This actually is a true(ly) Power(ful) issue! At center stage are excellent, thought-provoking feature stories: on the implications of DNA testing to uncover hidden racial histories along with their implicit power and value structures by Mariah-Rose Marie; On the history of unions and their relation to class-consciousness by Sophie Yanow; on the inherent reveals that go along with cosplay and their unforseen predictive power by Nate Powell. Then there are an especially strong batch of strips by Michael DeForge, Ben Passmore, Joey Alison Sayers and Eric Haven – among others. And MUCH more – including an interview (in comics strip form) with Ta-Nehisi Coates. Also worth noting: This time around the masthead and contributor profiles are a double-page spread by Tom Scioli!
The cover story in this, the twelfth issue of our favorite regularly published comic book anthology, is a 16-pager scripted by Rachel Bormann (Cakewalk) with art chores handled by none other than Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole)! It presents an extremely subjective account of attending a Santana concert, titled, "The Uncomfortable Gaze of Carlos Santana." Also in this issue we have, "Pet Cat," a very funny and wickedly wise history of the fictional comic strip "Oh No, Pet Cat" by the one and only Joey Alison Sayers, the funniest transgender cartoonist we know. We always have long looked forward to loading up on laughs with the latest collection of her webcomic, thingpart each year at SPX, and now, with this six-pager, Papercutter readers can share in the laughter. This issue closes out with a funny animal fable by Mark Campos and Dalton Webb.
This issue leads off with "Professor Pearson," by Joey Alison Sayers: an epic of despair in the form of a 20-page comics story about a junior high school teacher who loses his mind (did we neglect to mention that it is, as with all work by Sayers, quite funny?) Also on hand are a two-page by Liz Prince, "Endless Lizcation," and "A Good Catch," a ten-pager depicting a slice of life that is red in tooth and claw by Alexis Frederick-Frost. Papercutter delivers yet again.
Drugs are this issue's topic, and they get teh full Nib treatment: history, science, supply and demand, politics and power, personal anecdotes from around the country and the world, and more are brought to bear on a full specturm of drugs. On the one hand there are the recreational and "street" drugs – from marijuana and hash to LSD and MDM to cocaine and metamphetamines to the opiates – and on the other there are medical and miracle drugs from the newly engineered Covid vaccines to fertility drugs to testosterone to SSRIs and more (even coffee!). All alter our bodies and minds along with the way they interact with and process our envirionments. There's lot to chew on!