|by Kent Worcester||Summer 2016|
English anarchism has produced a number of fine cartoonists, including Clifford Harper, John Olday, Paul Petard, and, arguably, the artist Hunt Emerson and the writer Alan Moore.
|by Kent Worcester June 16, 2016|
[This interview was originally published in Left History, vol. 18, no. 1 (2014).]
Phyllis Jacobson (1922-2010) and Julius Jacobson (1922-2003) were socialist activists in New York City from the mid-1930s through the first years of the twenty-first century. They were members of a radical generation that came of age during the great depression and embraced the language of socialism, communism, and Marxism. They were also the children of working class Jewish immigrants who grew up in the city’s outer boroughs. For their parents, the First World War, the Bolshevik Revolution, and the general strikes and mass uprisings that convulsed many countries after the war were all recent events. The near collapse of the global economy in the early 1930s confirmed for many of their cohort the basic assumption that capitalism was inherently impermanent. Adopting a socialist outlook in a period characterized by social upheaval and economic crisis was easy; the challenge had to do with selecting a suitable group or tendency from a fissiparous menu of options.
|by Kent Worcester December 12, 2015|
Red Rosa: A Graphic Biography of Rosa Luxemburg, Kate Evans, Verso, 2015, paperback, $16.95
Capitalism and Climate Change: The Science and Politics of Global Warming, David Klein (author) and Stephanie McMillan (editor and illustrator), Amazon digital services, 2015, eBook, $2.95
Gene Basset’s Vietnam Sketchbook: A Cartoonist’s Wartime Perspective, Thom Rooke, Syracuse University Press, 2015, paperback, $24.95
My War, Szegedi Szüts, Dover, 2015, paperback, $12.95
The graphic lit juggernaut rolls on. Even as DC and Marvel crank out superhero comics at roughly the same pace they have for the past twenty or thirty years, trade publishers and university presses are issuing nonfiction narrative art on a scale that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. Back in the day, the four books under review would have represented a significant percentage of like-minded cartooning to appear in any given season. Now practically every publishing house under the sun boasts a new graphic novel line or at very least a fistful of titles aimed at the words-and-pictures market.
The Hidden Story of Wonder Woman
|by Kent Worcester||Summer 2015|
Wonder Woman was not the first female superhero, but she is the best known of the modern-day costumed heroines. Armed with indestructible bracelets, her Amazonian heritage, and a “magic lasso,” the character’s inaugural debut came in the pages of All Star Comics #8 in December 1941; a month later she was showcased on the cover of Sensation Comics #1.
|by Kent Worcester||Winter 2015|
The cartoonist Will Eisner used to say that there are two kinds of comics, entertaining and instructional. Over time, he speculated, instructional comics would become the more popular of the two, as teachers and everyone else finally figured out that comics convey information more efficiently than ordinary prose. Eisner passed away in 2005 but presumably would have regarded the past decade’s outpouring of graphic nonfiction as confirming his thesis.
|by Kent Worcester||Summer 2014|
The gifted political cartoonist Phil Evans passed away earlier this year in the seaside town of Hastings, England. He was 68.
|by Kent Worcester||Summer 2014|
For many years the dominant trend in scholarship on C.L.R. James has been to emphasize his cultural and literary writings. Arguably the most popular way to frame his legacy has been to situate him as a forerunner to cultural studies, post-colonial studies, and identity politics. Grant Farred, for example, has criticized “earlier modes of James studies” that addressed “debates that occupied sectarian James scholars” and welcomed “the centrality of cultural studies within James scholarship,” while Brett St. Louis has argued that the “march of identity politics and post-modernism” is “irresistible,” and that James’s work is of value precisely because it “grapples with a proto-post-marxist problematic.”
|by Kent Worcester||Winter 2014|
With this issue of New Politics, “Words & Pictures” marks its tenth anniversary. From the outset, NP’s editors hoped that this back-of-the-book feature could showcase the work of interesting political cartoonists, past and present, and add a touch of visual interest to the magazine. The feature was introduced just as the magazine itself was undergoing a comprehensive makeover, starting with cover art by Bob Gill and, more recently, Lisa Lyons.
|by Kent Worcester||Winter 2014|
The dramatic implosion of the Socialist Workers Party (U.K.) has provoked an outpouring of analysis, debate, and sectarian invective, most of which has appeared online rather than in print. Socialist Unity, Weekly Worker, Soviet Goon Boy, and Links: International Journal of Socialist Renewal have all published exposés and polemics on the party’s shameful mishandling of accusations of rape and sexual predation on the part of a leading member, who is referred to as “Comrade Delta” in party documents.
|by Kent Worcester||Summer 2013|
The Marxists Internet Archive project recently uploaded the complete run of Labor Action, published by the Workers Party and its successor, the Independent Socialist League, between 1940 and 1958, as well as the Militant, published by the Socialist Workers Party.
An Interview with Lisa Lyons
|by Kent Worcester||Winter 2013|
Which came first, your interest in politics or your interest in cartooning?
They actually began together, when I was 13 or 14, with a badly drawn, over-the-top, heartfelt diatribe against my mother’s consumerism. Even though I was just a white, middle class teenager in Connecticut, I was indignant about inequality and injustice.
How did you get started as a political cartoonist?
|by Anthony Romero, Kent Worcester and Mark Dow||Summer 2004|
This is a lightly edited transcript of an interview conducted by Mark Dow and Kent Worcester with Anthony Romero in April 2004 in his lower Manhattan office.
New Politics: Yesterday during the September 11 Commission hearings, when he was defending some of the Patriot Act measures that have been criticized, Ashcroft said that a lot of what the Patriot Act did was simply to extend measures that were already in existence.
Anthony Romero: Patently false.