- Posted by Johanna on April 22, 2006 at 4:37 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: by Jen Sorensen
- PUBLISHER: Alternative Comics; $12.95 US
Jen Sorensen is deeply concerned about the mismatch between the crazy behavior we’ve come to accept as normal and what America should stand for. She’s mad about the distractions government serves up in lieu of handling real problems. She’s disturbed by how odd our popular culture can be. So she draws cartoons, because making fun is her catharsis.
Her primary warning is that “fighting terrorism” should not be a blanket “get out of jail free” card. We need to examine the decisions that are being made under cover of the desire for security. That’s not her only topic, though — she’s also taking on the sheep-like following of “what’s hip”, the hypocrisy of the rich, the lack of sympathy and empathy for others, the ubiquitousness of marketing, an entitlement culture, and the failure of the media to cover stories of significance. She’s skilled at extrapolating trends into ideas that are completely outrageous but not that far removed from reality. They make the subtext prominent and thus ridiculous.
Sorensen’s recurring characters are back again, including Drooly Julie, who exists solely to ogle men. It’s refreshing to see such a blatant portrayal of unapologetic female sexuality. It’s rare to see female lust, let alone to have it caricatured in a meaningful yet funny way. Mr. Perkins, the man with a head that looks like a loaf of French bread, returns playing other roles, including the President.
Ultimately, her argument is against ignorance. There are too many stupid people out there paying attention to the surface instead of the content. She argues for basic values that our culture seems to have lost sight of, like honesty, tolerance, and respect for all others. Money shouldn’t be the only thing that matters.
Her previous collection was titled Café Pompous. Sample comic strips can be read online, and her publisher, Alternative Comics, has a website. There’s an interview with Sorensen online, and she’s also interviewed in the book Attitude: The New Subversive Political Cartoonists. Sorensen has contributed to the following anthologies: 9-11: Emergency Relief, Dignifying Science, and The Great Women Cartoonists, among others.