Action Philosophers

Action Philosophers

"Action Philosophers!" is a comic book series by artist Ryan Dunlavey and writer Fred Van Lente, first created for a comic book newspaper "Prophecy", which was never published. Following this, the creative team won the Xeric Grant in late 2004, leading to Action Philosophers! # 1's publication in April 2005.

The series focuses on a concise biography of some of the most notable philosophers and their ideas. To quote the [ book's homepage] :

ACTION PHILOSOPHERS! is a comic book series detailing the lives and thoughts of history's A-list brain trust in a hip and humorous way that proves that philosophy is not just the province of boring tweed-enveloped college professors.

The series concluded with issue # 9, published in September 2007. There are three trade paperbacks available, each of which collects three issues of the series.

tyle and Critical Acclaim

The Action Philosophers series employs broad humor and a cartoony art style with the goal of making the often complex and metaphorical ideas of philosophy more easily understood than a traditional text would. Pop culture references often occur, including radical changes in art style that pay homage to famous cartoonists including Jack Kirby, Charles M. Schulz and Bil Keane. The creators themselves sometimes appear in the comics themselves - most notably in the Derrida story, in which the story deconstructs into itself. Philosophical theories are examined in as objective a light as possible, with emphasis often given to the thinkers themselves, and how their lives shaped their ideas.

[ Van Lente] and Dunlavey actively discuss the series on [ their message board] , and have even encouraged fans to vote on which philosopher should be highlighted in a future issues (as illustrated with issue # 6, "The People's Choice", and issue # 9, "The Lightning Round").

The series has been nominated for an Ignatz Outstanding Debut Award - "SPX announces Ignatz Nominees"] , as well as a positive review from "Philosophy Now" - "Action Philosophers! by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey"]

Issue Summary

* [ # 1] : - Nietzsche, Bodhidharma, & Plato: "Wrestling Superstar of Ancient Greece!", featuring one of the series' most famous lines, "PLATO SMASH!""

* [ # 2] : - The "All Sex Special", featuring Ayn Rand, Thomas Jefferson, & Saint Augustine.

* [ # 3] : - "Self Help for Stupid Ugly Losers" featuring Freud, Carl Jung, & Joseph Campbell.

* [ # 4] : - "World Domination Handbook" featuring Karl Marx, Machiavelli, & The Kabbalah.

* [ # 5] : - "Hate the French" featuring Descartes, Sartre, & Jaques Derrida.

* [ # 6] : - "The People's Choice" featuring Kierkegaard, St. Thomas Aquinas, & Ludwig Wittgenstein.

* [ # 7] : - "It's all Greek to you" featuring The Pre-Socratics, Aristotle, & Epictetus.

* [ # 8] : - "Senseless Violence Special" featuring Kant, Schopenhauer, Hegel, & John Stuart Mill.

* [ # 9] : - "The Lightning Round" , the final issue featuring Diogenes the Cynic, Lao Tzu, Michel Foucault, David Hume, Confucius, George Berkeley, Francis Bacon, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes, Mary Wollstonecraft, Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibniz.

Collected editions


External links

* [ Official series website, featuring free issue previews]
* [ Interview with Fred and Ryan] at [ comiXology] on Action Philosophers and Comic Book Comics
* ['s interview, also examining the creative team's post-AP! projects]
* [ Official Action Philosophers! message board]
* [ Philosophy Now's review]
* [ Interview with Indie Comics News]

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