Comics have long been an outlet for political expression, ranging from Captain America punching out Adolph Hitler to Magneto humiliating President Bush on national television in Ultimate X-Men. Some classic titles like V for Vendetta and Watchmen were outright political commentary, and modern politics have creeped more and more into some of the titles at Marvel and DC.
Artist and cartoonist Robert Sikoryak is all too familiar with the use of the comic medium as an outlet of political expression and protest; he’s illustrated for the New Yorker, Harvard Business Review and has even created a 94-page word-for-word comic adaptation of the iTunes Terms and Conditions text to help consumers better understand exactly what they’re agreeing to when they install the software. One of his latest projects is a bit more controversial, however.
Sikoryak is now recreating classic comic book covers to feature the likeness and quotes of President-elect Donald Trump. You can check out one such example, below:
The project, titled “The Unquotable Trump“, features quotes from Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign set in the context of his recreated comic covers. Speaking to the Huffington Post about the project, Sikoryak explained:
“The idea occurred to me right before the election. Trump had said so many outrageous things during his campaign that I wanted to catalogue them.”
The quotes are unaltered, though they lack any potential surrounding context. He made sure that the quotes were exact, so as to avoid being called out for changing the quotes themselves:
“It was important to me to only use Trump’s actual quotes, I didn’t want to put any words in his mouth. Once Trump became the president-elect, I felt I had to do it.”
Sikoryak is known for his satire, often framing complex or controversial topics in adaptations of classic comics or artists’ styles. He takes care to give credit for the original works when possible, though; for instance, each illustration posted to the “Unquotable Trump” Tumblr page identifies the original artist or artists who created the cover he is referencing. Even iTunes Terms & Conditions makes use of a number of different comic styles when adapting the document and spoofs a classic Uncanny X-Men cover on the front of the book.
Given the controversial nature of some of the quotes and the divisiveness of the recent election in general, reactions to “The Unquotable Trump” range pretty wildly. Some view the illustrations as insulting to the President-elect while others think that they’re funny or even depressing. Those without strong political leanings in either direction may even appreciate the artistic merit of the images, comparing them with the original covers that inspired them. If nothing else, it’s worth remembering that this isn’t the first time that the President-elect has been depicted as a comic book villain.
Source: R. Sikoryak (via Huffington Post)