Comics for Freedom Lovers

Fans of reason’s longtime cartoonist Peter Bagge will be pleased to know that his strips for the magazine are now available in a new collection published by Fantagraphics, Everybody Is Stupid Except For Me (and Other Astute Observations). We asked Bagge to suggest three more comics where good art intersects with an outlook congenial to libertarians.

  1. Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography, by Chester Brown: “A casual reader might see the comic as the story of race-based conflict in the New World (Riel was the leader of the Metis, mixed-race Native American/French Canadians). However, once you are aware of Brown’s libertarianism, you can’t help but interpret his sympathies with Riel as being due to his defiance of all-powerful central government.”
  2. Mr. A, by Steve Ditko: “Spider-Man co-creator and notorious recluse Ditko created the white-suited reporter/vigilante in the late ’60s. Everything about the character, including his name (‘A is A’), was inspired by Ayn Rand’s philosophy.”
  3. Little Orphan Annie, by Harold Gray: “In Annie: The Musical, Annie and Daddy Warbucks are seen singing at the top of their lungs, arm in arm with Franklin Roosevelt. This is nothing short of a (perhaps inadvertent) kick in the teeth to the late cartoonist, who was one of the best-known and vociferous FDR haters, not only throughout the Depression but even during World War II. The strip was frequently dropped by New Deal–supporting newspapers—and just as quickly reinstated by an apolitical public that loved it.”

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    Great recommendations.

    I happened to read Ditko's O'st works (including Mr.A.) at the same time I was reading Rand and other Libertarian works in college.

    Spot on about LOA. Thankfully IDW is reprinting this great strip. I've always wonder if there was a connection between his Eonite storyline and the plotline about Reardon Steel in Atlas Shrugged...

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