As the future of the Federal Reserve’s role in Americans’ lives is vigorously debated around the country, The Daily Caller took a look at the lighter side of the feared institution. Few know that the Fed produces, in-house, about a dozen different comic books on financial topics — complete with itself cast as a superhero:
The most recent comics are from 2008, and reference some timely topics. They always portray the Fed in a Big Brother role, but a positive, friendly, I’ll teach-you-how-to-ride-a-bike — rather than a total-government-surveillance — way:
The Federal Reserve Bank is a notoriously secretive institution — it refused to comment for this innocent little story about educational materials beyond saying it sends out about 1 million comic books a year. While the comics date back to the art form’s mid-century heyday, most of the stories have been updated in recent years. The artwork is outsourced to contractors who work with Fed employees to complete the narratives.
“It was discovered many decades ago that you can convey information in a comic book to a person which you can’t convey in a normal way,” says Mike Chen, a representative of the Joe Kubert School, the only school in the U.S. that specializes in the world of cartooning. “Because there’s a story to follow, it makes the information stick.” The Fed aims to make dry topics, such as how the the bank and monetary policy work, palatable.
The Fed has clearly taken this to heart — they can even make a love story out of the GDP.
The Fed provided no information on production costs, but Kubert points out that comics tend to be cheaper than traditional educational materials. An amateur artist can self-publish a run of 1,000 comic books for as little as $1,000, and an average comic book can be picked up at the store for $2.50.
The Fed distributes these comic books for free to high-school and college educators through their Web site. You can request your copy here.
For more of riveting economic drama like this:
Click the slideshow below.