Molly Jackson: Arts of War

Wow, the past 12 days have been a whirlwind of change, and I am not talking about comics. It’s incredibly hard to write about anything but the ever-changing world that we live in. It affects the very fabric of reality, and it ripples through space and time. But as in any and every art form, the impact of the current political and social climate is already being seen.

Over the past few months we have seen the influx of protest pieces on social media, from art to music to videos to memes and more. Yes, I know that memes as art is a stretch but they are created as form of expression, which is what art really represents. As artists continue to create political pieces, the fans who rally around them need to how to respond.

One such piece is this essay by Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. SMBC isn’t normally a political comic but creator Zach Weinersmith hit his limit and felt the need to write down his thoughts. He spoke about his family’s immigrant past, and expressed his disdain for the current hate against other countries. He also writes that he is ready to use his voice, writing letters to politicians.

Angela Webber of the geek music duo The Doubleclicks wrote an article for The Mary Sue about her difficulty with creating in this turmoil. She poses the question about why should she create art when all of this is happening? Ultimately, she vows to continue on with creating art, and not just because she can. She reminds us that through art, hope can spring up. That when art is created, it can be a powerful force to sway hearts and minds.

Another is the art piece above that has gone viral. It’s by artist Yusef Abonamah, and it illustrates two people who we consider American heroes, but are the very types of people that our current government has been vilifying these past two weeks. It is a powerful message to all comic fans – especially if you think about all the times they tried to kick Superman off the planet and how that turned out.

The truth is, our superheroes embody all the traits that we all hope to emulate. We want to be able to make the sacrifices that Wonder Woman and Superman make to protect others and do the right thing. We may be mere mortals, but ascribing to more makes us better.

As we look at the art born of this current unrest, I hope that you find something that speaks to you. Something that grabs you and compels you to think, feel, act in the best interest of yourself, the country, and the world. And if you feel so inspired, perhaps you will create some art yourself.