The representative from New York inspired a comic book anthology that arrives in stores on Wednesday.
Is Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York the biggest comic book character of 2019? Her story has all the twists of a comic book origin: Shes a former bartender and activist turned congresswoman; shes a confident public speaker and a social-media whiz (where she once quoted from the Watchmen graphic novel); and shes a champion for progressive issues and the environment.
Maybe Was this dry humor or sarcasm? is the new Are you the guy in the blackface or the guy in the Klan hood? Pro tip: If you have to explain to someone that your remark was humorous, it didn’t work. Also, I’m not sure Ocasio-Cortez understands the meaning of the word sarcasm. It means, I actually mean the opposite of what I’m saying. Let’s try it out: AOC is brilliant. See? If she was using sarcasm in either the 12 years or the like ten people remark, she meant . . . the opposite? So, instead of having 12 years, we’ve got . . . a lot of time? Instead of wanting to increase tax on ten people, she meant . . . a lot of people? Thinking that the climate is not going to collapse in 12 years, and thinking that AOC wants to stick a lot of people with huge tax increases, are standard GOP talking points. If the GOP is Dwight Schrute, is that now shorthand for the GOP is right?
Just Kidding, Says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Readers will be able to decide for themselves where she ranks among their comic book favorites on Wednesday when Issue No. 1 of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force arrives in stores.
The tales in this anthology include the absurdist and the hopeful. In one, written by Nick Accardi and drawn by Travis Hymel, the world of politics is transferred to a wrestling ring — where Ocasio-Cortez participates in a Senate Slam against diabolical special-interest groups. She is visited the night before the match by someone who introduces themselves as New Yorks Greatest Senator. When she guesses Hillary Clinton, there is an angry response: No Dag Nabbit! Its me Franklin Delano Roosevelt!
Another story, Dance Party USA by the cartoonist Peter Rostovsky, delves into the question of whether dancing and Democrats mix — in response to the dance video of Ocasio-Cortez that surfaced on the internet on the eve of her swearing-in. Obama danced but was too smooth, Rostovsky writes, while Hillary Clinton seemed kind of awkward. He also says that the key to a social movement is to make it enjoyable. I suggested we look at AOCs infamous dance video as a promise of things to come, he writes. Maybe itll be a party if she really gets her way.
“If you think your celibacy is due to female empowerment, maybe its because far too many people relied on the disempowerment + silence of women to not be celibate in the first place,” she said.
The project, from Devils Due Comics, received a lot of media attention when it was announced in February. In his foreword, Josh Blaylock, the founder of the company, said he created the comic because he was inspired by Ocasio-Cortez and other newly elected members of Congress. The result is a 52-page book, priced at $5.99, which has pinups, games and stories. The common theme is the potential of the new members of Congress and their finally bringing diversity to the legislative body that reflects us as a whole, Blaylock wrote.
The Ocasio-Cortez comic is not the first or last foray into politics by Devils Due. Blaylock published Barack the Barbarian in 2009. And on July 3, the company will release an anthology dedicated to Bernie Sanders, Talk Bernie To Me! — which is being promoted as another comic anthology for the 99 percent.
Comic books and politics have a colorful past. President Ronald Reagan was the subject of a 2007 graphic-novel biography. The next year, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain made an appearance in a Marvel comic, and IDW Publishing presented biographical comics about Senators John McCain and Barack Obama a month before Election Day. TidalWave Productions has a regular Female Force series of comics that tell the life stories of Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Michelle Obama, Condoleezza Rice and others. The company also released Donald Trump: The Graphic Novel as part of its Political Power series and is publishing a biographical comic on Ocasio-Cortez in August.
President Trump is a regular subject of the artist Jon McNaughton, who has been painting for about four decades but whose work turned to politics in 2008, when he painted John McCain. But it was One Nation Under God (2009), which showed Jesus Christ holding a copy of the Constitution, that brought him a lot of exposure. This was when the internet was just starting to come on pretty strong, and it went viral because somebody was making fun of it, Naughton said in a telephone interview. Then the tide turned. Ive come to kind of get used to the fact that half the country loves my paintings and the other half hates them.
Similarly McNaughtons paintings of the president tend to take a positive view of him. One painting, National Emergency, about the immigration debate, depicts President Trump on one side opposed by Ocasio-Cortez and others. He normally would not paint such a new congresswoman, he said, but she was an interesting enough character to put in.
In February, when a reporter for TMZ asked Ocasio-Cortez about her comic book debut, she said she was appreciative that a portion of all sales will go to RaicesTexas.org, which provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children, families and refugees. The reporter also asked Ocasio-Cortez what it felt like to be depicted as a superhero. "Im just a normal person, doing her best, she said. She added that her comic-book character might inspire young girls, showing them that "we all have a superhero inside of us."
DOOMSDAY DELAY? AOC Says Voters Must Have Intelligence of a Sponge to Believe World Ending in 12 Years
George Gustines is a senior editor. He began writing about the comic book industry in 2002. @georgegustines • Facebook
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., compared the Republican Party to one of the most well-known television characters over the last decade: Dwight Schrute from NBC’s “The Office.”
Ocasio-Cortez likened the GOP to the character because the party has a “technique” to take “dry humor” and “sarcasm” literally and fact check it, she tweeted Sunday.
“This is a technique of the GOP, to take dry humor + sarcasm literally and 'fact check” it,' the freshman Congresswoman tweeted. Like the ‘world ending in 12 years’ thing, you’d have to have the social intelligence of a sea sponge to think it’s literal. But the GOP is basically Dwight from The Office so who knows.”
“When we say ‘tax the rich,’ we mean nesting-doll yacht rich. For-profit prison rich. Betsy DeVos, student-loan-shark rich,” she tweeted, adding “Because THAT kind of rich is simply not good for society, & it’s like 10 people.”