Conservitality for All — The Paranoid World of Right-Wing Comic Book FantasyPosted by Anthony Pryor
Anyone who has read this blog (both of you) has probably noticed that I spend a lot of time waxing nostalgic about the 1980s. I admit it — I kind of miss the era, especially since I was a lot younger and my knees didn’t make so much noise. But there are other eras that I can write about, and I probably should so I don’t seem like too much of an old fogey.
In the early ’00s, for example, it was a great time to be a neocon. The years of 2003-2006 were certainly days that future conservatives will look back on through a mist of tender nostalgia. We were winning the War on Terror. The Islamists were on the run, and freedom was on the march, in Iraq, Afghanistan and — hell – everywhere! Sure, the Iraq War was dragging on a little longer than we’d have liked and sure, we never found any of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction (to the neocon’s credit, however, we did find a factory that made helium for balloons), and sure, that public park in Baghdad with a statue of George W. Bush hadn’t yet materialized, but, hey! We’re America, and that means winning. In those days, being a neocon was sophisticated, glamorous, even sexy. Fox News was riding high, Sean Hannity was the man of the hour, and there were hit songs about the war, tellin’ all them libruls to stick a sock in it, we real American’s gonna git ‘er done. A few bold conservatives even suggested that the Democratic party could be completely eliminated, and replaced by a far more sensible one-party system.
Of course, woe unto you if you had the temerity to be against the war. After all, opposing the legitimately-elected government of the United States and its undisputed leader was tantamount to treason. Only an America-hating, terrorist-loving libtard who wanted al Quaeda to win could possibly be against us bringing American-style democracy to the freedom-starved middle-east. Thank God that that bastard Al Gore wasn’t elected despite winning the popular vote… He’d have been over there sucking bin Laden’s dick while singing Kumbaya.
And so it was that, in the tumultuous year of 2006, a small independent comic book company located in Lexington, KY and called ACC Studios launched the roughest, toughest, most kickass manly neoconservative graphic series ever, Liberality for All. My own words cannot possibly do justice to this series so here, in its creator’s words, is a synopsis of the planned eight-issue miniseries. I have left it in its original, charmingly clumsy form, with the minor exception of throwing in that annoying (sic), signifying lack of grammatical skill on the part of its original author.
America’s future has become an Orwellian nightmare of ultra-liberalism. Beginning with the Gore Presidency, the government has become increasingly dominated by liberal extremists.
In 2004, Muslim terrorists stopped viewing the weakened American government as a threat; instead they set their sights on their true enemies, vocal American conservatives. On one dark day, in 2006, many conservative voices were forever silenced by terrorist assassins. Those which (sic) survived joined forces and formed a powerful covert conservative organization called “The Freedom of Information League”, aka F.O.I.L.
The efforts of F.O.I.L. threaten both the liberal extremist power structure and the U.N.’s grip on America, (sic) the U.N. calls F.O.I.L. the most dangerous group in the world. It seems the once theorized Vast Right Wing Conspiracy has now become a reality.
The F.O.I.L. Organization is forced underground by the “Coulter Laws” of 2007; these hate speech legislations (sic) have made right-wing talk shows, and conservative-slanted media, illegal. Our weakened government has willingly handed the reins of our once great country to the corrupt United Nations. The Department of Political-Correctness is required to assist U.N. monitors to properly edit all print and broadcast media. Live broadcasts are a thing of the past; all transmissions are monitored by the U.N. and any ‘offensive’ material is dumped.
Rupert Murdoch’s decision to defy the “Coulter Laws” hate speech legislations (sic), has bankrupted News Corporation. George Soros has bought all of News Corps assets and changed its name to Liberty International Broadcasting. LIB’s networks have flourished and circle the globe with a series of satellites beaming liberal & U.N. propaganda worldwide.
The New York City faction of F.O.I.L. is lead (sic) by Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy and Oliver North, each uniquely endowed with special abilities devised by a bio mechanical engineer affectionately nicknamed “Oscar”. F.O.I.L. is soon to be joined by a young man named Reagan McGee.
Reagan was born on September 11th, 2001. He is the son of a NYC firefighter whose life was spared by attending his son’s birth. Reagan has grown to manhood in an ultra-liberal educational system: being told, not asked, what to think. With personal determination, which alienates him from his contemporaries, he has chosen the path less traveled…the path to the Right.
Two decades of negotiation with the U.N., and America’s administration of 2021 (President Chelsea Clinton and Vice President Michael Moore), has (sic) culminated in a truce with fundamentalist Islamic terrorists, or so America is told. The honorable ambassador from Afghanistan has come to NYC to address the U.N., (sic) his name is Usama Bin Laden. Ambassador Bin Laden has announced that he plans a public apology for the “misunderstanding” of the events of 9/11. This apology will occur exactly 20 years to the minute the first plane hit the WTC; this will be on the observation deck at the newly renamed “Unity Tower” built on the hallowed grounds where the WTC once stood.
