Best Lefty Rabble-Rousers

Derek Hess and Kent Smith

Though their book Please God Save Us appeared in July 2008, its continued brisk sales and the ongoing popularity of its creators' personal appearances keeps it in the running for best of 2009. If Derek Hess (left in photo, with dog Jose) needs an introduction, you're obviously new here — his dark, sketchy drawings have been an integral part of the Clevelandscape for almost 20 years. In Save Us, he takes aim at the GOP's destructiveness and hypocrisy, while Euclid-based politician/gadfly Kent Smith's (right) accompanying essays state the progressive case, avoiding tired lefty shibboleths while solidly torpedoing his Machiavellian ideological foes. Though their book signings are winding down while Smith campaigns for his third term on Euclid's school board, Save Us remains a must-have Cleveland art book, and as long as the lunatic right continues to derail our nation (i.e. fucking indefinitely), it remains a timely political tract as well. ( — Kretsch