Advance Review: Targeting Our Gun-Obsessed Culture In `Survival Street’ #2
by Tom Smithyman
Survival Street is not a book about subtleties. If you believe guns should be in every classroom, you’re going to hate this book and its liberal agenda. On the other hand, if you’re fed up reading about the death and destruction in Uvaldes and Buffalos, you should give this Sesame Street satire a chance.
Popular media’s use of thinly veiled references to satirize or comment on the real world is a tried-and-true storytelling technique. Perhaps the best use was Star Trek’s future setting to comment on everything from nuclear disarmament to saving the whales.
Survival Street doesn’t bother with those comparisons; instead it goes right after a culture it sees as corporate-controlled, environmentally hostile and beholden to the gun lobby.
Fresh off their victory against anti-immigration bigots in Florida, the Sesame Street-inspired puppets head to Hollow Point Texas to take on the Weapons Retailers of America, aka the WRA, its leader John DuParis and Hollywood supporter Cain Eastwood. No, this book is not going for subtlety in any way. Instead, writers James Asmus and Jim Festante and chosen to hit readers over the head with their messages. More liberal readers will love the approach while conservatives will see it as yet another example of the Left’s dominance over media.
But if you are left of center, you will have a ball with this issue. After all, at a rally, the WRA leader, modeled after NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, celebrates the inclusion of gun rights into the Constitution’s First Amendment. The group has put private armed guards in every school, and won the right for the students themselves to be armed – “just in case the security guards got out of line.” The obvious next step? Arm the infants. After all, the right to bear arms begins at conception. Again, heavy on the political satire, but light on subtlety.
Aside from a distracting flashback where we learn about Herbert’s (think a green Grover) tragic past, the puppets largely take a back seat in this issue. The writers clearly have a lot to say about the state of the United States, but they are letting it get in the way of the puppets who are supposed to be the stars of the series.
Abylay Kussainov’s artwork is perfectly suited to the Sesame Street characters, even if we don’t see enough of them here. His depictions of the thinly veiled stand-ins look spot on. Even Charlton Heston makes an appearance.
Like with social media, it’s doubtful that the political commentary in the book will change people’s opinions about the current state of affairs. But, as long as you’re a liberal, it’s a pretty fun read.
Survival Street #2 will be available for purchase on Wednesday.