Life of an Anarchist
A review by Steve Storz


Life of an Anarchist, the web graphic novel by Leslie Streit and Robin McCain, exemplifies the complexity of our lives Paolo Soleri spoke of in the 1990’s. Streit, the creative force behind New-Performance, continues to entice us with art that wraps our minds with Gordian tangles. Streit and McCain have teamed to output a full color, comic book story that is easy to view, even at dial-up speed.

The work-in-progress to this point concerns a rebel named Emil Janik who, in his action hero, yet compassionate, way is trying to find out the motives of a nerdy scientist who has developed a strange chemical that produces time travel. Getting bounced between 2015 and 2019, Tom gets caught up in a hideous intrigue involving a massive plague. How did a nerdy chemist end up with huge corporate power? Streit gathers the contemporary world, mixes a bit of the future and brings in propagandized fear we all know from the nightly news.

The episodes, 6 so far, come out every few weeks. Having read science fiction tales about time travel, it is a new challenge to read this type of story, with non-linear elements, over several months and keep it straight in my head. (see, even this review is complex?).

Robin McCain, the illustrator, is very adept at the mixture of photo backgrounds and drawn-in figures but has a little trouble with some of the character poses. Hands gripping test tubes and such are sometimes awkward. Yet, it fits with the look of their work. There’s a bit of the backyard funhouse in what they do. Leslie Streit has always kept her eye on wrapping and moving on, getting the improvements into the work as it progresses. Growing as an artist. A tribute to the complexity of Life of an Anarchist.