Warning: The following post contains half-assed political analysis and rhetoric which may not agree with your own views, may or may not agree with those of the writer of this blog, or even be particularly accurate.
The Walking Dead, vol. 2: Miles Behind Us
by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn
Wouldn't it be great if there were no rules, if people could do what they wanted without the interference of government? After all, people are basically good, and it's hierarchy and imposed authority that are responsible for society's ills. In this anarchist dystopa, Kirkman explores this notion, ultimately rejecting it. The characters in The Walking Dead, finding themselves in a world without rules and where it's every man for his or herself, yearn for the reimposition of governmental authority. With no social structre to rely on they are at the whims of the malignant other, both ignorant and evil. Is it because they were raised in an authoritative state and are thus unable to cope with authority is removed, or does mankind need hierarchy and authority to function as a society? Oh yeah, there are zombies eating people and getting blown away too. The zombies represent the ultimate threat to an anarchist society, creatures motivated solely by their own id, the thoughtless mass that threatens the rational man. But it's the so-called rational man that is the true enemy, as human desires and petty jealousies can cause even the best intensioned to act out in manner contrary to the group, and even a temporary lapse in judgment can have devastating results. The art by Adlard & Rathburn ably illustrates the quiet, talky scenes along with the zombie brain-eating scenes. It's all subtext, baby.
Rating: 3.5 (of 5)
Everyman, vol. 1: Be the People
by The Brothers Goldman & Joe Bucco
In this political thriller, a group of politically-minded gen-x'ers form an Internet site, One Love, which seeks to galvanize people into political action in the run-up to the 2004 election. When a White House staffer uncovers a plot by the 'Birch' administration to steal the election by rigging electronic voting machines across the country, the group moves into action and exposes the treachery after the election. It is at this point that the story veers off into a progressive political fantasy, as the people of the United States rise up and demand a re-vote. Alas, as the real election just showed us, most people in this country are content to believe whatever spills out of their television set and cannot be moved to political action, or even worse be moved to support a candidate whose election would be counter to their own best interests as long as that candidate says that they share your 'values' are agrees with you on one key issue. Reading Everyman, you may come to believe that it's possible for truth to win out in the end and for The People to take back this country from the corporations and their political lackys, but it's a hollow, empty fantasy. In the real world, the forces of ignorance and apathy will always win out over a handful of idealists. Still, The Goldmans tell an exciting political thriller, and Bucco's layouts are storytelling are pretty good, even if his figure-drawing needs some work to be effective.
Rating: 3 (of 5)