More than 140 single-page comics from artists the world over, documenting humanity’s retreat into COVID-19 lockdown and imagining our eventual, boisterous reemergence, gathered by the founder of the annual Comic Arts Brooklyn festival and owner of the beloved indie comics shop Desert Island
On April 1, 2020, the Instagram account of Desert Island, Brooklyn’s celebrated alternative comics shop, put out a call. By then Desert Island had been shuttered indefinitely, and cities all over the world had been locked down as the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.
“We all need something positive to think about, and a lot of us have time on our hands,” the post read. “Who wants to make something?”
What happened next was nothing short of remarkable, as hundreds of short comics from more than fifty countries poured into Desert Island’s inbox. Some came from notable cartoonists. Most, astonishingly, came from amateur artists just looking for an outlet to create in the midst of tragedy—for a chance to join the rescue party that leads us out of isolation.
Collected in this book are more than 140 notable entries from the Rescue Party project, capturing the loneliness and the surprising comforts of early lockdown; the mania of its middle days as the mind begins to fray; and the many paths forward toward humanity’s future, as we re-enter a world wracked with injustice.
Bracing, beautiful, and conspicuously optimistic, Rescue Party is part graphic diary, part time capsule, and part field guide: a grassroots project that tells the collective story of lockdown from a chorus of global voices and charts a course toward a more just future.