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The Nightly News


Jonathan Hickman (Author and Illustrator)

Image Comics (Publisher)

The Nightly News is spiritually related to 1976’s Network, where anchor Howard Beale’s impassioned speech about losing perceived control had people leaning out their windows and shouting “I’M MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!” into the night air. Hickman takes that energy and channels it into a cult, where The Hand and The Voice target those who have been wronged by the mainstream media and prod them into zealotry and murder. Characters are literal representations of the frustration many Americans feel at the overwhelming amount of information they are expected to process on a daily basis, resulting in The Nightly News being a visually challenging and deeply ironic text, rife with the kind of ill-conceived violence that passes for change when peaceful roads appear impassable. Hickman’s calling card is his ability to unite the real and the unreal to prove to the reader how unreal our reality is; in addition to its potent commentary about the control and distribution of information through various media sources, The Nightly News contains a wealth of true facts about corporate control of the media, the over-medication of American children, and the dangers associated with globalization. Hickman posits that the endgame to society’s forced submission to a fractured system will be deadly to those that propagate that system, even if the talking heads we see on the news are not the ones responsible for our inability to judge the quality or truthfulness of the news they report. Much like the ultimately impotent yelling in Network, The Nightly News shows us how deeply society has lost control of the ways in which we create, disseminate and receive information.

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