In early 2018, cartoonist Sofia Warren was not paying attention to New York state politics. But that summer, her Brooklyn neighborhood began buzzing about Julia Salazar, a 27-year-old democratic socialist running for State Senate whose grassroots campaign was inspiring an army of volunteers. When they beat the odds and won, Warren found herself wondering what would happen next. How does it work when an outsider who runs on revolutionary change has to actually do the job? So she decided to find out
Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator is a remarkable graphic memoir of Warren’s experience embedded with Julia Salazar and her staff during their first year in office. From candid conversations and eyewitness experiences, Warren builds a gripping and intimate portrait of a scrappy team of community organizers battling entrenched power structures, particularly to advance Julia’s marquee issue: housing rights.
At every key point during the year — setting up an office, navigating insider politics, public pushback, testy staff meetings, emotional speeches, protest marches, setbacks, and victories — Warren is up close and personal with Julia and her team, observing, questioning, and drawing, as they try to translate their ideals into concrete legislation.
Along the way, Warren works toward answers to deeper questions: what makes a good leader? What does it mean to be a part of a community? Can democracy work? How can everyday people make change happen?
All these themes are explored — with nuance, compassion, and humor — in Sofia Warren’s remarkable debut.
— a 328-page, softcover graphic novel with 3″ French flaps (6.4″ x 9″)
Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator hits shelves everywhere books are sold on June 14th!