I'm in the UK, trying to stay alive, surrounded by New Covid, Covid Classic, and Die-it Covid!
Further to last week's rant on the ways our entire existence is almost entirely mediated through TV, I am reminded of an illustration I collaged a few years ago. It's called "The Screen."
All screens-- all the time!
As you know, I've been advocating for the reduction of screen time for about a decade, especially for children... and there was an inkling of hope just before this whole Covid business. Mainstream conversations around the problems of screen-based digital technology were growing. For instance:
I wrote about the issues of technology in education in this comic. And this 2019 film from Iceland kept me inspired.
In fact, just before lockdown, I discovered this small chain of UK bars called Samuel Smith pubs. There are only a couple hundred or so throughout the UK and my neighbourhood in Middlesbrough has (had) two (in these beautiful old Victorian buildings). Anyways, according to their website:
George Orwell described his perfect pub in a 1945 essay entitled “The Moon under Water” – Samuel Smith pub's accord with his ideal in several ways:
These places were so cool! They had "Digital Detox Zone" posters and staff wore the imprint on their T-Shirts.
I found another Samuel Smith pub down the road in another town called Stockton (where the friction match was invented in 1826). Kim, our friend Will, and I were there last year (just before lockdown) drinking pints (organic draught lager!). Will turns on his phone to text his gal, and wouldn't you know it: a barmaid asks him to put the phone away. It isn't permitted! I loved and laughed at that moment.
I'm bored of YouTube and Netflix now, so I caved and got the free Amazon Prime for a month. What's worth watching? So far, these:
I took a break over Xmas and did some doodles. Here's one idea for a potential comic: The League of American Digital Supervillains (LADS).
Julian Lawrence loves comic books. Born in England and raised bilingual English-French in Québec, his work is published and displayed internationally.