Tomorrow is September 11, 2021, the twentieth anniversary of the horror of 9/11, or as it has become more politically correct to say “the unfortunate events resulting from the uprising of middle-eastern fundamentalist Islam”. Just days before his arrival in NYC, Bin Laden made a brief visit to Iraq, now a nuclear power that is run by the vicious Uday Hussein. In Iraq, Bin Laden received a tactical nuke that is now contained in his private diplomatic briefcase. Bin Laden plans far more than an apology at the Unity Tower.
F.O.I.L. has become aware of Bin Laden’s plot to destroy NYC and has devised a plan to stop him while simultaneously gaining permanent control of LIB’s satellite network. Unfortunately, U.N. Forces have discovered the secret location of the F.O.I.L. Lair. It is a race against the clock to save NYC from a nuclear holocaust and the world from liberal domination. Only with F.O.I.L.’s help, can “Liberality For All” once again become “Liberty For All!”
No, I’m not making this up. I mentioned this comic a few months ago and I think posted a few covers, but the very existence of such a book has really fascinated me, and I’ve finally managed to get my hands on all three existing issues (the existence of issue four, listed as “NOW ON SALE” at ACC’s website remains questionable; if anyone has it, please let me know). So sit back and enjoy the next few entries, folks. We’re going to have some fun at ACC comics’ expense.
I guess the first thing I (and in fact many readers) wondered was whether it was serious or not. There have been some fake right-wing comics published in the past, like this one, for example (which was actually pretty bad), and after a quick glance through Liberality for All I was left with the impression that it was a cunning liberal spoof on what kind of comic book a paranoic right-wing nutjob might write. If so, it’s pretty brilliant, since I laughed my ass off from cover to cover.
Alas, that does not appear to be the case. Much (if not most) of the time, extremist politics strays into the realm of self-parody. It’s been said that most fanatical creationist propaganda can’t be distinguished from satire, for example. And I’m not being partisan, either; it doesn’t matter whether propaganda is liberal, conservative, communist or fascist, if it’s extremist, it has a tendency to be downright laughable. Such is the case with Liberality for All, and writer Mike Mackey has said, emphatically and repeatedly, that he means every word he says.
Here’s ACC’s website, crude and all alone, still standing like a rock against the liberal tide six years after shipping their last few issues. (Previews of the first few issues of LfA are still available there as well, in case you don’t believe me.) The front page proudly displays a picture of Sean Hannity (the real one) holding up a copy of LfA number one, and links to a series of press releases, the last one being dated July, 2006, after which no further content has been added. One wonders who is paying for keeping the site on-line, as it presently serves as nothing but a stark reminder of how unsuccessful the planned mini-series was.
So who were ACC Studios, anyway? Well, there’s Indonesian comic artist Donny Lin (Hey! What are they doing shipping our valuable American jobs overseas? Why didn’t ACC use an AMERICAN artist? Did they want the terrorists to win?), of whom ACC says the following:
Fantastic! That is the only word to describe the art of Donny Lin. He can do it all. His mastery of the sequential form is genius. At one point in the beginning of every great artist’s career, someone becomes the first to realize they are looking at the work of a future artistic legend. It’s the point in time where future publishers, if they only had a time machine, would go back to, and become the ones that were the first to work with him. Such an artist is Donny Lin. Every comic collector will one day come to know that name… Donny Lin. Expect great things from this future legend, you will get it (sic)!
Well with that kind of an introduction, I eagerly combed the Internet for more information about future artistic legend Donny Lin — who knows? Some of his early work might be available cheap on e-bay, sold by some ignorant slob who doesn’t realize what a gold mine he has. My detailed search revealed that since working on LfA, the esteemed Mr. Lin has produced… Well… Actually, no other comics at all. In fact, the handful of legitimate reviews of LfA that I could find all single out Lin’s art as being especially weak and amateurish. We’ll get to details on the art later.
(Personally I think that since Donny Lin is from Indonesia, home of al-Qaeda linked terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiya, he was actually a fundamentalist Islamic mole planted in ACC to purposely ruin LfA, but that’s only a theory… Maybe if I write it down on a chalkboard it will make more sense…)
LfA was proudly written by one Mike Mackey, who was of course the sole owner and operator of ACC Studios, and also the designer of its web page (now we know who to blame). As with the good Mr. Lin, I have been unable to find any more writing credits for Mr. Mackey since LfA’s untimely demise. My guess is that his career was ruined by the liberal hit-squads that Al Gore sent out to kill all the Fox News commentators (yes, that really is in the comic… Just wait…). I imagine today he’s somewhere in a fortified compound stocking up on 7.62mm ammo while he waits for the UN black helicopters to arrive.
