In an era where our political figures appear ever more cartoonish it was probably inevitable that we’d get a comic book about a salacious political scandal. Joe Paradise’s Political Power: Stormy Daniels (TidalWave Productions) provides a wry look at the Daniels affair that will probably not convince partisans on either side to change their mind about this story, though it does provide some amusing moments.
Drawn with broad brush strokes in black-and-white, the 23-page comic opens with cartoony recreations of presidential candidate Donald Trump boasting on “Access Hollywood” and using former president Bill Clinton’s indiscretions as rhetorical weapons on the campaign trail.
Having thus laid the grounds for the man wanting to tamp down his history of infidelities in the pre-election build-up, the cartoonist flashes back to July 2006, where the real estate mogul meets Stormy on the (where else?) golf course. Within this flashback, we’re given a brief look at Ms. Daniels’ rise from an introverted Baton Rouge teenager to a power house in the adult film industry.
Using details provided from her In Touch interview about their time together, Paradise recreates the couple’s night talk, avoiding any explicit details about the twosome’s actual sexual contact. (If this were a sixties underground comic, we’d have gotten at least one panel depicting a mushroom-shaped penis.)
He does have fun imagining several full-page embarrassing scenarios that might be at the core of the attempted cover-up, though. If you’ve ever wanted to see a cartoon of the man wearing a wig and maid’s uniform, this is the book for you.
Political Power: Stormy Daniels is part of a series of politically focused biographical comic books that have also focused on contemporary political figures like Rand Paul, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. While many of the previous entries have reportedly ranged from neutral to positive in their depictions of their subjects (including an earlier graphic novel more fully devoted devoted to Trump), Stormy’s story is trickier. Though Paradise resists the temptation to get too down-and-dirty describing his heroine’s life in the porn world, the subtext is always there.
If this Political Power: Stormy Daniels doesn’t strive to score as an editorial cartoon (or even a broadly funny satire like Showtime’s “Our Cartoon President”), it does work as a lighthearted précis of a story that has launched a thousand talk show jokes.
Years down the road, if we make it through our current political maelstrom, I’m betting this little book will be a collectible artifact. I know I’m bagging my copy.