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Sarah Palin immortalized as comic book character

Posted by Sarah Palin Web Brigade on April 6, 2009


Published Sunday, March 8, 2009

FAIRBANKS — Lipstick or not, the Female Force is strong.

A new comic book series from Washington-state-based Bluewater Comics tells the real-life story, in comic book form, of forceful females in today’s political spotlight — including Gov. Sarah Palin. While Palin was not the first woman featured in the four-part series, she may be the most important, at least in Alaska.

“I really like your governor. I hope she likes (the February 2009 issue of Female Force),” said Bluewater Comics editor and Female Force co-creator Darren G. Davis.

The series is a sort of biographical look at four major female political figures — Hillary Clinton, Caroline Kennedy, Michelle Obama and Palin — told in a tongue-in-cheek manner. For example, Palin’s issue, released last month, involves a four-armed Jiminy Cricket-type character leading a cartoon Davis through the process of researching Palin’s life. The Cricket character appears on Davis’ shoulder after he fears that writing about Palin will be a problem: “I’m a part of the elite liberal media! I couldn’t possibly write a fair biography of Sarah Palin!” he exclaims on the opening page.

The idea for a comic series focused on powerful women in politics began when Davis, who admittedly hadn’t followed any political campaigns before the 2008 presidential battle, became annoyed with what he called attacks on Palin and Clinton.

“These people would say these outrageous things, pounce on these women, without any real knowledge or doing any research at all,” he said. “I was really frustrated at how they were being portrayed.”

Clinton became the first star, chosen shortly after she lost her bid for the Democratic presidential nominee. Davis said he and his colleagues wanted to “give her the attention she deserved.” His stated goal was to provide in-depth, accurate, unbiased information in a new, entertaining form.

“We wanted to tell these stories for a different demographic, and give people knowledge from a different medium,” he said.

Striving for objectivity, Davis said he believed his mission was accomplished, relating a story from the Clinton book.

“I chose an artist to work on that issue who really didn’t like Clinton. By the end of it, he said he still wouldn’t vote for her, but he gained respect for her. I think that is important,” he said. “We want the to be something these women will be proud of.”

Palin’s profile begins with her birth in 1964 and extends through the birth of her new grandson, Tripp, and the arrest of her potentially future in-law, Levi Johnston’s mother.

Included in the story are quotes from many memorable moments from Palin’s time on the campaign trails, such as her accusation that Barack Obama was “palling around with terrorists,” her flop of an interview with Katie Couric, and her somewhat popular vice-presidential debate, in which she promised to “talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record also.”

Davis noted the Bluewater team’s luck that the stars of the books are still in the media spotlight months after the end of the presidential election.

“A lot of people said Palin would be long gone from the media spotlight at this point, but she’s still a governor and she’s still been in the news almost daily. And Clinton is now our Secretary of State. We’ve been pretty lucky,” he said. “We chose Caroline Kennedy before the whole Senate seat fiasco, but it was in our favor that she was in the news again. Even if these figures aren’t in the spotlight 24 hours a day, they are still relevant figures.”

The series, which was released in January with Clinton’s issue — Palin’s issue was released mid-February — has already seen promising success. The Palin issue sold out of its first printing and is in a second printing now. Local comic venue The Comic Shop ordered 200 copies, which are set to arrive in the coming weeks as part of the second printing.

“So far so great,” Davis said of the series, noting a trade paperback of all four issues is set for a September release.

The Female Force series will continue, featuring women in powerful positions in other arenas, such as television, literature and more. Davis dubbed J.K. Rowling, Rosie O’Donnell, Margaret Thatcher and Oprah Winfrey as potential future Female Force stars.

Asked about the challenge of portraying these “strong independent women” in a comic book without presenting them as caricatures, Davis said he and his team tried not to “go too cartoony.”

“We didn’t want to insult these women at all. We want these people to shine out of these things,” he said.

A male version, expected to be dubbed Political Power, also is in the works, featuring former Secretary of State Colin Powell as its first star.

Davis, who has been in the comic book industry for about 10 years, said this is the first time his work has “jumped into the real world.” His topics generally deal with “superhero type stuff,” he said, but the recent delve into politics has turned his life into a somewhat less realistic version.

“It has been very surreal. To see the play this has gotten, to see myself in Sun Magazine and on CNN and Fox News, it is just surreal,” he said. “I think the time was right for something like this.”

More information on Bluewater Comics is available at

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