Liberals often have their way in the realm of entertainment, dominating film, television and music.
The graphic novel realm can also lean left, but that didn’t stop the creators of The Forgotten Man. The new graphic novel, from Amity Shlaes and Paul Rivoche, tackles the Great Depression from a center-right perspective. The black and white book argues that the New Deal effectively prolonged the country’s economic hardships.
The duo chatted with Ed Driscoll about their project, and the conversation soon shifted to the culture wars. They argued that liberty loving artists must take a stand with their work.
MR. DRISCOLL: Amity, I don’t really follow the graphic novel industry. Are there left-leaning equivalents to your new project?
MS. SHLAES: Oh, absolutely. Our book’s pretty free-market. Forgotten Man is a free market concept. But I first noticed Howard Zinn, the progressive historian, had a graphic novel, [A People’s History of American Empire.] And it was quite successful. Teachers were teaching it in high school. College students were reading it. Adults were reading it. They were trying to ‑‑ you know, Paul used the word “gateway”. And another artist said well, comics are a gateway drug to content. The ’30s and economics, those are difficult topics, but somehow through comics you can ‑‑ you can grapple with them and come up with your own solution.
Howard Zinn was succeeding massively with his cartoon history of the U.S. empire, and I said well, we’ve got to get in here too and draw our cartoon, and let people choose. The medium cannot be ruled by artists, as wonderful as they are, who only have one point of view, which is more to the left or progressive.