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

Monday is the deadline to register for Pennsylvania…

If residents want to vote in the May primary, which includes a vote for a new City Council member, today is the deadline to register.

National

Miss America thinks school should reconsider discipline of…

A Pa. student was suspended for asking Miss America to prom.

Local

Aria Health Torresdale workers caught selling prescription drugs

Two Aria Health at Torresdale employees were fired amid accusations they sold prescription drugs out of the Northeast Philadelphia campus.

National

Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter died Sunday from prostate cancer…

Former U.S. professional boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who spent 19 years in prison for murder and then was released after it was determined he did not get a fair trial,…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Books

Poems from prison: 'How to Survive a Bullet…

Celebrate National Poetry Month with, "'How to Survive a Bullet to the Heart."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

MLB

Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.