Depending where you sit along the partisan fault line slicing through the American political scene, James Comey could be either a hero or a villain.
It is perhaps fitting, then, that the former-FBI-director-turned-President-Trump-antagonist has now made a debut in the bubble dialogue and primary-color heroics of the comic world.
“Political Power: James Comey” is a 24-page comic that gives readers the “origin story” of the man Trump recently blasted as an “untruthful slime ball” and “LEAKER & LIAR.” The book, published by TidalWave Comics, was written by Michael Frizell and drawn by Joe Paradise, featuring cover art by Pablo Martinena.
“To put it mildly, Comey’s story is in flux,” Frizell said in a release from the publisher. “For this first book, I thought it best explore what makes the man tick. What motivates him?”
In a way, this makes sense. With his square jaw and righteous talk, Comey could easily be the alter ego of a caped superhero. Think Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne.
The comic depicts Comey’s early years, including his experience as a New Jersey high schooler being held at gunpoint by an alleged rapist. As Comey told Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night at a CNN Town Hall, the latest stop on his book tour, the violent October 1977 episode eventually pushed him toward a career in law enforcement. It’s the Rosebud to understanding his lawman career.
“I thought about the Ramsey Rapist every night before I went to bed for five years. I don’t mean most nights, I mean every night. And I slept with a weapon — a knife or a bat — next to me for many years,” Comey told Cooper on Wednesday. “It created for me as a prosecutor or investigator a tremendous sense of empathy.”
“I didn’t know that much about Comey going into this book other than his reputation as a straight shooter who never let his politics get in the way of doing his best no matter who he was serving under,” Joe Paradise told Entertainment Weekly. “What I didn’t know was his past and this traumatic experience he’d gone through that pushed him into law enforcement.”
The second half of the comic covers Comey’s career as a prosecutor, including his 2003 case against Martha Stewart as a U.S. attorney.
“I wanted a gritty, true crime vibe,” Paradise said in the release. “That’s the best part of the process for me, tailoring the look to the subject, rather than simply having a stock style for everybody.”
A second issue, covering Comey’s run-in with Trump, is now in the works.
The man positioned on the opposite side of the current ideological divide has also made his own comic appearances. Following the election, comic artist Robert Sikoryak went to work on what became “The Unquotable Trump,” Gizmodo reported. The 48-page comic featured cartoon-villainesque drawings using the president’s own words.
Twenty-five percent of the proceeds were donated to the American Civil Liberties Union.
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