- Posted by Johanna on December 24, 2006 at 10:22 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: by Keith Knight
- PUBLISHER: Top Shelf Productions; $12.95 US
Keith Knight has put out a second collection of his (th)ink comics. Where The K Chronicles are multi-paneled and often biographical, (th)ink more closely resembles editorial cartoons. They’re single panels that directly address political issues. And they’re darned funny!
The material is often raw, but I can’t argue with the points made and the anger he’s expressing. I doubt any of the cartoons would convince someone who disagreed; instead, these are rallying cries, giving those upset about the US being involved in an unjust, unwinnable war, for instance, more ammunition.
The panels go straight for flesh, aiming to wound deeply, as when a homeless war vet is stepped over on the street without even being seen. Knight often directly addresses the country’s racism. Even when it’s not his explicit subject, you won’t often see strips with as many black characters elsewhere, a situation that subtly points out how whitewashed much of the comic page is. I sometimes don’t understand the references, a feeling I don’t often get in comics, but that’s another reminder of my privileged viewpoint.
The images are powerful, and they’re often necessary to make the point. This isn’t one of those “just read the words, the images are superfluous” editorial strips. Knight’s grown into being quite a talented cartoonist, and his childlike giggling Bush makes the president’s violent stupidity all the more painful to see.
Other concerns addressed include election fraud, the increasing desperation of the situation in Iraq, the racism of government officials, the media, and corporations, and oddities of black culture. This book probably sounds like a bummer, but I found it eye-opening, and there is a lot of more light-hearted material. For instance…
More information is available at Knight’s website. The book is due out in January 2007. (A complimentary copy for this review was provided by the publisher.)