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Presidential Cartoons

Since Election Night is coming up and our two presidential candidates invest heavily in their biographies – John McCain as the wounded warrior who is a political maverick and Barack Obama as Luke Skywalker who will bring change, two comic books are produced that will deal with both their biographies since both the presidential candidates are authors (McCain’s had the help of a ghost writer). McCain’s comic is inspired from his book, the Faith of the Fathers while Obama is inspired from Dreams of his Father. I don’t know whether McCain read any comic books but Obama used to sketch Batman and Spiderman with a childhood friend named Yanto in Indonesia and was supposedly excellent at it (Imagine – Barack the cartoonist).

Here is an interpretation of McCain’s Biography.

And here’s an interpretation of Obama’s journey in Dreams.

Here is a detailed review of both books talking about both McCain and Obama. First McCain…

This comic book is jam-packed with McCain’s political life, personal life, and chronicles decades of idolizing people like Nixon and Reagan, passing legislation, working with Democrats and Republicans alike, earning a reputation for being skilled in foreign policy, becoming a national political figure, the vicious George Bush campaign headed by Karl Rove, and much more, including rebounding from two major scandals: Keating Five and his 2nd wife Cindy’s drug addiction. Ultimately, the man who was the independent rebel actually became the establishment.

Then Obama….

Barack’s childhood and adolescence is that of isolation, being unaccepted, counterculture, and searching for his identity. He had no traditional family structure. Although he went to a Muslim school in Kenya and a Christian school, he had never fully been indoctrinated into organized religion as a youngster. As an angry and hurt young man, he got involved with drugs, loud music, and not putting effort into school. But there were turning points in his life, like a stern lecture from his mother. The comic traces how he got involved in politics in Chicago, through legal work and community activism. His beliefs were formed from his influences in life, and from his ancestral African home. His influences are Martin Luther King and Malcom X.

His Senate races are detailed, along with how he just burst upon the national scene due to his two unbelievable speeches, which are covered. The Democratic Primaries are depicted, along with his defeat of Hilary Clinton.

All in all, it was a perfect sketch of the man who is Obama. He’s someone who no one would ever believe would have a chance to be president, since he was a troubled teen, and later a local community organizer, with some questionable black nationalist associates.

But he struggled and he overcame, and was an excellent student and lawyer, respected by his professors as being brilliant.

Here is another review of both the books from the Guardian Books blog.

Hope this helps!

PS: This took me a VERY long time to find. Hope you guys are thankful!




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Cartoon Skeletons

All museums have interesting things, but some are more interesting than others.  In the natural history museum of Basel, Switzerland there was an exhibit called Animatus of skeletons of cartoon characters (It ran until August 31 so I guess its somewhere else now).   So if you walked in you would see Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, Tom and Jerry among other favorites except for they would be all bone.  This exhibit was created by the Korean artist Hyungkoo Lee.  I think its kind of cool if not just a little creepy. What do you think?



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Digital Disease

It’s possible to get sick in a video game and for outbreaks to happen too. I may be a little late writing about this considering it happened a few years ago, but I didn’t know about it until not too long ago. I don’t play either The Sims or World of Warcraft so the diseases that popped up in both games didn’t affect me. It’s really amazing that a disease can become a plague as it did in World of Warcraft and escape the boundaries it was supposed to be in. The same happened in The Sims when a guinea pig infected the people when it wasn’t supposed to be able to.

Now scientists are using the outbreak in World of Warcraft as a disease model. People reacted to the disease very much like they would have in real life according to scientists. They were fleeing from infected areas, saving people, and trying to spread it. Of course since it is a video game all of this was exaggerated. So if you’re thinking about being a scientists with an interest in disease and human reaction to it continue playing video games. And if anyone was affected by the corrupted blood disease please say how you responded to it. I’m rather curious.


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Sarah Palin or Angela Petrelli (from Heroes)?

