Firstsecond Books (previously, publisher of In Real Life, which I created with Jen Wang) has announced a new line of YA-oriented graphic novels called "World Citizen Comics," on contemporary activist themes like "how to fight corruption in elections, blast fake news with truth-telling, and even battle would-be dictators both near and far through a better understanding of constitutions and the rule of law."
Included in the line are What Unites Us, a graphic adaptation of Dan Rather's memoir (co-written with Elliot Kirschner); Citizen Journalist, where former criminal defense attorney turned law professor Seth Abramson describes "how to ethically write and report on their world"; The Fault Lines in the Constitution, adapted from Cynthia and Sanford Levinson's accessible primer on constitutional law; The Media Adventurer's Handbook, Melissa Hart's comic about "Decoding Persuasion in Everyday News, Ads, Videos, and More"; Breaking (the) News, Jennifer L. Pozner's deep dive into "narratives shaped by news and media makers"; Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy Maplight founder Dan Newman's text on dark money and influence; and Re-Constitution, by political scientist and nation-state mediator Beka Feathers, who brings her experience in drafting new constitutions for states that have transitioned out of tyrannical autocracies into democracies to write a book explaining how the US Constitution fits in the global framework.
This is a very exciting project from a publisher with a long history of producing incredibly successful, ground-breaking graphic titles for young readers; it couldn't be more timely.
“Why comics? It’s my medium, it’s where I live,” says Siegel, who is an author and illustrator himself.this link opens in a new tab“It’s also where I see young people living and, increasingly, adults, too. We’re in a highly visual age, and the graphic novel blurs age categories, genres, and connects across all popular culture.”
“Comics are an active medium, and a creative reading experience,” he adds. “They have the power to influence actions in the world — from fan art, to cosplay, to shaping the world we live in. They do reach young people most effectively! And increasingly, the not-so-young, too.”
First Look: World Citizen Comics aims to create super-powered activists [Anthony Breznican/EW]
Dale Maharidge is a journalist and J-school professor who is dear old friends with the muckracking, outstanding political documentarian Laura Poitras. Jessica Bruder (previously) is a a writer and J-school prof who's best friends with Maharidge. When Laura Poitras was contacted by an NSA whistleblower who wanted to send her the leak of the century, she asked Maharidge for help finding a safe address for a postal delivery, and Maharidge gave her Bruder's Brooklyn apartment address. A few weeks later, Bruder came home from a work-trip to discover a box on her doormat with the return address of "B. Manning, 94-1054 Eleu St, Waipau, HI 96797." In it was a hard-drive. The story of what happened next is documented in a beautifully written, gripping new book: Snowden's Box: Trust in the Age of Surveillance.
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