As expected with an anthology focused on political discourse regarding the Occupy protests, there are varied approaches and observations here that provide many perspectives. The three perspectives or approaches that caught my attention were J.M. DeMatteis‘, Joshua Dysart‘s, and Matt Pizzolo’s.
DeMatteis’ Occupy Comics piece, That Which is Most Needed, takes a decidedly philosophical approach to explaining and understanding the Occupy phenomenon. At the heart of his observation and reaction to the Occupy protests is a rather simple message – a loving heart.
Sharing one of the principles of the Buddha, DeMatteis presents the one view that typically becomes eschewed when examining a progressive or radical reaction to society’s condition. He warns against demonizing those the Occupy movement protests against for risk of finding themselves losing the argument or the moral high ground.
Artist Mike Cavallaro takes very simple scenes and breathes an interesting and surreal sort of life into them by making DeMatteis a walking, talking narrator, humanizing DeMatteis’ essay. This provides an interesting segueway into the next piece from Occupy Comics that caught my eye.
Joshua Dysart, one of the most politically engaged comic book writers that I know, subverted some interesting symbolism possibly borrowed from former President Bush’s war on terror in the form of playing cards for his Casino Nation, Pt.1, co-written with Kelly Bruce. This Occupy Comics piece eschews traditional cartooning art to provide readers a veritable who’s who in the banking collapse.
Allen Gladfelter’s art provides a grim, stark feel as Dysart and Bruce provide a simple telling of the facts, which ultimately speak for themselves with veritable information that has been lost in the 24-hour news cycle. This piece provides some excellent research on the matter and does it more objectively and factually than any of the major news organizations would be inclined to do.
Not surprisingly, Matt Pizzolo’s piece Channel 1% perfectly captures his irreverent and acerbic wit in regards to politics. Often times, I believe the media tried to paint the Occupy protests into one idea or political leaning rather than draw parallels with the common threads captured in most segments of society.
Pizzolo takes his own personal observations, which he characterizes as biased, and shows a new kind of understanding when comparing the Occupy movement to the Tea Party movement. The insight from his piece is to essentially get out and see these sorts of movements with your own eyes and ears rather than accept the filtering of the media.
Pizzolo wisely points out that major media is the 1% and quite capably influences how the Tea Party and Occupy movements are initially discredited and then vulnerable to being co-opted. He aptly points out that “The revolution has been televised. That’s the problem.” Cleverly illustrated by Ayhan Hayrula, Channel 1% ends the story segment of Occupy Comics #1.
While some of the pieces in Occupy Comics #1 fell a bit flat, or in some cases lengthy in rant, I would recommend this as whole for people interested in what this movement really looks like. Ninety percent of all media is owned by six major corporations with some major agendas for growing that market share.
Objectivity or insight on a movement that threatens their very existence isn’t something you can count on. Occupy Comics #1 engages and invites discourse. Give it a shot.