There was a time when comics were considered juvenile or geeky. But even though the Pander Brothers came up when comics were mentioned in mixed company at your peril, there was never a time when their work wasn’t cool.
Drawing from the artistic unrest that was occurring throughout America and Europe in the late 80s and early 90s, the Panders were able to capture the attitude and aesthetic of the Generation-X movement that was fed up with Reaganomics and Wall Street.
And nowhere is that aesthetic more clear than in their graphic novel, the Dissident. Originally titled XXX and published by Dark Horse, the Dissident is considered by many to be the Brothers’ seminal work. It follows an exiled American seeking refuge with the Amsterdam underground. As the young protesters struggle against global tyranny, they must resurrect an underground newspaper to ignite a revolution in a future where the government and media are under the control of a powerful multinational industrialist.
If it sounds like a story ripped out of today’s headlines, it very well could be. Considered ahead of their time in the early nineties, the vision of the future that the Panders forecast more than 20 years ago has become all too familiar in today’s world of Edward Snowden and the occupy movement.
2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the graphic novel edition of the Dissident, and the Panders are launching a Kickstarter campaign to rerelease it in full color, as it was originally intended. I urge all of you to check it out. It truly is a comic that’s not just for comics fans.