5 Geeky Ways to Celebrate International Workers Day

1. Support your local comic book shop!

Million Year Picnic in Cambridge, MA
Million Year Picnic in Cambridge, MA. One of our favorite locals!

Maybe you buy your comics online or maybe you wait for the trade volume of your favorite comics and you get them from the library… And that’s totally fine! But there’s no better day than May Day – a day of celebration for workers across the world – to suck it up and drop a few bucks in support of  your local comics shop. Grab a new comic or put your money where your cards are and join a Magic The Gathering tournament, or just load up on a couple comics you’ve always been meaning to get to.

And if you’re like us, at the comics shop so often people think you work there, then you can support too! Try a new comic, add that comic you’ve been himming and hawing about to your pull list. Ask the store owner for a recommendation and splurge on a brand new trade! Any way you can, support your store! We’re heading into Free Comic Book Day this weekend, so it all balances out anyway!

For Boston locals check out this post for some ideas on where to go!

2. Go Indie for the cause!

Believe it or not, comics creators and game developers are workers too! And they’re notoriously underpaid, overworked, and/or underrecognized.  Support your favorite creators directly by checking out their independent projects or discovering new creators. You can often find cool new projects looking for support on sites like Kickstarter, which even breaks it down for you with easy categories for games, comics, technology, etc.

Right now we’re loving (and supporting!) this creepy Dexter-like comic from artist Larime Taylor, whose brief Twitter bio describes him as “Disabled creator of comics. I draw with my mouth.” Check it out (and support!):

The Independents: Larime Taylor from Michael La Breche on Vimeo.

Another of our favorite indie games right now is Cardboard Computer‘s Kentucky Route Zero – a haunting magical realist adventure game set in an old mining town. Check out the trailer below!

3. Teach geekery for the cause!

The next generation of workers are up-and-coming, and one great way to celebrate the day is to make sure that next generation is sufficiently geeky!

Join a tutor program and teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) skills in underserved communities or to groups that aren’t traditionally represented in STEM careers. Check out STEM tutoring opportunities in your area.  Or if you can’t spare the time, then spare the change, and support cool organizations like…

Black Girls Code, which seeks “to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders”

4. Read (comics) about the cause!

Comics are as diverse and encompassing as any other literature, and there are plenty of comics about workers, labor rights, and important historical events in labor history. What better way to learn about workers history & rights than by reading a comic?! Here are a few to check out:

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges & Joe Sacco – An  investigative look at poverty in America

Studs Terkel’s Working: A Graphic Adaptation by Harvey Pekar – An adaptation of a classic work by famous journalist Studs Terkel about the lives of American workers.

Abina and the Important Men by Trevor R. Getz & Liz Clarke – The story of Abina Mansah, a West African woman who was wrongfully enslaved and took her former master to court, creating a revolutionary case monumental in the history of slavery, the wage economy, and underpaid domestic workers in the UK and Africa.

Wobblies!: A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World by Paul Buhle & Nicole Schulman – A star-studded history of the IWW and the fight for rights for industrial workers

Che: A Graphic Biography by Spain Rodriguez & Paul Buhle – A biography of Che Geuvara, a staunch workers rights fighter.

5. Cosplay for the cause!

Young Superheroes protest the MBTA (photo courtesy of Steve Annear and Boston Magazine)
Young Superheroes protest the MBTA (photo courtesy of Steve Annear and Boston Magazine)

Superheroes fight for justice and the little guy. A number of them, like Daredevil, She Hulk, Luke Cage even supplement their usual heroic tactics (a lot of punching things) with a little activist work on the side!  It only makes sense that superheroes would support a day that’s all about labor justice and workers rights. As a bunch of kids discovered last month while protesting the MBTA in Boston, nothing screams justice like a cape and tights. There will be no shortage of May Day events today, so put on your cape, get out there and show your geekery and your support for workers at the same time!

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