Review Essay: Reno Revisited: Fresh Perspectives on the “Biggest Little City in the World”
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But at the same time, both works remain bound to the hoary tropes that too often dog labor history. This history of labor is almost always about waged labor, and the almost irresistible tide that sweeps more (and ever more diverse) people into its maw. Future graphic accounts would do well to trouble a problematic narrative about the ever-widening gyre of capitalist wage relations. Our age of austerity, mass incarceration, and the precarity of the so-called ‘‘gig economy’’ has its own historical antecedents and precedents that are different from the classical narrative of proletarianization. This is especially true for feminized and reproductive labors, whether the unwaged labor of housework or sex work. Michelle Tea and Laurenn McCubbin’s graphic novel Rent Girl (2004) provides one excellent source of inspiration for discussing the history of sex work. The point is that class struggle is not simply about strikes, walkouts, and dramatic confrontations between labor and capital. It is much more often a daily struggle made up of small, subtle, but no less impressive, acts of resistance. This ought to be the next frontier for working-class comix, a medium with deep roots in the highly personal, and no less class-conscious, stories of writers such as Harvey Pekar.
Chung, S. K.
Review Essay: Reno Revisited: Fresh Perspectives on the “Biggest Little City in the World”.
Public Historian, 39(3),