I get the impression that LfA’s demagoguery arose in response to what Mackey perceived as unfair distortion of conservative beliefs by the liberal media. As in, ”Distort my political views, will you, you liberal comic book writers, you? Well, I’ll just distort your views too! Nyah!” It’s not an entirely unfair accusation, though one has to cherry pick through a lot of liberal thought to see distortions that are as extreme as this sort of thing (careful of that last link, btw… the crazy is very high and very thick and the webmaster apparently doesn’t mind that his page is about a half-mile long), which I think is far more common among conservatives than liberals. Mind you, I’m obviously one of those terrist-lovin’ hippies from Orygun, so you don’t have to listen to me.
In any event, I think that this kind of response to perceived unfairness by the media is really a case of two wrongs making a right, sort of like Fox News claiming it’s “fair and balanced,” not because it’s actually fair and balanced, but because everyone else isn’t “fair and balanced,” so it’s okay for them to distort everything through a right-wing lens.
So enough of that. There’s sufficient political polemic on a single page of Liberality for All to fill about ten of my own blog entries, so I’ll just let Mackey’s sterling scripting speak for itself. Everybody seated? Ready to begin? Here we go!
Liberality for All, Issue 1:
LfA Issue One had two covers, in case you were a collector and planning on making a lot of money when it became a huge international bestseller. The first was created by the inestimable Donny Lin, and it’s not too bad. The second was by the great fantasy artist Larry Elmore (LARRY FREAKIN’ ELMORE had something to do with this fiasco? Holy shit…) and is actually not all that great. The Lin cover has some motion and dynamism to its portrayal of cyber-Sean Hannity and his friends, while the Elmore cover is downright static, with a lot of wasted space and slightly artificial poses. The G. Gordon Liddy character is supposed to be thundering along on his manly Harley, but as drawn he looks as if he’s just sitting in one place spinning his tires to produce smoke.
Our tale begins with some weasly-looking liberal type driving his car through the peaceful, freedom-loving streets of New York City, while listening to the Rush Limbaugh show. The Rushster is in the process of introducing his colleague, the insightful Sean Hannity, who will begin broadcasting “some time next year, in mid-September 2001″ and says he looks forward to joining the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Just as Rush and Sean start making dark predictions about America’s grim future should liberal usurper Al Gore actually win the presidency (“…Let’s all pray, because without strong leadership, America’s future is doomed.” “As usual Rush, you’re exactly right! The course the liberal lefties have this country on is deadly!”) the driver swerves to miss a dog in the street, then plows into the rear of another car and explodes. The second car is clearly labeled “Corvair”, and the driver’s vehicle has a “Nader 2000″ sticker, but alas neither saves him, for by the time the FDNY arrives, the driver is toast.
Meanwhile, the captions are forlornly wondering “God knows what events led us to where we are today. What was it? What was it that shifted power and leadership so far to the left? Was it one man, one event?”
Clearly we’re supposed to realize that something significant has happened, but it took my reading one of several interviews with Mackey on-line to actually figure out what it was, thick-skulled liberal traitor that I am. The driver was of course Ralph Nader, even though Donny Lin apparently had no idea what Ralph Nader looked like, and of course since he rear-ended a Corvair, his painful death has a sting of irony, as Ralph Nader wrote Unsafe at Any Speed, which many blame for destroying sales of the Corvair. Nothing like the brutal, agonizing death of a real, living individual to drive your point home is there, Mike?
(Of course none of the foregoing is mentioned anywhere in Issue One, so the prolog just kind of sits there in limbo with no actual connection to the rest of the story. A great start to a great comic series, huh?)
Suddenly, it’s a year later and we’re witness to one of the greatest tragedies that this nation has ever seen — the election of Al Gore as president.
Oops, sorry… I meant the 9/11 attacks, though you wouldn’t know it from Mackey’s writing, which is more geared toward baiting people he doesn’t agree with than to actually showing any empathy for the tragedy.
Anyway, it seems that that librul bastard Al Gore was elected president because, of course, Ralph Nader died painfully, ironically and hilariously a year ago, and now the pot-smokers in Florida have no one to vote for. The next panel after the falling towers portrays President Gore (at least I think it’s President Gore… once more Donny Lin doesn’t seem to be very good at actually portraying living people) riding along the street in his bullet-proof popemobile, spouting platitudes to the ignorant masses.
