“Extraction! : Comix Reportage” About Abusive Canadian Mining Practices in 2nd Edition

Front and back covers of the 2nd edition of "Extraction!: comix reportage", edited by David Widgington, Frédéric Dubois and Marc Tessier. Front cover by Alain Reno. Back cover by Jeff Lemire.

Front and back covers of the 2nd edition of “Extraction!: comix reportage”. Front cover by Alain Reno. Back cover by Jeff Lemire.

Ex libris postcard silscreened by Simon Bossé of Mille Putois and illustrated by Joe Ollmann.

Ex libris postcard silscreened by Simon Bossé of Mille Putois and illustrated by Joe Ollmann.

EXTRACTION!: Comix Reportage is Ad Astra’s next publication. As a micro-press publisher, Ad Astra is a publisher specializing in comic books with social justice themes. They use crowdfunding to finance printing costs by offering readers an opportunity to pre-purchase the book before it goes to print.  I’m obviously biased being its original co-editor with Frédéric Dubois and Marc Tessier, as well as its 1st edition publisher, but I recommend you get yourself a copy. The 1st edition was winner of the 2008 Expozine Alternative Press Award for Best English Book and  sold-out quickly.

Divided into four chapters, each one dedicated to a precious (and profitable) resource, the book offers a gritty, ground-level look at the force that is brought to bear in the hunt for new sources of oil, gold, uranium and bauxite (or aluminium ore). — Brad Mackay, THIS Magazine, Jan-Feb 2008.

First published in 2007 by Montréal-based Cumulus Press, EXTRACTION! paired four journalists with four comics artists: Dawn Paley w/ Joe Ollmann, Sophie Toupin w/ Ruth Tait, Tamara Herman w/ Stanly Wany, and Petr Cizek w/ Phil Angers. The reportages tell stories about the impact that Canadian mining practices have on affected communities in Alberta (tar sands),  Québec (uranium), India (aluminum/bauxite) and Guatemala (gold). These reportages are just as relevant today as they were when they were first published. EXTRACTION! fits perfectly into Ad Astra’s mandate. Their slogan is “The Panel is Political”.

Page 97 of From the Bottom of the Pit by Petr Cizek & Phil Anger.

Page 97 of From the Bottom of the Pit by Petr Cizek & Phil Anger.

Excerpt from the book’s Forward:

“The success of these comics reportages relies on the effective combination of journalistic reports with sequential art, despite their inadvertent rivalry. Here the challenge persisted between the ‘give’ of verifiable facts and the ‘take’ of graphic interpretation, between the ‘push’ of fact-based details and the ‘pull’ of a sequential narrative. Their strength is due not from the combination of the text and image, content and structure but actually from the added meaning derived from the interaction between the symbolic and the realistic, the literal and the figurative. The cartoon characters inserted into the chapter on bitumen extraction in Alberta uses figurative symbolism to insinuate meaning absent in the script but present in the original journalistic report. How does caricature affect journalistic integrity by adding editorial bias into a report containing verifiable facts?”

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