ISBN-13: 9798887440019
Publisher: PM Press
Publish Date: 08/01/2023
Dimensions: 10.40" L, 8.00" W, 0.60" H

Mr. Block: The Subversive Comics and Writings of Ernest Riebe

With: Paul Buhle
With: Iain McIntyre


Price: $22.95


Before the Golden Age of comic books, there was Mr. Block: a bumbling, boss-loving, anti-union blockhead, brought to life over a hundred years ago by subversive cartoonist Ernest Riebe.

A dedicated labour activist and member of the Industrial Workers of the World, Riebe dreamed up his iconic, union-hating anti-hero to satirize conservative workers’ faith in the capitalist system that exploits them. This wickedly funny anthology of Riebe’s writings and comics is a treasure trove of radical 20th-century art and an essential addition to the bookshelves of comics lovers, historians, and labour activists alike.

As income inequality skyrockets and the collective power of the working class is undermined, the lessons from Mr. Block’s misadventures and misbeliefs are as relevant today as ever. Building the new world from the ashes of the old demands many tools–and laughter will always be one of them.

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"As we take pleasure from the spare look and wicked humor of these
send-ups of the retrograde worker and the even more retrograde
institutions that ensnare him, how they teach deserves attention too. We
need to learn the lessons regarding church, state, and boss that Mr.
Block refused. Equally, we need to think about how the artist skewers
the destructive actions and beliefs of fellow workers without letting
their rulers off the hook. Study and chuckle."
–David Roediger, University of Kansas, author of The Sinking Middle Class

it comes to getting schooled and laughing along the way, there's
nothing like the satirical comics of Wobbly Ernest Riebe. His legendary
Mr. Block series comes back to life in this funny, smart, and timely new
–Peter Cole, author of Ben Fletcher: The Life and Times of a Black Wobbly

than a hundred years ago, Ernest Riebe used Mr. Block to diagnose the
critical diseases that afflicted working people: capitalism, government
of, by, and for the boss, co-opted political parties, and labor
bureaucrats. The diseases are still with us, and so Riebe's antidote has
lost none of its potency: a labor movement that is militant, radical,
and democratic. The cartoons have lost none of their accuracy or
relevance, and this collection, accompanied by more recent historical
analysis and appraisal, is a valuable tool for activists, organizers,
and educators. It's also a lot of fun."
–Mark Leier, labor historian, Simon Fraser University

Riebe's Mr. Block was one of the first radical comic strips, and it
remains one of the best. This book is a treasure for activists,
historians, and comic enthusiasts alike!"
–Kenyon Zimmer, co-editor of Wobblies of the World: A Global History of the IWW

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ISBN-13: 9798887440019
Publisher: PM Press
Publish Date: 08/01/2023
Dimensions: 10.40" L, 8.00" W, 0.60" H
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