As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial: By Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan, 220 pgs. By Will Kwiatkowski

Aug 18, 2008

This graphic novel is all about the environment and how we humans interact with it, but it is not the typical lightweight faire. This is hardcore environmentalist material, scoffing off efforts such as recycling and solar power. If you’re not a radical, these guys do not approve. This is an angry and unapologetic book that shuts down all those who do not think in line with the protagonist and her friends. At the same time, the style of drawing is very cutesy with characters looking, at times, like they came straight off a lunchbox. This makes me wonder who they want for an audience. Aliens, politicians, activists, hippies, businessmen, and nature are all represented in caricature, and the subject matter turns quickly from dismissing popular current half-assed "green" ideas to suggesting some fairly extreme action. This book reads like propaganda at times, and while I think it makes some decent points on our current state and the whole hipness of going "green," the calls to violence are unnecessary and a little frightening. –Will Kwiatkowski (Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts St., New York, NY, 10013)

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