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Congrats President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris, Sincerely Savage Dragon

Image Comics partner and CFO Erik Larsen is celebrating the Biden/Harris win by sending the hit issue Savage Dragon #253 back to print with a congratulatory cover for the President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

The Savage Dragon #253 first printing featured a variant cover in which the character endorsed the two during their run. It quickly sold out in stores and across the world. This post-Election second printing cover celebrates the People’s choice with a congratulatory message from the title’s star, Malcolm Dragon.

Larsen has previously done covers featuring cameos of politicians including his recent first printing Biden/Harris endorsement cover, which sold out at the distributor level, and his cover endorsing Barack Obama sold out and went back to press four times. 

Savage Dragon has had a long tradition of president and candidate covers dating back to George W. Bush, and covers featuring past presidents have become highly collectible items. 

Savage Dragon #253 second printing (Diamond Code OCT208042) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, December 9.

Savage Dragon #253 second printing

Election Terror: What Happens when the Dead Come Back to Vote in Homecoming

Homecoming
Homecoming

Jane Cleaver: “It’s words. It’s a game. You say whatever it takes to win.”

David Murch: “Well, maybe that’s the problem.”

This dialogue exchange happens early in Homecoming (dir. Joe Dante), a strange but unique zombie story from the Masters of Horror anthology series created by director Mick Garris (The Stand). It serves as a preamble for what’ll come soon after the two conversations between the two characters ends, which flips the zombie formula on its head with bravado. An army of undead war veterans rallies from beyond the grave for one final mission: to vote against the president that sent them to war based on a lie. A lie that killed them.

The episode came out in 2006, two years into George W. Bush’s second term as president, at a point where the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ excuse used to justify the War on Terror was wearing off and being heavily portrayed as the lie that got the US stuck in the Middle East (and the reason why dead soldiers come back to vote in Homecoming).

Homecoming follows a White House speech writer called David Murch as he navigates Bush’s reelection with a team of public relations pundits hellbent on winning the election, by any and all means necessary. During a televised panel discussion, Murch is confronted by the mother of a dead soldier who’s protesting the war, which inspires the conflicted speech writer to sincerely wish her son could come back and tell the world why he died for his country. He gets his wish, only it comes with a battalion of undead combatants desperate to fulfill their civic duty.

Watching it now, just as Americans are casting their ballots on the Biden v. Trump election, it’s unsettling how relevant this story still is, if only for its discussion on how politics is ultimately a game of words. As Murch and his team pick up on the fact zombie votes are leaning towards the other side, a mad dash for control of the narrative takes place. What was first scene as an act of patriotism—rising from the grave to vote—becomes an un-American rebellion looking to steal the election from the living.

Homecoming
Homecoming

While Homecoming is firmly rooted in the context of the Bush presidency, it comments enough on the dangers of political storytelling to effectively turn its metaphors on the politics of today. Murch will struggle with his own morality throughout most of the episode, always hesitant as to how and when to use the undead as part of the campaign. Here’s where Jane Cleaver comes into play.

Basically a stand-in for Ann Coulter, Cleaver becomes the right-wing commentator that puts on her radical pro-America persona when in front of a camera only to later admit she’ll say anything to secure her party’s victory. She basically stands as the unethical extreme of public discourse. The game, as Cleaver puts it, is won by the best storyteller. Homecoming does a magnificent job of proving this point through her, with the other PR people acting as her chorus, encouraging her to further spread her warped political views.

There are a lot of parallels between Cleaver’s philosophies and Kellyanne Conway’s media performances (which she had to put on as the former counselor to the President), especially when she was asked to explain or defend Trump’s comments on most about everything. There’s a scene in Homecoming, after the soldiers have revealed who they’re voting for, where Cleaver doubts the legality of undead voting after previously championing it. She supported the undead vote before she knew the problem it posed to her party. Conway’s “alternative facts” statement comes to mind here, which was uttered when asked to comment on the actual number of people that attended Trump’s inauguration. It’s as if you can trace a solid genealogical line, if you will, from Bush era politics to Trump era politics. The side with the best spin on information wins the crowd, and potentially their vote.

Homecoming
Homecoming

It should come as no surprise to Joe Dante fans that this movie is as blatantly political as it is. As Homecoming’s director, Dante pulls out every trick in his book to make each metaphor land. Be it the violent nature of American politics (seen in his werewolf movie The Howling) to a people’s inability to keep chaos at bay by following simple instructions (Gremlins), Dante likes to put his movies’ messages in full view, covered in blood if he has to. Homecoming is no different.

During a televised Presidential rally, Murch and Cleaver ruminate on Bush’s ability to command an audience. Cleaver asks just what it is about the President that makes people adore him. Murch responds, “He’s not stupid. He has a way to make stupid people feel like they’re just as smart as he is.” A bit crude, but it speaks to the power of storytelling. In Bush’s America, militaristic values were the way to win hearts and minds, especially after 9/11. There was an appeal to patriotism that the Bush administration took and turned into a party value. As a result, to criticize the war was to criticize the need to protect America, to badmouth its soldiers. Being anti-war meant being un-American.

Homecoming

In Trump’s America, the idea is to show America as a place that’s been robbed of greatness by liberal policies that see their own country as the problem. The principle is the same. It’s just a matter of taking outdated story elements out and putting new ones in. By then, it’s a race of two stories and it all boils down to the side that tells it better.

