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.
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!
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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.
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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.
Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., took on another facet of Republican criticism. Markey, who is co-sponsoring the Green New Deal with Ocasio-Cortez, noted that the plan is often depicted by opponents as a socialist takeover, one that will prevent Americans from eating hamburgers and flying on airplanes (because both activities contribute to climate change). But then he pointed out that Republicans had taken many measures to help allies in the extractive industries, in particular by offering them tax breaks.
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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.
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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.
After one critic accused Ocasio-Cortez of implying that “Hill staffers are so without values that they’ll just advise their boss to vote for whatever” and that “their bosses are so lacking in convictions or policy chops that they’ll do whatever they’re told,” Ocasio-Cortez explained that the lobbying process is far more tactical and insidious than it appears.
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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."
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George Gustines is a senior editor. He began writing about the comic book industry in 2002. @georgegustines • Facebook
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Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh blasted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Monday for attempting to walk-back her previous comments about the planet only having12 years left because of climate change.
“She claims that it was just dry humor and people don’t get it. She didn’t really mean it. Well, she did. She meant it to be taken seriously. She meant it to be received exactly as it was,” Limbaugh said on his radio show.
Honestly, relatable!! In fact, this particular exchange was so reminiscent of what other women experience at the salon that many took to Twitter to share how much they connected with Ocasio-Cortezs story. One wrote, “Honestly @AOC posting an Instagram story about how her nail lady said her eyebrows were too big and that she has a mustache is the most #relatablecontent I’ve ever seen from an elected official”
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The freshman congresswoman Sunday, while responding to a tweet about taxing the rich, went after Republicans for mischaracterizing her “dry humor” and “sarcasm.” She also said her claim that the “world is ending in 12 years” was not meant to be taken literally.
“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," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Sunday.
Dwight Schrute was a character portrayed by actor Rainn Wilson on the NBC sitcom “The Office." He was an eccentric foil who lacked understanding and made outlandish claims.
In January, Ocasio-Cortez was much more matter of fact when talking about climate change and the world ending in 12 years, a number taken from a 2018 U.N. study.
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"Millennials and people, you know, Gen Z and all these folks that will come after us are looking up and we’re like: The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?" Ocasio-Cortez said.
Limbaugh took offense to Ocasio-Cortez for asserting that Republicans were the ones who misunderstood her and didn’t understand humor.
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“So don’t tell me about people that don’t get humor. Don’t talk to me about people that don’t understand dry humor and sarcasm," Limbaugh said.
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"We get it, AOC. When things are funny, we get it. But you wouldn’t know funny if it bit you on your pretty little nose.”