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Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Guide to Obama Comics

Whether you agree with his politics or not, it's hard to dispute that the popularity of newly inaugurated President Barack Obama has touched off an unstoppable merchandising juggernaut. Thanks to the wall-to-wall coverage inspired by President Obama's appearance in a recent issue of Amazing Spider-man and a brief item in a UK paper claiming Obama collects Spider-man and Conan the Barbarian comics, Obama's merchandising muscle is being felt at your friendly neighborhood comic book shop Comix Connection.

Marvel Comics' Amazing Spider-man #583 may have been the first Barack Obama comic to receive a tremendous amount of media attention, but it wasn't his first appearance in comics, and, thanks to the sales success of its four five printings, it certainly won't be the last.

In that spirit, here's a guide to some of Barack Obama's other comic book appearances:

Savage Dragon #137 from Image Comics

Released in early September, Savage Dragon #137 was Obama's first appearance in comic books; however, this is a cover appearance only. No Obama inside! This cover was a natural tie-in, since Savage Dragon, like Barack Obama, is a Chicago-based superhero. The first printing was actually a retailer incentive variant with a relatively low print run, so it's very difficult to find. However, Image has gone back to press for three additional printings to meet demand, making subtle coloring changes with each printing. The fourth and last printing, according to creator Erik Larsen, will be in stores February 25, in conjunction with the release of another Obama appearance in Savage Dragon #145.

Presidential Material: Barack Obama from IDW Publishing

The first appearance of Barack Obama on the interior of a comic, this biography comic was released on October 8, 2008 in conjunction with a similar issue featuring John McCain's bio, and also as a flip book (one side Obama, the other side McCain). Its success inspired three printings, and publisher IDW is going back to press with a fourth printing with a photo cover of President Obama being sworn in on the Lincoln Bible. The fourth printing will be available at Comix Connection on February 4.

Obama: The Comic Book from Antarctic Press

Marketed by Antarctic Press as a bioGRAPHIC, this text-heavy illustrated biography of Obama was originally released October 29. A second inaugural edition will be available in March.

Mad Magazine #493, #495 and #498 from DC Comics

Though technically not a traditional comic book, Mad Magazine has featured several Barack Obama appearances and covers over the past year or so, the most recent of which was Mad Magazine #498, released on January 14; the cover depicts what I'd imagine is the most truthful portrayal of Obama's feelings when taking office.

Thunderbolts #128 from Marvel Comics

Though he's not on the cover of this issue, President Obama plays an integral role in the story of Thunderbolts #128. Imagine that! Thunderbolts #128 was released January 21 and is sold out. However, Marvel will be doing a second printing, and that will be available February 18.

Youngblood #8 from Image Comics

In a six page backup story by comics legend Rob Liefeld in this issue, President Barack Obama selects the next Youngblood team to protect the United States. Hasn't he already done that? This issue is due in stores on February 25.

Savage Dragon #145 from Image Comics

Savage Dragon #145 is Barack Obama's first appearance as president in Savage Dragon's universe. Smartly enough, this is also a good jumping-on point for the Savage Dragon series, as Dragon rejoins the Chicago police department after a decade as a freelance vigilante. This Obama cover is one of my favorites because it apes the color palette used by Shepard Fairey in his iconic Obama posters and also features the famous terrorist fist bump. Savage Dragon #145 is also due in stores February 25.

Wizard Magazine #210 from Wizard Entertainment

Again, not a comic, but a comics publication... President Obama appears on the cover of this special edition of Wizard #210, featuring a painting by fan favorite Alex Ross. This 96 page collectors edition also features an article on presidential appearances in comics, from Jimmy Carter in the Dark Phoenix saga to Ronald Reagan in Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns. This one also ships on February 25.

If you are interested in any of these issues, please visit your local Comix Connection branch and we can put you down on a hold list if they are still available. And if you have any Barack Obama comics to add to our list, please post them in the comments section.

ADDED 2/3/09- From an email I received:

Love how you're tracking the Obama Comics, but you guys forgot about Licensable BearTM #4. He made a brief appearance as a U.S. Senator.
Justin Heberle
Duly noted and THANKS!

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At 2/01/2009 12:14 AM, Blogger Bill at Comix Connection said...

Great post, MegoSteve! Very cool.

At 2/01/2009 12:36 AM, Blogger spider-man-boy said...

is the photo real or fake lol

At 2/01/2009 12:13 PM, Blogger Bill at Comix Connection said...

Looks like I owe the President some store credit for his entry in our No(Yes)-Prize contest...

At 2/02/2009 1:16 PM, Blogger phatmogera said...

"since Savage Dragon, like Barack Obama, is a Chicago-based superhero."

I had no idea President Obama was a superhero.

At 2/02/2009 8:07 PM, Blogger MegoSteve said...

I did that on purpose.

At 2/03/2009 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're forgetting Licensable BearTM #4 in July of 2007:


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