Subjective Ramblings and Peripheral Thoughts from the Edges of a Comics Studies Project
About a month or so ago, Maryland-based Rosarium Publishing released APB: Artists against Police Brutality: A Comic Book Anthology, an anthology of comics and flash fiction that, as it was first described to me, was “created in the wake of the recent events surrounding the #BlackLivesMatter movement and heightened awareness of police brutality.” The volume is edited by author and Rosarium chief Bill Campbell, writer and editor Jason Rodriguez, and art and visual studies scholar John Jennings. The proceeds are donated to the Innocence Project, a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.
Although I would love to, it is not my place to review the book here, since the review copy that I requested from the publisher was for the Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art. A review – not authored by me – will appear in the next scheduled issue come spring. That said, I wanted to at the very least publish a brief post about the book in an effort to help in whatever small way I can to get the word out about Artists Against Police Brutality, a highly worthy piece of comics activism. It is, without a doubt, one of the most important publications to come out of American comics in 2015.
The bodies and violence on display in the book are a visceral attempt at showing you the impact of this violence on individuals and communities, but again, if you look deeper, you will see that APB is also a love letter–to the victims of said violence, of course, but it’s also a direct attempt at convincing oppressive systems that victims and potential victims are worthy of love, respect, and compassionl.