Tired of your country's bad politics? Feeling powerless to change things? Start your own utopia instead! This nonfiction graphic novel collects the stories of 30 self-made places around the world built with a dream of utopia, whether a safe haven, an inspiring structure, or a better-run country. From the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands to the Indian rock garden of Nek Chand, the micronation of Sealand to the pirate-founded, anti-slavery community of Libertatia, here are the empowering and eccentric visions of creators who struck out against the laws of their homelands, the approval of their peers, and even nature itself to reshape the world around them.
Those who have dreamed of leaving behind their day-to-day lives for a greater cause will find inspiration in these tales of little-known utopian communities, micronations, and self-made states, which chronicle how one individual's ambitious (or even crazy) dream can become a reality. Warner (Brief Histories of Everyday Objects) and Dam present thirty stories that illuminate the establishment of idealistic societies, from Auroville the City of Dawn in Southeast India, to the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands. They capture the spirit and optimism that drive each society's founder, while challenging, in the process, how people allow themselves to be organized by the societies in which they live. Even one man can declare himself sovereign, such as Dean Kamen (notably the inventor of the Segway scooter), who establishes himself as the ruler and sole inhabitant of North Dumpling Island off the coast of Connecticut while minting stamps, printing currency, and signing a nonaggression pact with the United States. The charming line-art imbues a fabulist feel, with a simple color palette reflecting the simple values of these communities. Establishing a haven from social and political strife is certainly topical, and this comics history offers armchair escapism. \n