Groundbreaking comics journalist Joe Sacco will be at Powell's tonight, along with Pulitzer-winning journalist Chris Hedges. The two will be reading from their new collaboration Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, which Joe Streckert reviewed for us in the paper this week:
THERE'S TRAGEDY in America, and failure. Whole towns in Appalachia suffer the ravages of the coal industry, and more than a few Native American reservations struggle with the collective affliction of alcoholism. Inner cities crumble. Immigrants pick your tomatoes for far less than minimum wage. Whole landscapes of poverty speak to America's failures.
Chris Hedges (author of the excellent War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning) and Portland cartoonist Joe Sacco explore these landscapes of destitution in their book Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. The book delves into economic and human catastrophes that plague a Native American reservation; Camden, New Jersey, the poorest town in the US; West Virginian coal country; and migrant workers in Florida. Hedges' words and Sacco's bleak illustrations of the landscapes and people are extremely affecting, and the book is at its best when it gives a human face (often drawn by Sacco) to America's failures. If you can read the interviews with poverty-stricken victims of capitalism and not feel anything, then you're probably some kind of monster. The book ends with a section on Occupy Wall Street, and a call to arms for nonviolent revolution.