History is written by the winners
Have comic book readers had enough of Barack Obama gracing the covers and making guest appearances in nearly every comic book published these days?Â Apparently not, as the Commander-in-Chief continues to be a big seller, and continues to show up on everything from Army of Darkness, to a shadowed guest appearances in Marvel comics.Â So what happens when IDW Publishing moves away from stunt casting to presenting a factual account of the road to the White House?
Before any wild and crazy Republicans or Democrats get all up in arms over this issueâ€™s review, I should point out I am neither Republican or Democrat, but rather a card carrying member of the Libertarian Party (Go third party… Woooooh!), and this review is not meant as a look at my political views.Â That being said, even when political slants are claimed to be set aside, it appears as though those feelings do slip in here and there.
For The Road to the White House: Barack Obama, the issue has a few hits and misses, that serve to glorify the President, while subtly vilifying his competition.Â Thereâ€™s nothing wrong with this, as history is written by the winners, but the book attempts to paint Obama as infallible, which many out there will point out is not the case.
With the rush to press many companies have done to get their Barack stories on the news stands, there seems to be a great glossing over of fact for sake of selling comics.Â I donâ€™t mind the truncated account of history, and IDW Publishing and writer Jeff Mariotte do an adequate job of covering the facts as reported by the news agencies, and those posted on various websites.Â There are times when some of the facts go unchallenged, but as far as facts go, Iâ€™ve seen worse retellings of recent history than in the pages of this issue.
I think the issue most readers will have with this book is in the art.Â It is incredibly hard toÂ create realistic likenesses of people, especially when one has to do it for pages on end.Â For Tom Morgan, he is able to capture the likenesses fairly well, but there are times when Palin is drawn to look like some wide-eyed, crazed loon, and the Far Rght will probably pick up on this as a yet another way the Lefties are trying to bring down their favorite governor of all time.Â Itâ€™s not just Palin that comes off strange at times, as the reaction shot of McCain and crew watching the Vice Presidential debates in their hotel room make it look like they are disgusted or embarrassed by what they are seeing on the television.Â Even the juxtaposition of McCain giving a thumbs up and a wink while a plummeting stock market ticker appears in the background, could be misinterpreted as an attack.Â Except for the final parting image of the President, Obama has no such odd art occurrences.
While this issue did a lot to cover the Presidential campaign, the title of the book is The Road to the White House: Barack Obama, not Letâ€™s Point Out Where the Republicanâ€™s Screwed Up.Â There seemed to be a lot more coverage of the Republicans and their foibles, than what the President did to nail the election.Â I did a very informal count of panels in the issue up to the point where Barack Obama won the election, with Obama and Joe Biden appearing in 28 panels, and the McCain/Palin appearances numbering 38.
Politics are a very sensitive subject, and I applaud IDW Publishing for attempting to tell history in a different medium, and not simply use President Obamaâ€™s likeness as a gimmick. As educators look for different ways of getting students into reading and learning about current political issues, Road to the White House: Barack Obama #1 is a good place to start the discussion, but I wouldnâ€™t recommend it as the only source, earning 3 out of 5 Stars.