Train Spotting: Talking fascism, comics and Batwoman at the Anarchist Bookfair

GOB_TrainAnarchist_1114

Anybody expecting a riot at the Boston Anarchist Bookfair at Simmons College last weekend  left disappointed. But those seeking to discuss progressive causes like veganism, combating rape culture and scaling down the prison industrial complex likely had a blast. Contrary to the violent stigma surrounding the word “anarchy,” most of its advocates seem pretty laid back. Who knew? We hopped the green line over to Fenway to find ourselves an anarchist: 22-year-old Nick Ford, who fused his affinity for anti-establishmentarianism and super people into a presentation dubbed “A for Anarky: Comic Books and Anarchism,” one of the fair’s dozens of lefty workshops. Afterwards, we asked him some stuff about Batman.

Does it bum you out that Frank Miller — writer and artist behind one of the greatest comics ever, ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ —  turned into a total fascist?

I’m not very surprised. Batman’s sense of being against the government is done by different writers in different ways, but the way Miller captures it, it’s the paranoid, kind of “I’m better than you” mentality that seems to come from a conservative standpoint, rather than an anarchist standpoint. I’ve read some articles about Holy Terror, and that is…wow. It’s basically a character who’s like Batman, beating up muslims.

I heard Miller originally planned to use Batman himself instead of a knock-off Batman character for that story. DC Comics is probably happy that didn’t happen.

Yeah, that sounds like a PR nightmare.

Who’s the most socially progressive mainstream superhero?

I think Green Arrow. Unlike Batman, he gave up his wealth and he dresses like Robin Hood. He’s probably the most socially progressive, but that’s not saying much, because comics are very prone to conservativism. The problem is nostalgia and the “status quo is God” mentality. I think we need another ‘Dark Knight Returns,’ or an Alan Moore one-two punch to kickstart comics again. Although Batwoman is pretty cool.

Yeah, but they won’t let her marry her girlfriend, supposedly because she wouldn’t be as angsty or whatever nonsensical excuse.

Bulls—. They let Superman get married. They let Spider-Man get married.

Let her get married and The Joker or whoever can kill her wife next year. BOOM. She’s angsty again.

Having her be a lesbian without being pushy about it is probably one of the more socially progressive things in mainstream comics, but they’re still catching up from 10 years ago.

How would an anarchist superhero behave in the real world?

In general, I think the notion of superheroes is about one person trying to take on the world and save it all by themselves. In the real world, a lot of these people would be psychopaths, especially Batman. But just because it wouldn’t work in real life doesn’t mean I’m going to stop reading about it.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Arts

Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.

Gossip

Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.

Movies

Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.

Gossip

Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…