by Holly Fetter, ’13 + Jonathan Fetter-Vorm, ’06
I had always imagined Stanford to be a particularly radical place. Back in the days when the closest I came to activism was wearing an Obama pin through the halls of my conservative high school, the escapades of my cousin Jonathan inspired the dream of an oasis called Palo Alto. Stories of his collegiate adventures were passed through the familial grapevine, reaching me in such a dramatized state that I couldn’t help but be enraptured by his coolness. He studied studio art, lived in a magical house called Theta Chi, skipped school to attend anti-war protests in San Francisco with his professors, left school for a few quarters to translate obscure texts in Florence, won a prize for illustrating Beowulf, and, perhaps most impressively, sported a rainbow mohawk as a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity.
Now he’s a bonafide artist residing in Brooklyn, NY, where the disheveled hipsters and rooftop parties let him know he’s far from his humble Montana roots. Jonathan has taken to writing and illustrating historical graphic novels. His latest book, called Trinity, tells the story of the atomic bomb. Meant to please high school students, physics geeks, history buffs, and general aesthetes alike, it’s a wonderful volume on the creation of destruction. Jonathan probes the mystery of the U.S.’ atomic power, only to leave any simple answers totally unattainable. The book has garnered incredible press, from a starred Kirkus review to articles in the Huffington Post, Boing Boing, Brain Pickings, Science News, the Boston Globe, and others.
Aside from being an impressive artist, he’s also an impressive activist. I thought I’d ask him a few questions about his experiences with art and activism in preparation for his upcoming reading in San Francisco. Continue reading