Comic artist Nate Powell is best known for his collaboration with a true hero of recent American history: John Lewis, the recently deceased activist and congressman.
While working on the civil rights movement series March, Lewis became Powell’s friend and political inspiration. The US cartoonist now wants to pass this on to his daughters and raise them to be fair, political people in the heated, increasingly hateful American present.
He chooses “Save It for Later” for his narration (Translation Christian Langhagen, Carlsen, 160 p., 24 €) the form of coherent comic essays and, for his daughters, the original form of humanized animal figures that presumably protects them from too much publicity.
The Powells do not live in a left-liberal bubble, but in the middle of Trump country, so that at the latest with his election victory in 2016 the parents are under pressure to explain: What does the omnipresent Confederate war flag mean? Do you have to be afraid of the police? Are you allowed to impersonate the “bad guys” while playing?
Powell often changes the tone, from poetic to angry to thoughtful, and weaves different levels of time to illustrate his own learning processes.
Even going to the hairdresser becomes a political issue
The medium of comics is very suitable for decoding the background of various symbols of the radical right, but Powell’s approach also reaches its limits – at least for most German readers, for whom many aspects of the complex American present probably require explanation. A glossary provides translations of the many protest signs shown.
Powell graphically captures the charged mood of the escalating culture war – against a pitch black background, radical right-wingers aggressively politicize even going to the hairdresser in the midst of the corona pandemic: “Cut my hair now!!”
At the end, Nate Powell also tells a touching and empowering story – that of his daughters, whose energy gives a boost to the family’s political activism.
Such civic energy will be necessary to save US democracy from Trump and his Republican cronies, who are preparing a quasi-legal coup with an authoritarian sense of power – and who will not shy away from renewed political violence.
Source From: Tagesspiegel