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Doing a blog really does lead one down otherwise neglected by-ways of a nations mind.  A while back I noted how many American politicians, including Presidents, were either former pin-ups and models or beauty pageant competitors. (Posts here and here).  A situation which would be utterly unthinkable in Britain. Indeed participation in either sphere would be more than enough to render the candidate considered lightweight or unsuitable.

The other day I posted about Sarah Palin appearing in her own comic book, “Steampunk Palin” thinking this must be something truly novel and unique. But no! And so in the interests of being even-handed I now give you “Barack the Barbarian” starting first in the “Quest for the Treasure of Stimulus”. Not a simple one-off he returns again as seen above in “The Righteous Retribution of Barack the Barbarian” where he is pictured in a fight to the death with a screaming enchantress. The publishers are “Devil’s Due” who hail from Barak’s political cradle of Chicago.

This surely, must be another very American trait. It is inconceivable that Dave Cameron, or Ed Miliband could star in anything like this. Ed Miliband in Judge Dredd?  Ed Miliband as Judge Dredd?  No …dont think so.

Where British politicians are shown in comic book style it is always as one-off pictures, heavy with satire. They appear clearly marked off and carefully corralled in their designated corners of the daily or Sunday newspapers as “The Political Cartoon”. One might think of Steve Bell’s poisonous renditions of Heseltine as “Tarzan”, or the famous Vicky’s pops at Macmillan as “SuperMac”. And anyway Vicky was not a mainstream British cartoonist, being foreign, and a Hungarian, a Jew born in Berlin, who had escaped from Stalin’s Europe!

Even if one thinks that the comic book participation above was intended as edgy, ironic, and satirical, which I am not certain was the intention, far less the result, this would still be unique in the west. I can’t think of other countries where the politicians are promoted, or attacked, by entire comic books devoted to them. And then, what about Obama’s appearance here below in the more mainstream Marvel’s top comic Spiderman? Distinct lack of tongues in cheeks here I feel.  Noses firmly up bottoms more like.

If anyone can point me to other examples of US Politicians appearing in their own or others comic books I would love to hear from you!

Copyright David Macadam 2011

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