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Funny Christian/Sasuke pic

I found this awesome pic of Christian/Sasuke and I think it’s awesome so I decided to share it with everyone. Doesn’t Christian’s head fit so well on Sasuke? Christian’s hair looks so much like Sasuke and his face does too. Christian’s such an anime character. There are lots more out there though. I might do some mash ups myself. Any ideas?



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New York Times talks about Heroes

This is of course tangentially related to our blog but the television series Heroes encompasses so much of our graphic novel fantasies that a review about it, especially by the New York Times, is a exciting topic for discussion. As par the course for the New York Times, the piece veers between pity and condescension of what the series says about the oh so precocious Generation Y.

First comes the pity

“Young people today can’t repay their college loans; they can’t afford apartment rents, let alone mortgages; their Social Security is being sucked up by their elders; and H.I.V. left them out of the sexual revolution: what was once free love is now a viral minefield. It’s a plight lamented in books like “Generation Debt” and even in ads for that showcase debt-crippled lads gamely doing menial work as they warn others about the dangers of letting bills pile up. (“They monitor your credit and send you e-mail alerts/So you don’t end up selling fish to tourists in T-shirts.”)

“Heroes” gives its fans cathartic validation: You inherited a screwed-up world, and it’s not your fault.”

Then the condescension,

“And Generation Y has more special abilities than any previous one: these are people who came of age taking the Internet, BlackBerries, cash machines, Facebook and iPods for granted. They also take the taking for granted. They are the most coddled, indulged and overprotected generation ever. Swaddled in safety and self-esteem, they have all been assured that they are special. They don’t rebel against their parents or even seek independence; they welcome an electronic umbilical cord that stretches through high school and college and even the post-graduate return to the empty nest. On “Heroes” those filial bonds stretch beyond the grave: even after his father is dead, Hiro (Masi Oka) still receives his fatherly advice via prerecorded DVD.”

And more speculation about the state of the inscrutable Generation Y*

“Some of the most likeable characters are stuck mopping up their parents’ mistakes. In Season 2, after Peter manages to wrest back the vial containing the world-threatening virus and destroy it, his fellow hero Matt (Greg Grunberg), whose father was also one of the founders of the Company, is less relieved than disgusted. “Your mother, my father, God knows what else they’ve done,” Matt says bitterly. “How much longer are we going to have to clean up their mess?”

The only interesting part about the review apart from the absurd psychoanalysis of the plight of Generation Y was the last paragraph which actually talks about the upcoming new season.

“The ratings for last season slumped, probably because there were too many pointless diversions and time-travel to feudal Japan. Mr. Kring has assured interviewers and fans that the third season will correct those mistakes and recover the fast-paced suspense and tension of the first season. The premiere episode lives up to that pledge, with lots of violence, special effects and laser-fast editing.”


The Heroes would premiere today at 9:00 o clock on Monday, September 22, 2008.

*In case any of you have been following the financial bailout in the past few days, just wonder why would the cheery Y ever think they have to clean up the mess produced by the Baby Boomers.


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Tired of the tragic hero archtype

Is the world a fundamentally just place? This question has been under the driving pulse of many graphic novels, all featuring the tragic hero. But does the main character (hero/heroine) always have to be so tragic? Can he not be dastardly, cruel, vicious, cold and the utter rarity – comic.

I have not seen a truly funny main character in a graphic novel in a long time except perhaps autobiographical ones (because don’t we all have to laugh at ourselves).  Humor in graphic novels for some unknown reason has been relegated to the reliable side kick or the three dollar issue of Archie comics on the aisle in the super market. Which is a shame considering Archie Comics has been a real treat. Three thumbs to Jughead who is a metaphor for the finite infinite universe. None of the other characters make much sense.

But comedy is the perfect medium for a graphic novel and Its high time we had a non mopping non wimpy non agonizing funny in a non sarcastic manner main character. So if any artists are reading, please do listen.


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