On Strike

en_greve_street_medicsI came across an unusual political comics project recently that posed some interesting questions about the role of experience in informational comics.

The project was called En Greve, and was to be a comic documenting the student protests in Quebec in 2012. The protests were sparked by a decision to raise tuition fees by 80%. Students went on strike, and academic and administrative staff at universities, as well as hundreds of thousands of ordinary Canadians took to the streets in support. The protests became known as the Maple Spring, and eventually resulted in the election of a nationalist government and a repeal of the tuition increases.

Possibly as a result of the successful repeal of the fees increase, the comic book project seems to have stalled. An Indiegogo campaign to fund it failed to reach its target, and I’m assuming that the two artists went on to other projects. A shame, as the comic work they completed was extremely interesting. Like a travelogue, the experience of the artists – both students during the protests – didn’t simply frame the information being communicated, the experience was the information.

In many ways, the boundary between experience and information is something which is constantly being negotiated in applied comics. As creators, to what extent is our treatment of the subject matter shaped by our proximity to it? Does this proximity determine what makes a “good” informational comic? A readable one?

More on En Greve at the project tumblr. More on artists Laura Ellen and Jane Dough.
But does anyone know what eventually became of this project?

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