One of my personal favorites, but also my worst-selling book, this graphic novel is a homage to/parody of/updating of George Orwell’s novel of totalitarian oppression 1984. I faithfully attempted to follow the structure of Orwell’s classic with a new take on twisted take on dystopia. The threat to our freedom isn’t some totalitarian tyrant — it’s our own, lazy, easily-distracted selves, wallowing in technological gadgetry while the world falls apart around us. Taking on postmodernism, nihilism, the Internet and free trade all at once, this is one of my most ambitious attempts to satirize contemporary American politics.
“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.” —Amazon.com, naming 2024 a Top Book of the Year
Surf the net and you’ll be relentlessly buffeted by ideas from George Orwell’s 1984. It’s an important and still relevant book because it gives you a handy dictionary of how the state or any big institution perpetuates lies and falsehoods. Yet how would the Orwellian icons of Ingsoc, Big Brother and the Two Minute Hate look when reinterpreted by today’s reality of the consumer society, the networked world and multinationals more powerful than nations? Acerbic, brilliant and just plain mean-spirited cartoonist Ted Rall dares to answer that question in his new book 2024. This isn’t so much a sequel to 1984 as a director’s cut that reinterprets the original material. The book features a kind of pop culture overlay, or “updating” as one critic referred to it, placed upon the now familiar Orwellian conceits. Where we once had the evils of the state and a kind of programmed fascistic path, Rall gives us the consumer society and mega corps and an individual who never really questions the machine to begin with. —Locus Magazine
Graphic Novel, 2001
NBM Hardback, 6″x9″, 96 pp., $16.95
NBM Paperback, 6″x9″, 96 pp., $9.95