Attitude 2: The New Subversive Alternative Cartoonists Paperback – February 1, 2004
by Ted Rall (Editor)
The first collection sold more than 8000 copies in the US and it’s back for more! Featuring interviews and cartoons by Shannon Wheeler, Alison Bechdel (Dykes to Watch Out For), David Rees (Get Your War On), Aaron McGruder (Boondocks), Keith Knight (the K Chronicles) and 16 others with a slant on satirizing our everyday life.
From Publishers Weekly
This sequel to the popular collection of syndicated alternative cartoonists features 21 more artists of all styles and opinions. Many will be familiar to readers of weekly or even daily papers, like Aaron McGruder (Boondocks) and Max Cannon (Red Meat); others, including Emily Flake and Tim Kreider, are still building venues. Controversial syndicated cartoonist Rall deftly scoured the alternative press for this group and conducted short, entertaining interviews with each cartoonist, included here. Beyond introducing regional talents like Flake and Kreider to a larger audience, the book also encapsulates an, er, attitude prevalent in today’s syndicated comics: humor is a constant, but these days it’s strongly laced with sarcasm, cynicism and a certain amount of neurosis, perhaps more now than ever before. The other trend is a strong retreat from drawing as an end in itself. These cartoonists are, generally, writers who use the medium to get across verbal puns or simple, angry screeds, regardless of visual style or any other comics-based concerns. However, there’s plenty of talent on display. That David Rees (Get Your War On) only uses clip art for visuals doesn’t detract from the cleverness of his dialogue and the poignancy of his themes, while Keith Knight’s crude but exuberant cartooning enhances his articulate, if loud, opinions. If this collection’s work is slightly uneven, that’s a function of its subject matter. This worthy compilation of cartoonists who otherwise wouldn’t be seen outside of their local weeklies showcases the continuing vitality of comics as social criticism.
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The first Attitude (2002) presented 21 cartoonists whose maverick views of society regularly appear in alternative weeklies, and editor Rall, himself a prominent alternative cartoonist, has had no trouble finding another 21 for a second helping. Whereas the artists in the previous collection concentrated on political issues, many in this batch, such as Shannon Wheeler and Marian Henley, eschew politics for milder social commentary, though their gentility is offset by Neil Swaat, who portrays the mishaps of “Mr. Wiggles,” a child-molesting teddy bear. Several cartoonists present gay perspectives, and Tak Toyoshima’s “Secret Asian Man” tackles Asian American issues. As for politics, David Rees’ “Get Your War On” juxtaposes bland clip art with lacerating critiques of the war on terrorism (see also the collection, Get Your War On, 2002), and Aaron McGruder, the big success of these 21, brings a mocking dose of anti-Bush invective to mainstream daily newspapers in his strip Boondocks. Rall’s interviews with the artists are short but incisive; his subjects speak with the most point and eloquence in their work. Gordon Flagg
Ted Rall is a nationally syndicated political cartoonist, columnist, graphic novelist, editor, author and occasional war correspondent.
Twice the winner of the RFK Journalism Award and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, Rall’s important books include “Revenge of the Latchkey Kids,” about the travails of Generation X, and “Silk Road to Ruin,” a survey of ex-Soviet Central Asia. He traveled to Afghanistan during the fall 2001 U.S. invasion, where he drew and wrote “To Afghanistan and Back,” the first book of any kind about the war. He was also one of the first journalists to declare the war effort doomed, writing in The Village Voice in December 2001 that the occupation had already been lost.
Paperback: 127 pages
Publisher: NBM Publishing (February 1, 2004)
Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 8.4 x 10.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces