"Slow-motion hypnosis": The Liberators [visual art]

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Novelist. MC. Filmmaker. Lawyer. Record label owner. Alan C. Page, wears many hats, and now one of his latest ventures is authoring the Liberators comic book, which follows the adventures of four young people who take on crime and corrupt politicians in Center City, USA, which could be any major metropolis in America. However, it’s not your average comic book, because the protagonists follow the example of the likes of the Black Panthers, the Black Liberation Army, the Weather Underground and George Jackson.

Page was kind enough to tell the Liberator about the impetus for the Liberators, his background, and other projects in the works.

For more information on Page, check out lonegunmanmedia.blogspot.com and newgoldenera.com

LM: What inspired the Liberators comic book series?

AP: The Liberators script was initially written around 2001. The script is influenced by a lot of the Panther biographies and literature that I had read for several years prior to 2001 up until that point. I decided to work with [political emcee/former prison reform activist (and
prisoner)Jahi] Foster-Bey because I confided in him that I was seeking a visual artist and he told me he could draw. He was a political hip-hop artist whose first mixtape was called "Fall of America", so I knew this was someone who had no problem working on a revolutionary project! I met [Nigerian painter Aniekan Udofia]while he was live painting during an event where Pete Rock was DJ-ing. The first issue of The Liberators was completed but I wanted a more visually powerful cover. When I saw Aniekan's painting, I knew he had the look we needed. After the cover made such a strong impact on everyone who saw the book, I decided to approach Aniekan about illustrating the interior as well and the rest is history.

George Jackson's writings in Soledad Brother influenced me heavily because he spoke about the urgent need to act immediately in response to the repression of black people. His logic was sound and persuasive. However, he was in prison during his rise to political consciousness, so he had no opportunity to put his guerrilla military theory into practice. The Weather Underground and the Black Liberation Army came the closest to doing this.

When the members of The Weather Underground saw that peaceful protest could not slow down the imperial machine, they began bombing key aspects of the machine, including two bombings of the Pentagon, bombing the Statue of Liberty, etc. They inspired me to wonder what it would be like if these activities never ceased, leading to the premise of the book where cells of urban guerrillas continued to operate until the present day.

LM: What do you hope people will get out of your work?

AP: I hope people will think seriously about the ramifications and possible effectiveness of militancy as a response to oppression. I hope the book will open up debate and dialogue.

LM: Can you explain a bit more what you mean by that? What do you see as the ramifications and benefits of militancy? How do you define militancy? How does this apply to 21st century living?

AP: By militancy, I mean armed guerrilla insurrection against a political structure that is wholly unresponsive to the needs of human beings, but instead is beholden to corporate profit.* Time and again, political operators pursue policies regardless of the will of the people and our cycles have become farces where one corporate-friendly politician is exchanged for another. The book is intended to implant into the mind's eye of the reader the vision of a much more physical alternative, the same alternative that our military metes out to people of foreign lands worldwide: policy at gunpoint, politics by bomb.

This is not to be confused with terrorism aimed at civilians, which I find to be wholly impractical and reprehensible.

LM: How do you feel art can address the issues that you bring up in the Liberators comic?

AP: The two-dimensional format seems more innocuous and is thereby more insidious. The images and words sear into the reader's mind as they move panel by panel. Slow-motion hypnosis, if you will.

*[Author's note: An especially interesting notion considering the Supreme Court's latest ruling, which essentially gives corporations the same constitutionally protected rights as people.]