The Trump years. Oof. The rise of the proudly ignorant. A political and social nightmare the U.S. is somehow still trudging its way through, and the end results have yet to reveal themselves. It’s all quite sobering, to say the least. Thankfully, in his latest book Good on Both Sides: A (Th)ink Anthology, cartoonist/writer/producer Keith Knight serves up a collection of his single-panel socio-political editorial cartoons that combine a gut punch of reality with dose intelligent snark strong enough to put a smile on even the most jaded reader’s face.
Knight’s comics have been featured in the New Yorker, Ebony, World War Three Illustrated, and many other esteemed publications. Knight is also producer and co-creator of the award-winning Hulu series Woke and was a founding member of the hip hop band Marginal Prophets. He is also the artist behind the K Chronicles comic strip. In addition, Knight hosts workshops on racial issues, media literacy, and guidance on making a living as an artist, as noted on his website.
Like the bulk of Knight’s work, most of Good on Both Sides focuses on issues faced by communities of color. It is unapologetically and very comfortably political but so funny that it comes across as lighthearted. That’s a tall order these days, but Keef (as refers to himself on his site) tackles it masterfully. The work in Good on Both Sides: A (Th)ink Anthology takes on the re-normalization of blatant racism in American society today (as well as the more underlying racism in American society that has never wavered), colonialism, classism and poverty, the Supreme Court and its attack on women’s rights, Jon Gruden, Shitcoin, and national absurdity in general. There are also a few dog butt jokes thrown in that even your racist Uncle Mike could enjoy.
The simple single-frame cartoons look fantastic and must be seen to be appreciated. I see some old Mad Magazine influence in the art itself, but there are some modern styles in there as well. If the current state of the world has you feeling angry and exhausted, I highly recommend checking out this book for some laughs. Good on Both Sides: A (Th)ink Anthology is a quick read, it’s relevant and intelligent, and it will have your racist Uncle Mike asking, “What the fuck you laughing at, wuss?” –Buddha (Keith Knight Press, keithknightart.com)