’s only one rule that I know of babies: ‘God dammit, you’ve got to be kind” – Eliot Rosewater
Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician, podcaster and Wednesday Warrior
Dear Ghost Factory. What Should I Read? Comic Reviews & Weekly Comics Round-Up Podcast at www.Geekstampede.com