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Ted Rall
by Ted Rall
Hardcover: 96 pages
NBM Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 1561632791
Combining the most depressing aspects of Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World, Ted Rall's 2024 shows us where turn-of-the-century corporate America is heading if we don't collectively wake up. Yet, like most of Rall's work, it's not a downer. Even when the reader sees a not-so-twisted reflection of his or her own life in Winston and Julia's horrifying misadventures in neopostmodern "Canamexicusa," it's usually more of a belly laugh than a gut punch.
Tearing away at the shrouds of irony that keep us from experiencing our lives more directly for all their faults, Rall captures the essence of our reactions to soft oppression by having his characters repeat the mantra "Yes. No. Whatever." If the best criticism is satire, then 2024 is as good as it gets.
--Rob Lightner
From Publishers Weekly
Executed in his familiar black and white blockish graphics, Rall's latest (Search and Destroy; My War with Brian) takes place in a future where blind consumerism has rendered history and human consciousness irrelevant. 2024 is meant to be a sly, 1984-inflected commentary on the shallowness of our times, but it never quite manages to measure up to its formidable literary model. In Rall's vision of the future, Web TV is omnipresent, and the economy is run by megacorporations that exploit ethnic tensions in trade wars. As in 1984, the protagonists are named Winston and Julia, and share a fickle dissatisfaction with the corporate system that dictates and monitors their lives. They live in a world where news and history are easily revised digitally, and shopping and pornography substitute for social interaction and passion. It's a "future where the past doesn't matter and no one cares" and where the key to life, says Winston, is to "keep yourself entertained, stave off boredom... hope for a way out before you come up for euthanasia." Rall's view of the future's social contract is a razor-sharp, irony-saturated parody of today's pop culture/consumerist consciousness. But his bleak lampoon of the mindless consumer state requires a lot of exposition, and, at times, his bold-faced text boxes threaten to visually overwhelm the exploits of his characters. Indeed, the characters sometimes function more as talking points than as protagonists. Even his updates of Orwellian doublespeak ("Assumptions Permit Imagination," etc.) are used to poor effect, with frequent, text-laden shifts of events undercutting the work's narrative logic. Undeniably smart and witty, the book can also be a bit awkward and disjointed.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. 
From Booklist
Rall, whose acerbic political cartoons in alternative weeklies and such other venues as Fortune magazine proudly exhibit the cynicism of the postboomer generation, tries something more ambitious in this graphic novel that simultaneously updates and parodies Orwell's 1984. Rather than imposing a totalitarian political system, Rall's Big Brother represents the "corporate-government complex" in a society driven by technology and consumerism and run by media moguls and software companies. The system is called neopostmodernism. Although Rall throws out plenty of clever ideas in the brief work, much of it is pretty strident and heavy-handed. And unlike Orwell's protagonist, Winston Smith, Rall's Winston is so disaffected that he doesn't particularly care when he is tortured into betraying his Julia by being forced to watch boring nature films of rats. Unfortunately, neither may many a reader. Still, Rall's distinctive blocky, punkish drawing style, though more effective in shorter doses, well conveys the story's depersonalized, dystopian environment.
Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved 
Ted Rall
by Ted Rall
Paperback: 80 pages
NBM Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 1561632155
From Booklist
Known for his acerbic political cartoons, Rall turns his caustic gaze inward in an autobiographical graphic novel about his misery in junior high in suburban Ohio. He was an alienated nerd, tormented by a loutish, psychotic bully who, for no apparent reason, chose Rall as his personal victim. Teachers and other adults refused to help Rall, leaving him to deal with Brian through violence that started out defensive but gradually turned sadistically vengeful. The escalating battle forced Rall into an ultimate assault that he then saw as the only way to prevent being marked as a victim for the rest of his life.
Two decades later, a more introspective Rall ponders the lasting effect of Brian's harassment on his personality. To this day, Rall's behavior remains confrontational and defensive; he wonders whether his superior attitude prompted the bully's abuse. Rall's memoir is fueled by the bitterness and anger that inform his editorial cartoons and sports their vaguely cubist figures and distinctive scratchboard technique that makes them look like punk woodcuts.
Gordon Flagg
Ted Rall
by Ted Rall
 160 pages
Andrews McMeel
ISBN: 0740713965
Witty, acerbic, razor sharp: Ted Rall has been called a spokesperson for his generation. But the political cartoonist doesn't leave anyone untouched - even his own Generation X - as he focuses his caustic imagination on everything from pop culture to the environment, from underemployment to political trends.
Search and Destroy is Rall's first cartoon collection in five years. His previous books, Waking Up In America and All The Rules Have Changed were best-sellers, especially among young people looking for someone to voice their frustrations, their hopes, their angst. Likewise, his groundbreaking book of essays and cartoons, Revenge Of The Latchkey Kids, spoke loudly across generations. Ted Rall brings an insightful understanding into the forces that are shaping our society today.
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