Saturday, March 13, 2010

Holidarity Part I: Nine Ladies

By Paul Walker
Flimsy Rockets

We’re all going on a summer holiday, to a site protesting the building of a quarry (or a road, or a super market), and it’s not summer. But you go anyway! Or at least Walker does in this comic telling about his experiences visiting the protest camps near Nine Ladies in Derbyshire.

In this case the protest is about the destruction of a forest to create a quarry to mine stone to build fast food restaurants. Isn’t capitalism awesome? Using simplistically drawn cats and some killer collage work Walker illustrates him and a friend going to the camp several times to visit the people that lived there for months. He helped out where he could at the camp, washing dishes and moving stuff, he participates in skill sharing, learns about the other people at the camp and why they’ve decided to live without homes at places like this all over the UK, and what they do to pass the time while living in the woods (alcohol is a welcome gift)

It’s inspiring stuff, and one of the reasons that I think it works so well is because Walker doesn’t try and bludgeon the idea of a certain cause into the reader. Instead he lets them know what’s going on and encourages them to visit camps in solidarity (on a holidarity). He figures that on a scale of one to ten he accomplished about a two on the helpfulness scale, but that was better than not doing anything.

While I enjoyed the story Walker told, I was also really impressed by the art he used. I do loads of collage (mostly artist trading cards), but really, mine is all garbage compared to the stuff Walker does here. His cities, his forests, the way he does music: I’m going to have to steal it all for own projects. Sorry Paul, I’ll let people know I didn’t think it up.

At the end Walker gives some information on how to get involved with groups that are doing protests, and hopes that at least one other person decides to get involved. I’m going to try and be that person. At least that way I won’t feel so bad about stealing Walker’s art techniques.

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