guttergeek formerly discontinuous review of graphic narrative; now just discontinuous

Darryl Cunningham, How to Fake a Moon Landing (Abrams, 2013). $16.95, hardcover.


Living, as I do, surrounded by human beings, of whom at least 50% are complete idiots, I appreciate where Darryl Cunningham is coming from. Listening to grown people—some of whom have something resembling an education—speak with pride about their decision not to vaccinate their children, or crack wise about how the latest snowstorm proves the whole climate change thing is a joke, well it's enough to make me want to step up on a packing crate and school these fools. And that's just what Cunningham does: lecture the fools with well-researched parries and jabs that I can take with me the next time I am in a place where I am likely to run into people who believe in, say, homeopathy or creationism (which, of course, is pretty much anytime I leave my house).

I'm not sure how well this book works as, well, a book. At its core is a meditation on the causes and costs of science denial, and indeed the final chapter on that issue is one of the strongest:


But ultimately the book feels like a series of arguments which will arm the convinced and do little to win over those who have their chiropractor's number on speed dial. Cunningham's spare, angular visual style, which was used to powerful effects in Psychiatric Tales, somehow just comes off as thin here, where more visual detail and nuance might have brought some needed energy to the monologues.

But no regrets. This book made me the beneficiary of Cunningham's research and debate points, and that alone is worth the price of admission. Because, sadly, I still haven't found a way to avoid having to leave the house.