Why the people: the cause of democracy is a new graphic novel by Beka feathers and Ally Shwed which will be released by First Second in June as a complement to their World Citizen Comics line of comics, aimed at offering an analysis and history of American democracy, framed as a debate between two people waiting at an airport.
This witty and well-argued graphic novel is a must-read for anyone who wants to know what power “we the people” really have in a democracy. Why people? Is democracy really the best form of government? Does it ever work the way it’s supposed to?
Join Lin and Julie in the middle of an airport, as they wonder aloud how America can be a democracy when citizens seem to disagree on everything. With them we walk through political history and travel through different systems of power including monarchy, theocracy, dictatorship and oligarchy.
Beka Feathers and Ally Shwed highlight power, justice and the promise of true democracy.
Says First Second Creative and Editorial Director Marc Siegel about the line a few years ago “Why comics? It’s my medium, it’s where I live. It’s also where I see young people living and, more and more, adults too. We are in a very visual era, and novel design blurs age categories, genres and connects across all popular cultures. In the last couple of years democracy has taken a hard hit. at a time of great testing for the American experience, and for democracy everywhere. At first I was filled with anger, to the point that it was not good for me. When leaders are blatantly dishonest, no No use for democracy, a free press, or the foundations of this nation, and there’s growing evidence that criminals have taken over the Oval Office itself, it’s easy to feel helpless. “
Beka Feathers is Legal Advisor on Political Development in Conflict Affected States. Her writing is influenced by her work with clients and partners in more than a dozen countries, where she has helped draft constitutions, design transitional governments, facilitate peace processes, and advocate for a better access to justice. She is proud to be an alumnus of Lewis & Clark College, the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, and the Washington College of Law at American University.
Ally Shwed is a New Jersey designer, writer and publisher. She received her MFA in Sequential Art from Savannah College of Art & Design and has worked with The Boston Globe, The Nib, First Second Books, and Lion Forge Comics. With artist Gerardo Alba, she runs Little Red Bird Press, a visual arts studio specializing in comics and printmaking. In 2017, Ally concluded a visiting professor position at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Querétaro, Mexico, where she led a sequential art studies program. Later that year, she was selected as a creator in residence on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, during which she published the comedy anthology of Little Red Bird Blocked: Stories from the World of Online. Dating. In 2018, she was selected as the Denver Independent Comics & Art Expo Fellow and applied to be a featured contributor to the Oxford Handbook of Comic Book Studies. His recent projects include a graphic novel adaptation of Flaw lines in the Constitution (First Second Books) and Votes For Women, a comic anthology celebrating the centenary of the 19th Amendment (Little Red Bird Press).