Channel Zero GN
Written and Illustrated by Brian Wood
Published by Image Comics, 1997
Published by AiT/PlaNETlar, 2000
Review by L’IndÃ©pendant
Channel Zero is one of the best political graphic novels to grace the medium. Set in a dystopian New York, the US government has passed the Clean Act, effectively ridding the United States of our right to Free Speech and turning our country into a place of controlled media and information. The book is prescient to todayâ€™s era of â€˜truthinessâ€™ where anything said by any media source becomes truth without fact-checking and with little criticism and where politics are a taken as a matter of opinion and preference in the same vein.
The book focuses on Jennie 2.5, an indymedia activist accused of violations of the Clean Act and sought out as a terrorist threatening â€˜the peace.â€™ She hijacks the media with her messages against the Clean Act, and is seen by some as a fad, and others as a revolutionary. All the while, the government is on her tail cracking down and cutting off her means of relaying her message to the people.
The book opens with an explanation of the setting, and a laudatory introduction by Warren Ellis. Woodâ€™s art and story make New York City a character in this narrative, and give a wholly ominous feel to the Clean Act environment. His use of white space makes such a world feel empty, and his depictions of the city itself show how dark such a world could be.
We live now in an era of Fox News, WB and CNN, where news is chosen for us based on consumer popularity and not by its importance to maintaining our democracy and informing and educating our citizenry about the real events that affect our lives and liberties. Fox News even goes so far as to rubber-stamp most of the governmentâ€™s actions and coming up with buzz phrases via Bill Oâ€™Reilly and other pundits so that we end up fighting each other instead of uniting against the tyrants perverting and violating the Constitution. Popular media has helped many of us to agree - by choice, blind acquiescence, or futile hostility â€“ to give up our rights guaranteed by that Constitution. Channel Zero criticizes that process, and at the same time, can be seen like its protagonist as a fad and dismissed. Such efforts can be seen daily, where news of good people and their efforts to make the world a better place are blips in a stream of new stories riddled with scandals, gossip, and entertainment.
Also check out: Channel Zero: Jennie One, The Nightly News
Shoot the shit about this Throne Worthy here.
Posted originally: 2007-05-22 11:07:19