Sean Michael Robinson and Carl Thompson have an interesting idea: Revolution via Kickstarter.
Their proposal is for a comic called Parecomic that seems to have a dual purpose: On the one hand, it’s the story of real-life activist Michael Albert, which stretches from the demonstrations of the 1960s to the present. And while telling us of his adventures, it also discusses the structural problems of our economic system and how we could be doing things better. Here’s the pitch:
PARECOMIC shows us Michael’s story, and at the same time the ideas and issues that influence both our society and the better alternative that we can build via the anarchist influenced system of participatory economics.
It’s “participatory economics” that gives the comic its name. In addition to the graphic bio, Albert will contribute a text section discussing participatory economics to go at the end of the book, and Noam Chomsky will write the introduction.
Does that sound entertaining or just earnest? Admittedly, economics is a bit of a tough sell, but as Jon Gruber and Nathan Schreiber just demonstrated with their graphic novel about health care reform, the graphic medium can be an effective way to convey quantitative information. What intrigues me is how Albert’s story illustrates the economic principles involved. If it “puts a face on it,” as we say in the newspaper biz, it could be fascinating. If it’s panel after panel of Albert explaining economics, then… no. But the whole point of Kickstarter is to give these things a chance, after all. And if the book ends up sparking a revolution, or inspiring a new movement like the Occupy folks, then that could be the best pledge reward of all—even better than a five-page comic of your own life.