Attitude Maximum Security

Attitude is an ongoing collection of subversive cartoon-style political commentary. This edition features seasoned political cartoonist Stephanie McMillan. The title was inspired by an article about a prisoner, just released, looking at the world around him. “I’m still not free,” he remarked. “I’m just in minimum security.” McMillan mirrors the North American political climate with a deft use of characterization and current issues. On the right she illustrates an Uncle Sam figure promoting war and profit, profit, profit. Blockhead CEO types, with hollowed eyes and black hearts trample worker rights. The anything-but-what-Jesus-really-stood-for Christian priest promotes homophobia and anti-choice rhetoric. Redneck ignoramuses also sport blockheads. George W. Bush, gene spliced with monkey parts, paves the way to hell. McMillan’s main character leans well to the left of the above mentioned with her bobble secured pigtails and angry eyebrows. She actually looks and acts like my first girlfriend. Cute even while evoking admiration and fear with her political fervour. She has a bunny companion, a survivor of cosmetic testing labs, who seems to be her lyrical grenade alter ego. Also on the left side is another pigtailed gal with a spiritual guru animal companion and a queer couple with political T’s that change each frame. Not only do McMillan’s illustrations hit home, her words make contact as well. She can be playful, using her disquieting imagination. But I could only take this collection in small doses, otherwise I became overwhelmed with sadness and enraged at the leaders who have caused so much destruction. But like McMillan says “If you don’t want to lose sleep over any of this, put this book back down and go buy a collection of Family Circus or BC cartoons.” (heze douglas)

by Stephanie McMillan, $12.95, 160 pgs, NBM Publishing, 555 8th Ave., Suite 1202, New York, NY, 10018, U.S.A., nbmpublishing.com

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