When you look at the names on the cover of this book, don’t be ashamed if your eyebrows go up.
From the beginning, Occupy Comics wages war on your expectations. It is exactly what you think it is, and you expect to be insulated from its expected message, but the razor-sharp delivery of focused bursts from some of the best creative minds in the industry makes that impossible.
Each of the vignettes contained within the pages of this anthology approaches the movement from a different angle, addressing the central issue of many who followed the movement from afar, which was its inability to articulate a single, easily understandable motivating force. The structure of this book deals with that by making it clear that this was a movement driven not by an overarching central idea, but by a hundred different ideas that finally found a voice.
DeMatteis and Cavallero’s “That Which is Most Needed” cries for justice but without malice. It begs for sensitivity and compassion with a combination of word and art that is both simple and elegant, like its message.
That message is simply this: Be Kind. DeMatteis sees the vitriolic nature of the discourse surrounding the movement and realizes that there is common ground to be found if only people would stop shouting at each other. It is a plea that, if answered, could turn our fractured voices aimed in anger at one another into a powerful chorus of change.
This is not to say that the book is without its due share of righteous fury. Ben Templesmith’s characterization of finance is horrifyingly educational and blunt in its indictment. Matt Pizzolo and Ayhan Hayrula’s “Channel” distills the information overload from “The Nightly News” into just three pages, but those pages expertly lay out the obscene level of control which corporations have achieved over our society’s collective consciousness.
More than anything, what this first issue of Occupy Comics accomplishes is to illustrate the diversity of opinion that composes the movement. It goes that there is room in this big tent for every idea, every philosophy, every approach, and all that is asked is a focus on making things better. It asks that we look within ourselves and ask Am I satisfied?, and if the answer is No then it implores us to act.
Live. Love. Engage. Occupy.