Posts Tagged ‘Ho Che Anderson’

Does Biography Work in Comics?

October 23, 2008



Presidential Material: John McCain
By Andy Helfer and Stephen Thompson
Presidential Material: Barack Obama
By Jeff Mariotte and Tom Morgan
IDW — saddle-stitched, $3.99 each

(Disclaimer: I gave money to Sen. Obama in both the primary and general periods of the current election. Read that into the following as you will.)

POLITICAL CARTOONS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN a part of American elections, perfect for distilling an idea—often an attack—into a handful of icons capable of getting a point across at a glance.

However, the comics form has rarely, if ever, been used for a more in-depth look at political candidates’ histories and positions on issues. For that matter, while autobiography is common, there are relatively few comics biographies—political or otherwise—in print. There may be good reasons for this, and IDW’s new Presidential Material comics, while stronger than I’d anticipated, reveal several of the factors that make serious biographical work so rare in comics.