This should be a new tradition in political elections. Forget debates, speeches and rallies; what really matters is whose life makes the better comic book. If you are on the fence or feel like you need that connection with one of the two major candidates in order to cast your ballot, then take a look at IDW Publishing’s Presidential Material comic books.
Presented as two separate graphic novels, each one focusing on a different candidate, Presidential Material is a surprising, even-handed biographical work. These well researched books show the ups and downs of the two men’s lives, covering every thing from political victory and defeat to personal triumph and loss.
It’s almost shocking how effective these two comics are. For the past couple weeks, Barack Obama and John McCain have been invading every part of our lives. It’s easy to imagine that a comic book version of two guys that are literally everywhere you look would be the unwanted cherry on top of our overloaded sundae. Some how, with Presidential Material, that simply is not the case.
In fact, writers Andy Helfer and Jeff Mariotte manage to make reading about Obama and McCain feel new and raw. They use the graphic novel narrative to their full advantage. These are not simple retreads of the same old stories, but rather a new way to look at each candidate.
The art, provided by Steven Thompson and Tom Morgan, doesn’t just accompany the story — it a takes an active role in telling it. McCain’s issue opens with an image of him sitting in a prison cell in Vietnam and immediately brings the tale to life before you even read the words, “Navy Pilot John Sydney McCain III is in pain.”
If you don’t know the personal biographies of these two candidates yet, then check the Presidential Material comics. They are an awesome way to get up to speed on Obama and McCain; and unlike so much of politics today, they are actually a lot of fun and kind of cool.