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The Wednesday Waffle - Issue Seven: Pushing an Agenda

As we established last week, politics has always been a part of comics. So now, let's take a look at some of the comics currently available that tell stories from a political standpoint.

Although before we start, a caveat. There is an issue of inherent bias in comics - and most areas of creative and artistic expression - that I think has probably always existed, and certainly exists today. The kind of people who dedicate their lives to such pursuits tend to lean to the left of the political centre, which means comics (and movies, and TV, and so-on, but comics in particular because they are such a maverick medium and they tend to attract rebels) also tends to be slightly left leaning.

That's not an absolute, of course. You only need to look to such giants of the industry as Frank Miller and Steve Ditko to find creators who lean to the right, but they are very much in the minority. This means that all the comics that will be discussed today come from the left of the political spectrum. Believe me, I looked for more right-leaning work that I could recommend, but what I found was, frankly, not very good. (We may touch back on that later...) Desties is always open to suggestions however, so if you know of something we've missed, let us know.

But for now, let's get started with a comic that not only began as a reaction to political events in the United States, but wears its political zeal very firmly on its sleeve with recommended reading lists and op/ed pieces at the back of each issue.

So imagine, if you will, an authoritarian fascist regime taking over the U.S. Presidency. Yes, we know, incredibly far-fetched, but that's the premise of Matt Pizzolo's Calexit.

In reaction to this the state of California secedes from the Union - or at least the progressive city bits of California do. The more right wing areas remain loyal to the Federal Government and right-wing militias form to resist California's resistance.

All of this, sadly, is all too plausible. Indeed, since the election of the 45th President of the United States, a movement called Yes California has proposed exactly such a Californian exit from the Union, or a "Calexit", if you will, with the predictable negative response from the more conservative rural regions of the state.

Pizzolo's comic is a thoughtful response to this "Calexit" idea, but - and this is important - it's also a gripping read. This matters because you can be as on point with your politics as much as you like, if your comic is bad, well then it's still a bad comic.

Another title that examines the stark differences that currently divide American society but also manages to weave a compelling human story is Ales Kot and Danijel Zezelj's Days of Hate from Image Comics.

The backdrop is somewhat similar to Calexit - it's 2022 and a right wing authoritarian administration has taken control of the United States Government provoking violent resistance and equally brutal retaliation.

The story though is much more personal and in many ways it's less clear who the good guys are.

We open with a couple investigating the firebombing of a g