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Tinkerers GN promotes industrial concerns


We all know that everyone wants to get in on that graphic novel boom, but did you know even the Metals Service Center Institute is getting in on the act?

TINKERERS is a new graphic novel by noted SF author David Brin, Jason Land and Jan Feindt. You can read the whole thing in the link, though, and it’s only 24 pages long, so “graphic novel” seems optimistic. We only scanned it, but according to Metal Miner: Sourcing & Trading Intelligence for Global Metals Markets (!!!) it is somewhat propagandistic:

TINKERERS appears to be underwritten to some extent by DARPA, which, as stated on the last page of the novel, invested one billion dollars in alternate manufacturing in August 2010. Essentially, the US military-industrial complex is subliminally recruiting people to work for or within their cause by smartly presenting this story’s message as “you can decide for yourself” – to speak highly of industrial virtues while simultaneously speaking ill of the “expressive fields like entertainment or law” does not do its overall message justice.

The editor shows up in the comments and claims:

All of those theories, discussions, etc., serve to show the very, very broad range of opinions out there about what to do to support North American manufacturing, and reasons for the decline we’ve seen in the last decade. But the point of the story is that the answer to what ails manufacturing lies within ourselves, our ability to innovate and our spirit of getting done what needs to be done.

I’d also like to suggest that for a trade association to use the graphic novella form to make this point is unusual, noteworthy and, really, an effort to reach people who have so far been captives of the “free trade at all costs” argument.

Hm, file this one under “Weird item of the day.”

  1. That was quite good.

    Of course it is propaganda… it has a distinct message to impart, and does it quite well, giving multiple points of view.

    Yes, DARPA and the military-industrial complex fund a lot of research (and takes a few bruises in the comic), but much of that research also has domestic uses as well.

    Compared to previous comics from the federal government (like the Sandanista manual) and various organizations (Popeye Career Educational Series), this comic is actually enjoyable.

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