Action Philosophers! #5: Hate the French!
Writer: Fred Van Lente; Pencils and Inks: Ryan Dunlavey
On new comic book days, normally Wednesdays, I rarely get home early. I usually hang around the comic book shop for several hours taking and joking with friends instead of doing something productive. Because of my late arrival at home, I rarely read any of that week’s comics until the next day. So, it’s quite unusual for me to read a comic on the day it’s released, but Action Philosophers! is a nice exception to that rule.
Action Philosophers! #2 got a lot of praise from me for bringing each philosopher’s humanity to the readers. Issue #5 deserves the same praise, but rather than simply repeat what’s already been said, I’d like to address something else. Issue #5 works very hard to take some incredibly complicated ideas, make them accessible to the average reader, and provide a foundation to learn and understand more.
My one philosophy class in college included reading Descartes, and I failed that portion of the class miserably. I simply couldn’t make sense of anything that he wrote no matter how many time I read and re-read the material. Wittgenstein? Hume? Lao Tzu? Plato? No problem with any of them. But I just didn’t get Descartes. This issue of AP! broke down his work into bite-size pieces, making it possible to get a good understanding of the Decartes basics. The illustrations even do a good job of moving the ideas from pure thought into the visual realm for those of us who learn better from pictures than words. From there, an average reader like myself can put down the issue with enough knowledge to move on to reading the actual works without spending time hopelessly confused.
Go buy this book, take a little time away from whatever ridiculous comic-based soap opera is the fanboy-flavor-of-the-month, and spend that time with a truly worthwhile comic that deserves some attention. Or, at least support their hard work and buy a kickass Action Philosophers! t-shirt. It’s the smart thing to do.