Bra Inspectors

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Microcosm

In Threadbare: Clothes, Sex, and Trafficking (Microcosm), journalist Anne Elizabeth Moore and the Ladydrawers Comics Collective take a mixed-media dive into the global clothing industry and how it "seeps uncomfortably quickly into larger issues" including women's employment options, human trafficking, immigration laws, and the criminalization of sex work.

Divided into four sections (the U.S., Austria, Cambodia, and "The World"), Moore's prose introductions are important—the strips themselves often leave you craving more context. The book is plagued by off-topic interjections, such as a section shaming a Cambodian aid org head who helps trans sex workers for not using their preferred pronouns.

But there is interesting and thoughtful material here too, including sections on Homeland Security's obsessive bra-import inspections, how well-funded nonprofits shuffle sex workers back into the jobs that they originally abandoned in favor of prostitution, and how global anti-trafficking orgs cater more to Washington's goals than localized needs.

—Elizabeth Nolan Brown

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