Rise Up, 30 Minutes Or Less

By | Sunday, June 22, 2008 1 comment
A newspaper supplement called RiseUp got shipped out this weekend to something like 3.5 million people. It's designed to address racial issues in the United States. A tag line across the bottom of their first cover reads: "Understanding Our Differences. Bridging Our Divisions. Celebrating Our Commonalities."

So I was perusing the debut issue and it seemed to consist of a mix of articles, centered around race. But I have to admit to some surprise when I stumbled across...
"A comic strip addressing racism? Interesting," I thought.

I promptly went to Jeremy Luther's web site to see if there might be any more information about him or it which, as it turns out, there is.

As near as I can tell in my hurried reading of things, the strip "30 Minutes Or Less" is an extension/continuation of Luther's previous "Pizza Jones" strip. I'm inferring that the reason Luther's strip was chosen to be included in RiseUp was because he had a racially diverse cast, and that the characters all had a unifying hatred for their lousy jobs. This iteration of the strip is being commissioned by RiseUp, though, and it seems they've asked for the initial strips to speak to race relations more directly.

It will be interesting to see how he tackles storylines as time goes on. How often does he, for example, make race (as opposed to communication/language) a direct issue of an individual strip? Are the antagonists exclusively the pizza parlor's patrons and, if so, are they all affluent Caucasians? It's a little too early to tell how successful the strip will be, I think, but given that it seems to be an existing idea editorially re-tooled for the sake of a steady paycheck -- coupled with the fact that Luther is giving readers something of a behind-the-scenes look on his blog -- it will be fascinating for me to watch to see how things unfold.
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Anonymous said...

So how do you think this comic has turned out so far? Curious to know!