Prometheus

Newsletter of the Libertarian Futurist Society

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Volume 28, Number 4, Summer 2010

Everybody is Stupid Except for Me And Other Astute Observations

By Peter Bagge

Fantagraphics Books, 2009
Reviewed by Anders Monsen

Peter Bagge’s cartoon stories make regular appearances in Reason magazine. In 2009 he collected a decade’s worth of these strips into one volume. His humor is biting, mordant, full of on-the-spot attacks on silly attitudes and posturing government apologists. Chapters range topics such as war, sex, arts, business, boondoggles, politics, our country, and more.

The art at times is crude and brash, vivid with colors and imagery. Mouths gape and eyes are bloodshot or bugged out. Arms are rubbery and absent elbows, but Bagge manages to convey in every single panel a multitude of ideas and visual gags. Many of these cartoons are actual reporting in graphic format. Bagge places himself into his cartoons, drawing in the first person so to speak, at many of the events he reports on, from visiting a Christian youth talent contest, to riding Amtrak and going through its well-documented agony of delays.

Bagge proves that reporting on serious subjects can be both tragic and comic. His panels are crammed with words that explain the issues he’s covering, setting the scene for this drawings. Comic book readers who stumble on this book will find a dose of libertarian politics, while libertarians will gain interesting perspectives through Bagge’s weird lenses.

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