Liberator Comic Series Has Returned!

by Rabbit / Earth First! Newswire

LiberatorEarthCrisis-cover-001b_R1After a five-month hiatus since the last issue of Liberator Volume 1 hit shelves, the first issue of the next Liberator series, “Salvation of the Innocents,” comes out tomorrow.

For those who aren’t familiar, the Liberator is a comic book series created and written by Matt Miner and inspired by the Animal Liberation Front. The first series, “Rage Ignition,” follows animal rights activists Damon and Jeanette in their clandestine late-night adventures sabotaging research equipment, freeing animals from cages, and starting the occasional fire in an effort to stop animal exploitation at all costs.

The new two-part series, “Salvation of Innocents,” starts us off with a different protagonist: Sarah Mann. Young and intelligent, Sarah is hard on her luck, looking for a source of income, when she ends up taking a job as a janitor at an animal testing facility. The office walls are littered with animal testing propaganda while just around the corner rows of cages confine scarred and battered primates.

What follows is somewhat of an origin story that asks: What experiences turn a regular, apolitical twenty-something into an animal rescuing vigilante? How much does someone have to see before they decide that it’s up to them—that they’ll risk their freedom—to do what’s right?

The first issue of “Salvation of Innocents” is refreshing in its scope. While Liberator Volume 1, “Rage Ignition,” explored security culture, reconnaissance, gender roles and the ethics of sabotage, this new series takes a step back. It is more patient, investigating the roots of the passions that drive animal liberation activists as well as offering a glimpse into the thoughts and lives of animal exploiters themselves.

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And isn’t this what we need from an animal liberation comic book? In my opinion, the cleverness of the Liberator project is not just getting fun comics that depict real-life heroes into the hands of ALF sympathizers, but also normalizing a controversial subject that’s twisted in the media. Getting ALF comics onto comic book shelves is one method of slowly sifting activist perspectives into the mainstream.

As a movement, we need to get more creative in our propaganda. Wheat paste posters, billboard modifications and Facebook memes are a start, but they don’t blend into the ocean of capitalist swill that threatens us at every turn. Liberator, on the other hand, is a refreshing shove in the right direction.

In this series Matt Miner teams up with prolific animal rights metalcore band Earth Crisis, and shares writing credit. The comic book follows the themes explored in their latest album, also titled “Salvation of Innocents,” and is reported to be a companion to the album.

You can order Liberator/Earth Crisis: Salvation of Innocents here (US) and here (UK). The trade paperback of Liberator Volume 1: Rage Ignition comes out in March, and is available to order now.

Get yourself a copy of the new Liberator, and when you’re done reading it, put it in the hands of an impressionable friend. You’ll be doing us all a favor.

 

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Rabbit is an editor on the Earth First! Journal Collective. If you appreciate reading original content on the Earth First! Newswire, consider donating or subscribing today.

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