Ever since Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) quoted the “Watchmen” comic character Rorschach shortly before her swearing-in, the New York congresswoman has attracted a wave of attention from cartoonists.
On Sunday, an Ocasio-Cortez character was a key figure in the second-season premiere of Showtime’s animated satire, “Our Cartoon President,” from CBS host Stephen Colbert’s team. This summer, TidalWave Productions, which publishes the “Political Power” and “Female Force” lines with a bipartisan approach, will release a bio-comic on her.
And on Wednesday, Josh Blaylock and his Devil’s Due Comics imprint will publish an expansive anthology. “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force (New Party, Who Dis?),” a 52-page scattershot collection of comics and games, does not mask its political bias, sometimes imbuing left-wing rookie members of Congress with supernatural strength for their battles against political foes, including the White House.
“Not only has Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shown to be an inspirational figure,” Blaylock said. “She’s also taking on some pretty herculean goals and going up against major institutions — not unlike several comic-book heroes of the past.”
Since the dawn of superhero comics, such costumed fighters as Superman (who took on a corrupt senator in 1938′s Action Comics No. 1) and Captain America (who punched Nazis in his ’40s debut cover) have been blatantly political.
Even real-life leaders have had their moments. Such presidents as Richard Nixon and Barack Obama have been depicted in superhero/action comic books, including “Barack the Barbarian,” which Blaylock published a decade ago.
The publisher writes in “Freshman Force” that he is also inspired by the growing diversity within Congress.
Blaylock’s new title boasts some veteran writers and artists, including the Eisner Award-winning Jill Thompson, Tim Seeley, Marguerite Dabaie and the Emmy Award-winning Dean Haspiel, who, alongside illustrator Christa Cassano (“Ghetto Klown”), created the comic “Make America Empathetic Again” — in which a superheroic Ocasio-Cortez quotes “Watchmen” and shaves Trump’s pate, rendering him free, “unencumbered by fear, hate and . . . hair.”
“AOC is one of us,” the New York-based Haspiel said, of the congresswoman’s appeal among some of his colleagues. “She slung coffee, digs comic books and isn’t afraid to dance.”
One of the politically minded contributors recruited by Haspiel (“The Red Hook”) for this project is Dabaie, whose comic, inspired by a Colbert interview with the congresswoman, features a title about not caring what others think about you (which The Post cannot reprint here).
“The piece itself looks like a very pixelated video game,” said Dabaie, who visually references the role-playing game “Mother 3,” adding that the comic “is meant to tap into the nonsensical ‘questing’ of video games.”
A representative for Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday that the congresswoman had not yet seen the comic. When the book was announced in February, she told TMZ that she hoped her comic character “might inspire young girls,” and that she was pleased that a portion of the book proceeds would go to the immigrant legal-services organization RaicesTexas.org.
The anthology’s named characters also include Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Vice President Pence, who was himself a cartoonist in law school.
Other “Freshman Force” comics include “Dance Party USA,” which compares Ocasio-Cortez’s college-video rooftop routine to how some other prominent politicians have attempted to bust a move.
The book’s games include “Where’s Mitch?” — challenging the reader to find Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in a “Where’s Waldo?” takeoff — as well as a puzzle matching politicians and their political-action committees.
The end of the book teases Blaylock’s next such political foray: “Talk Bernie to Me,” a Sanders bio-comic, is due out this summer.