Until this year, I haven’t seen any overt political messages at the San Diego Comic-Con. It’s usually about pop culture, which when it’s good transcends politics. So I was flabbergasted when I saw this t-shirt for sale at a vendor’s booth:
Better writers than me have already commented the cult of personality type of imagery that’s evolved among some Barack Obama supporters. Though I don’t think Obama is the dictator type, the syncophantic following he has does give me the heebie-jeebies. I’m all over 20th-century totalitarianism (it’s my horror fascination, and Peter teases me about my gulag books), and it’s unusual, at the very least, to see a presidential candidate getting iconized like Mao or Stalin. I’m just saying some Obama supporters need to wipe the stardust from their eyes, and not put Obama on such a high pedestal, because at best, that kind of idolization can only lead to disappointment.
The shirt, however, was quite popular, and I can understand why. Even if you don’t idolize Obama, and whether or not he becomes our next president, the shirt is emblematic of our time. It may actually even be more wearable if Obama doesn’t win the election, because personally (really fanatic Obama supporters, don’t knife me!), I don’t think he’ll look as heroic a year into his presidency as he does now.
But if you have any questions about the artist, Alex Ross, who created the image, and his political leanings, Peter pointed out to me that he’s also created several images vehemently opposed to our current administration, like this one, which was also for sale at the con:
The images for both shirts came from Stylin’ Online, so if you wanted either one of them (or want to see some of the other t-shirts with Alex Ross’ other anti-Bush images), you can get them there.
But as I’ve said earlier, I generally prefer my politics separate from my art.