ARTIST WARD SUTTON had one idea at the forefront of his thoughts — and the other idea right in his back pocket.
The result: Sutton is rebooting both DC’s line and Washington, D.C.’s lineup in one fell group.
“I was thinking about a piece that would be more of a commentary on the [New 52] DC Reboot itself — making fun of the ways the characters had been changed, or could have been changed,” Sutton tells Comic Riffs, noting that he back-burnered the possible satire as he got busy.
Then came the call from Village Voice art director John Dixon. He ”suggested perhaps something about the GOP field or Occupy Wall Street,” Sutton continues, “and wondered if there might be a way to change the format to something other than simply a regular multipanel comic.”
And like that, the wheels of Justice League began to turn.
“Suddenly it clicked: I started to think about how, despite the general popularity of superheroes, comic-book sales have fallen, thus prompting the DC reboot,” Sutton tells Comic Riffs. “Meanwhile, the approval ratings of our government are at an all-time low.
“Seeing these two worlds had something in common, I decided to take the DC reboot idea and mash it up with the current political climate, and to illustrate the piece with mock covers of [Washington] DC comic books.
“From there the ideas for each cover just flowed.”
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Sutton’s creative action leaped first on a single punning cover: “Inaction Comics.”
“The initial idea, central to the whole piece, was ‘Inaction Comics,’ featuring Obama as ‘Semi-Superman,’ his powers neutered by GOP Kryptonite,” Sutton tells us. “I think my second idea was Michele Bachmann as ‘Batty Girl.’ “
Having taken on a time-consuming concept, the artist is grateful that the Voice extended his deadline.
“At some point, having created a project for myself that required me to create seven mock comic-book covers in a matter of days,” he says, “I realized I was over my head and going to need more time to do the thing right.”
Fortune — and new headline stories — favored his new deadline.
“As I was working, Herman Cain’s sexual-harassment scandal broke, so I was able to incorporate that added element into his cover. And with the new publication date, the piece came out just as Rick Perry had his biggest debate gaffe yet, which was perfect timing for my cover of him.”
And then, finally, came Sutton’s favorite cover to create: “The Injustice League of Corporate America,” featuring “Greed Lantern.”
“I wanted something to address the Occupy Wall Street movement and this one really came together,” he tells ‘Riffs. “I’d like to see it as a poster.”
As to the reject pile, Sutton says he “thought of having Newt Gingrich as Solomon Grundy — seemed a perfect match. But I couldn’t figure out where to put him. I thought of making him one of the ‘Tea Titans.’ but ultimately just decided to drop him.”
For the comic geeks out there, Sutton attaches one postscript:
“I know Batgirl was not in the Teen Titans, but as I put together the ‘Tea Titans,’ I knew it had to have Bachmann’s Batty Girl.
“I thought a comic geek somewhere might jump all over me for that one, but so far, no complaints.”
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