Homecoming is a horror story with a call to action. It’s not cynic in its entirety but it’s not entirely hopeful either. It’s about awareness. Stories are never one thing or another in the world of politics. They’re in constant spin and can spiral out at any moment to the benefit of those who can harness their power best. It might take zombie voters to come back and put us all in our place for things to get better. Until then, it’s up to the living to make sure we don’t screw up so bad this time.

Get Out and Vote this Tuesday!

This Tuesday, November 3rd is the US election and we’re encouraging everyone to get out and vote if you haven’t done so already. Millions have already done their duty and made their voice heard at the ballot box. Today is the official day and the last day to do so. If you haven’t already cast a ballot, you still have time today.

This is the most important election of our lifetime. That is often thrown around but from someone who has worked dozens of elections with dozens of candidates, this isn’t an exaggeration. We have a chance to make our voice heard and say the direction we want to see this country go.

This is a choice between an attempt to get back to normalcy or a continued march towards fascism. The stances of the Presidential candidates are clear and the stakes have never been higher.

But, even if you don’t want to vote for President, there’s still so many other elections to cast your ballot in.

There are still lots of local races, ballot initiatives, bonds, and more to vote on, and some of these may set the direction of the country even more than the President! Redistricting is on this ballot for instance and that will be controlled by local elections. This election is much more than a Presidential race (though you might not know it) and every elected position impacts you.

You still have a lot of time to figure out everything you’ll be voting for. If you need to find your polling place or what’s on your local ballot Vote 411 can help. Vote.org is another site that can help you as well.

If you go to vote and encounter an issue call the voting rights hotline at 866 OUR-VOTE.

Most importantly, get out and vote this Tuesday!

Captain America Vote

CANCELED: Comic Creators Come Together to Raise Money for Biden for President on Thursday, October 22

Unfortunately, the event has been canceled. You can still donate to Biden for President and, with less than two weeks to go, there’s still time to volunteer and help get out the vote.


Avengers Assemble!!! Wait, that’s another fundraiser. This Thursday, October 22, comic creators are coming together for a “Virtual Comic Panel” to raise money to benefit Joe Biden for President’s Victory Fund.

The panel will be moderated by Bob Harrison and features Mark Waid, Ron Marz, Greg Pak, Peter Krause, Heather Antos, Chris Sotomayor, Jamal Igle, David Gallaher, Andrew Dalhouse, Bekah Caden, Rich Douek, Richard Clark, Pete Pantazis, Steve Orlando, Cullen Bunn, and Alex Sanchez.

It features panelists from across the comic creation process.

The event takes place October 22 at 6pm EDT/3pm PDT.

The event has five donation tiers ranging from $50 general admission tickets to a $5,600 VIP level that includes a one-on-one video chat with a panel guest, writing critique or portfolio review.

Video conferencing details will be sent to all confirmed participants 24-48 hours prior to the event. Reasonable accommodations, such as closed captioning, will be available at request after RSVP.

The Avengers Assemble to Raise Money for Joe Biden’s Presidential Campaign

Avengers Assemble

Virtual get-togethers of casts are one of the hottest fundraising tickets right now, and the Avengers are assembling to support Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Voters Assemble!” will feature Avengers cast members Don Cheadle, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, and Zoe Saldana.

Joining the cast is vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris and directors The Russo Brothers for a Q&A and trivia.

The fundraiser takes place on October 20 at 6:45 pm ET. To attend, you can donate any amount of money to the Joe Biden Victory Fund.

Instructions for accessing the virtual event will be in the emailed donation receipt or in the page you will be redirected to after donating.

The Nerd Store Gets a Moment in Jenny Wilson’s Mayoral Election

Comics and geekdom is political but you don’t often see members of the community in political ads. Jenny Wilson is running for re-election for Mayor of Salt Lake County and in their first ad, they’ve included testimonials from the many businesses and individuals she’s helped during these tough times.

The campaign recently went up on television with their first political ad called “Choices.” In the ad, Charles C. Prows of The Nerd Store talks about how Wilson’s work allowed the business to keep its staff on payroll during these tough times.

Check out the full ad and remember to vote!

Savage Dragon Casts his Vote for Biden/Harris in this Variant Cover

Image Comics partner and CFO Erik Larsen is voting Biden/Harris this election season with an alternate cover of Savage Dragon #253 revealed today.

In the announcement, Larsen said:

This is an important election. They always say that but with America literally on fire and an ineptly handled pandemic it feels especially so. Twelve years ago SAVAGE DRAGON endorsed BARACK OBAMA and history was made. Savage Dragon #137 was the first comic book to feature the then-candidate Obama on its cover and it became a global sensation. It’s time to take a stance once more and help make the country, and the world, a better place!

Larsen has previously done covers featuring cameos of politicians, his cover endorsing Barack Obama sold out and went back to press four times. 

Savage Dragon has had a long tradition of president and candidate covers dating back to George W. Bush, and covers featuring past presidents have become highly collectible items. 

Savage Dragon #253 (Diamond Code AUG208695) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, October 21.

Savage Dragon #253

All In: The Fight for Democracy Examines Voter Suppression

From Amazon Prime Video, All In: The Fight for Democracy examines voter suppression in the United States. The film is directed by Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker Liz Garbusand Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lisa Cortés and produced by Liz Garbus, Lisa Cortés, Dan Cogan, and Stacey Abrams.

The film examines personal experiences, current activism, and the history surrounding the problem that has corrupted our democracy.

The film is coming to theaters on September 9, on Prime Video September 18.

Almost American
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