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Think you know Zach Weinersmith? Wait until you see his new book, ‘Open Borders’

Ho boy. Is he ready for this?

Zach Weinersmith needs no introduction. Everybody knows him from his inescapably poignant “Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal” webcomic, lampooning science, philosophy and daily life, and from books like Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything. At the end of October, those well-worn expectations may be upended.

Weinersmith was at New York Comic Con today (no surprise there), but not in the cavernous expanse of the Javits Center. Instead, he rounded at a panel at the slightly less cavernous New York Public Library on 5th Avenue, home of a full Thursday of presentations encouraging and lending tools for using comics and graphic novels in education. Though he thinks his stuff is usually not good at educating (“probably doing the opposite,” he says), his next one may be different.

In Open Borders, Weinersmith teams up with economist Bryan Caplan to argue, with illustrations and a ton of data, that a completely laissez-faire immigration policy is actually the best for continued economic growth. It’s a tremendously controversial stance, though he didn’t understand that until the book’s promotion started. Suddenly, some fans of his were up in arms, and one self-identified Nazi, who said he “tolerated the Hitler jokes” railed that this was the last straw.

“I’ve never received a more gratifying email,” Weinersmith said.

Does he have the goods? Is the possibly uncomfortable conclusion evident in the research? It remains unclear for now, but keep your eyes out for things to just get hotter as the release date approaches.

Open Borders:  The Science and Ethics of Immigration is available on October 29.

AiPT! Science is co-presented by AiPT! Comics and the New York City Skeptics.

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