Introduction by Noam Chomsky
Parecomic is a graphic novel about something that affects us all: the system we live in--what's wrong with it, and how we might be able change it for the better. Written by Sean Michael Wilson, and drawn by Carl Thompson, Parecomic is about Michael Albert--the visionary behind "participatory economics"--and his life's struggle as a left-wing activist in the US.
Proposed as an alternative to capitalism, participatory economics (parecon, for short) values equity, solidarity, diversity, and participatory self-management. In Albert's vision, workers and consumers councils use self-managed decision-making, balanced job complexes, renumeration according to duration, intensity, and onerousness of socially valued labor; and participatory planning.
Parecomic will guide readers through this anarchist-influenced economic system, alongside the biography that led to its development--beginning with the heady days of 1960s student demos and lifestyle rebellions; following the developments of the antiwar, civil rights, woman's, and Black Panthers movements; to the establishment of alternative media like South End Press and ZNet.
The recent upsurge in popular protest in the US and around the world shows that people are not happy with the state of capitalism. The Occupy movement, particularly, makes plain the desire for a better system, a model that will work for the 99%, not just the 1%. Parecon is one such model, and Parecomic brings this to life in illustrated form.
About Sean Michael Wilson and Carl Thompson
SEAN MICHAEL WILSON is a comic book writer from Scotland, currently based in Japan, who has written fourteen books of comics and manga. His work includes a version of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol (with artist Mike Collins); Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights; Oscar Wilde's A Canterville Ghost; The Japanese Drawing Room (with RING horror manga artist Sakura Mizuki); and the documentary book Iraq: Operation Corporate Takeover (with artist Lee O'Connor). His version of Sweeney Todd (with artist Declan Shalvey) is forthcoming. He is presently editing the second volume of the critically acclaimed AX: Alternative Manga; the first volume was selected as one of the top ten comic books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly. Wilson has received several grants from both the English arts council and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation in support of his Japan-related publications.
CARL THOMPSON is a cartoonist based in Minneapolis. A graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, he has worked with writer Sean Michael Wilson on the political comic strip "Green Benches," published monthly in the British magazine Blue and Green Tomorrow. Carl also works on an ongoing book-length project called BFD with writer Scotty Gillmer.