Secede? Scotland No, Texas Yes? In the Life-Imitates-Art realm, a graphic novel called “Republic” gives you a possibly prophetic glimpse at just how difficult–and bloody–secession from an increasingly tyrannical federal government would be. Or more specifically in this case, secession from a U.N.-based multinational force that has replaced the former United States. Fair warning. This article takes a look at the concept and vision behind “Republic” and, so, involves a bunch of political thinking and what-if conjectures and therefore may not be your cup of tea. (The articles concerning how to format a graphic novel continue elsewhere on this site.)
But for those of you thinking “Hey, come on, all this Republic versus the Federal government stuff” and “Yeah, right, an E.M.P. bomb goes off in the U.S.” and “Who, in their right minds would really secede from the rest of the nation?”, follow on through the article for some responses to those thoughts and questions. Beginning with…
What’s the Republic story line, how realistic is it, and why should I give a flip?
Texas secedes, forcing the inhabitants of a small town to fight a veteran U.N. force sent to put down the new “republic.” That’s the “high concept”.
The story synopsis: In a near-future America controlled by the United Nations, seven Texans and two Special Ops vets (returned from South America, the “new Middle East”) take a stand against a multi-national expeditionary force sent to probe the last remaining Republic’s defenses. Think: “The Magnificent Seven” meets “Red Dawn.”
Setting: the town of Wisdom. Times are tough for this tiny ranch town in the Panhandle of Texas. Tough even before the next great Depression and the following Texas secession from a U.N.-directed takeover of America. (A takeover made possible by a treaty signed by a double-dealing U.S. President.)
But the town of Wisdom learns how to scratch out a living from the desolate plains and the small population survives, even thrives in some ways. So when someone (home grown terrorist? foreign insurgent? a desperate Texas patriot?) detonates an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) rocket over Kansas and put out the lights…well, it hardly matters. No electricity, no running water: no problem. Life goes on in Wisdom, a place quite used to hardship.
Sudden permanent cell phone outage causes widespread attacks of mania and catatonia among the populace dependent upon smart phones. Those not willing to eke out a living ravage the weaker ones. In the big cities, major food riots erupt. As for the less fortunate and sickly, they adapt or die. No diabetics lived out here in the Panhandle to begin with, so insulin and other refrigerated drugs weren’t missed much. People needing cancer chemo treatments and extended care–those folks left Wisdom long ago. They are all gone by now. It is a new world. Harsher. Tougher. Definitely a lot quieter.
In one, brief flash, that missile over Kansas–the center-most portion of the old U.S.–turned back the clock. Turned it back to the age of steam. But the E.M.P also stopped the invading armies from nuking the Republic. Or striking from the air. Even laser-guided small arms stopped functioning. Autos died and rusted in their tracks. Time moved back for all things, except for automatic weapons and the precious ammo to arm them. Many of the foreign U.N. soldiers (now stranded in North America) are still determined to strike against the hated upstart Texas Republic and make the rebels pay. The deadly path for one hardened expeditionary force lies through the Panhandle. Through Wisdom. And through seven weather-bitten, gun savvy Texans aided by two Special Ops veterans. End Part One. Part Two will discuss the photography of a Depression-era government worker and how it gave rise to Wisdom, Texas.
This article, Copyright © 2014 Lucas Cole, published simultaneously on www.republicthegraphicnovel.com.