This year at Canzine Toronto we are delighted to welcome prolific political cartoonist Ted Rall! Author of graphic novels such as The Year of Living Dangerously and The Book of Obama, and editor of the Attitude cartoon anthology, Rall’s work has appeared in hundreds of publications across the world. A committed political voice both on and off the page, he is an outspoken critic of the Obama administration, and has recently been in legal fisticuffs with the LAPD.
Rall’s most recent graphic novel Snowden recounts the controversial leaking of surveillance documents to the public by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The world was shocked by the extent to which the American government was collecting information on its own citizens as well as other countries. Snowden fled to Hong Kong, later seeking asylum in Moscow while the U.S. government scrambled to track him down and charge him.
The graphic novel not only covers the spectacle surrounding the leaks, but also delves into Snowden’s childhood and personal life. Rall examines possible reasons why Snowden chose to speak out against the NSA, while so many other employees and officials remained complacent. The result is a complex portrait of a modern-day civil hero.
Disturbingly, the public outrage surrounding the Snowden leaks seemed to dissipate as quickly as they arose. The social and political changes which Snowden had perhaps hoped for have not been realized. By the end of Rall’s book, we are faced with the fact that most of us are all too eager to ignore and forget that which seems insurmountable. We continue on with our daily routine, all the while knowing that everything we do or say is likely being monitored. Rall, like Snowden, refuses to let these concerns lie dormant.
Ted Rall will be speaking about Snowden at Canzine Toronto, 6:30 pm in Seminar Room 1. Until then, check out this dated but hilarious clip of Rall on Fox’s Hannity & Colmes, the proverbial lion’s den of right-wing televised bullying: