One of the latest comics looking for some Kickstarter love is Queen, a new political thriller that tells the story of corruption, hacktivism, and an unelected leader who takes the reins of the UK government. Not a lot unlike the current political situation in the UK.
The comic comes from Jamie Me, Bernard Gita, and Sean Callahan. But enough from me — let's let the comic's creators tell us all about it.
Queen is a story about Emily Green. She is a struggling politician, is the Deputy Prime Minister of the British government, but her personal life is falling apart, she doesn't believe in the political system anymore and she is preparing to quietly step down from her position after the upcoming General Election.
Hactivist group 'Nidus', known for releasing leaked documents to the general public, have greater plans for the Deputy Prime Minister, but how does that end in the biggest political death in a generation?
So what exactly drove Jamie Me to make this comic?
Back in 2013 I was diagnosed with OCD. I ended up getting therapy, and it was the hardest part of my life. Truly horrific. I had to face up to, and still do, everything I was afraid of. I lost my ability to work, and that destroyed my image of myself. It broke my heart. When I was diagnosed I was in tears saying 'I just want to work'. The doctors said I'd be able to again, but I had to dedicate myself to therapy first. So I did, but then I was sent to an interview about claiming benefits with ATOS.
ATOS was in charge of handling duties from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), assessing people for their eligibility to claim for disability benefit and their capability to work. Despite interviews at this tough time in his life, and the representatives making the right-sounding gestures to his face, Me found that he was declared capable to work and not eligible for help at this troubling time in his life.
This was quite common at the time, and eventually the bad publicity led to the DWP negotiating an early exit for ATOS from their contract — though as of October 2016, they continued to make assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIPs). Me appealed their decision on his case.
I won my appeal like 60% of people that challenged their verdicts did, and I managed to complete my therapy over 22 weeks. Shortly after I became able to return to work. One of the things that helped this process was creating a comic, Queen. It gave me a purpose, and something to work towards. I was angry at the government, and telling a story about tackling political corruption became something I dedicated myself to.
Politics affect every aspect of our lives, even down to creators making comics. It can get in the way, it can provide inspiration.
At a time when the discussion of whether politics should be included in comics stories is very much on people's minds of late, it's a timely release for this comic's Kickstarter. And with an upcoming snap election for the UK, this might make for some very intriguing reading.