Not too long ago, I had to renew both my passport and various family member passports at the nearest government office. It was a bit of an ordeal.
Coming out of COVID, media – both traditional and social – was replete with consternation that passport paperwork had screeched to a near halt due to staffing shortages, pent-up demand, and a whole host of regular, run-of-the-mill, government white-collar bureaucracy.
Knowing I had a few months of lead time before an out-of-country family vacation, my process started with asking friends where they may have recently gone for the same endeavour. Some offices, you see, are quicker than others. Some have longer line-ups. Some don’t do that kind of administrative work. Getting my ducks in a row still cost me multiple trips to the office of choice as required documents were forgotten at home, office delays on one particular passport filing meant constant follow-up on phone and in person. In the end, I got what I needed, with a few weeks to spare. Fun family vacation ensued.
Not everyone following the same process was as lucky. There are plenty of stories out in the interweb ether where people missed their vacations and ate the bill because they couldn’t get their passports on time.
Ah, government. Can’t live with them without some amount of fist-shaking-at-clouds. And, truthfully, can’t live safely without them.
Which brings us to a fascinating science fiction take on government, the human race…and the official administration of the planet earth in the new monthly series, The Ministry of Compliance!
Written by Academy Award-winning filmmaker, novelist and long-time comic book writer John Ridley (Black Panther, GCPD: The Blue Wall, The Other History of the DC Universe, Three Kings, 12 Years A Slave, American Crime) and lavishly illustrated by Italian artist Stefano Raffaele (GCPD: The Blue Wall, Birds of Prey, Aurora, Detective Comics, Conan The Barbarian), The Ministry of Compliance is the story of earth, secretly invaded nearly four decades ago by an alien force known as the Devolution. Since that time, humanity has been furtively directed and shaped by its overlords in order to be properly assimilated into that alien empire. Of course, this takes much administrative intervention and so thirteen Devolution ministries undertake various aspects of the integration preparation. The Ministry of Compliance is the most feared of the thirteen. An exo-internal affairs, they make sure all the others keep in line and remain focused on the task at hand. But, like in all good governmental administration (here on earth or out there amongst the stars) sometimes the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing. Plots are hatched. Conspiracies rise. And on the verge of a long-sought and hard-worked planetary assimilation, the Ministry of Compliance must tackle the inner bureaucracy of politics and philosophy – and life and death.
There’s more on the line here than just a delayed passport renewal form. The Ministry of Compliance is full of the real-life angst that any purveyor of modern-day earthly politics and its social media tendrils offers. It’s timely and prescient, harrowing and absolutely fascinating.
Drop your paperwork and make the run to your local comic book shop and pick up The Ministry of Compliance #1 today!