“Let us first understand their motives,” the arch-traitor airly declares, his heart bleeding all over his expensive suit, “to help us avoid repeating the actions that caused these attacks. Time will help us forget this pain.”
Yes folks… Al Gore would have told us it was all our fault, and that we need to understand our attackers. Once more, thank God that that limp-wristed SOB was never elected, else Mike Mackey’s horrifying Orwellian vision of the future might have come true.
The scene ends with the image of an exhausted New York Fireman huddled against his truck in the shadow of the WTC’s wreckage, and the ominous caption “My father said that the smell of the aftermath at Ground Zero would never escape his memory… Nor the memories of anyone who dug through that immense grave. Maybe we all should have experienced it the way they did. Perhaps then we would not have forgotten.”
The caption now continues over scenes at a hospital where another fireman cradles his infant son. “My dad always said that I saved his life that day… I guess in a way, I did. He was at the hospital with me and mom. You see, it was the day I was born. Most of his friends died as heroes that day. Mom always said a part of dad did too.”
(By the way, have you ever noticed that conservatives always wax eloquent on the firemen and others who died on 9/11, but in all other instances they dismiss New York City as a cesspool of vice and liberalism? Funny how the only way you can get respect from certain right-wingers is to die…)
And now it’s two years later, December 2002 and some kind of bland-faced guy in a pink shirt is talking on the radio, saying “Welcome back to the Sean Hannity Show…”
Oops, it’s actually Sean Hannity. Once more, the character portrayed in the comic bears absolutely no resemblance to his real-life counterpart. For an artist whom Mackey describes as “a future artistic legend,” Donny Lin really needs to work on his portraiture. At first I thought it might be an evil Sean Hannity clone created in a lab by Al Gore and Rachel Maddow, but when he continues to speak, it’s clear that he’s the real McCoy.
“I am telling you, folks; I need something to wake me from this nightmare, the nightmare of Al Gore’s presidency… It has been over a year, and what has President Gore done about 911? ZILCH! Al Gore’s liberal administration says negotiations with the fundamentalists are going well. I don’t care how madmen feel! I want them brought to justice, not negotiated with, not appeased! Al Gore’s radical, liberal agenda is robbing America of justice. Thanks, Al. Thanks for all the liberal fodder for my second book. I am going to call the book Injustice and Liberality for All.”
Great title, dude! Run with it!
As Heroic Hannity’s plea goes unheard across the liberal-dominated world, we now focus in on the secret lair of the overfiend himself, the diabolical Usama bin Laden, who continues to craft his nefarious schemes, untouched by the naive and foolish President Gore.
“The American government poses no threat now,” he cackles, looking over maps of the US. “We will negotiate with the infidels until our daggers are sharpest. However, we now have other enemies in America that (sic) must be dealt with.”
Press here if you want to amp the suspense up even further.
And so the plot is laid, the pieces are in place, and the the evil grows, unnoticed by anyone save the staff of Fox News…
It’s 19 years later and Usama has stopped by to visit his buddy Saddam Hussein, and his disgusting son Uday (since, of course, we didn’t have George W. Bush and Operation Iraqi Freedom to save us from his machinations). Never mind that Hussein and bin Laden despised each other, and that despite Darryl Whorley’s hit song, Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 — no, this is the world of Liberality for All, and if Mike Mackey says that Saddam and bin Laden conspired against America together, well by GOD it must be true.
So bin Laden accepts a briefcase nuke from Uday and off he flies to New York City to address the U.N.
EGADS! What treachery is this??? America’s most hated and feared foe is being allowed to visit New York City? How can it be??? Such a travesty could only transpire if our beloved democracy as subverted, and handed over lock, stock and barrel, to a band of terrorist-loving traitors. Traitors like….
So as “Ambassador bin Laden” is eagerly ushered into the U.N. by his lickspittle traitor “American” guides, the captions eloquently begin again with the following exhortation:
“Throughout its history, America’s freedom cost hundreds of thousands of its bravest souls; they died to flame (sic) the torch of liberty… under the belief that their spilled blood would not be in vain. The price our benefactors paid purchased a tomorrow full of hope and peace to leave to their children… Peace which was won through strength, not negotiated through appeasement. What have we, the recipients of our forefathers’ sacrifice, done with that inheritance? The blood of millions has greased the collective war machine of history. And while there are many conflicting historical paradigms as to the best method to conduct and execute war… every teaching on warfare agrees on one principle each of us learned as children… which is: fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
(Mind you, I have never found that particular dictum in the works of Sun Tzu, Tacitus or Frederick the Great, but maybe I haven’t been looking hard enough.)
So it is, proclaims the UN guy, who looks kind of like Bob Newhart, that “Today ushers in a new era of peace,” then introduces “one of the architects of that peace — the honorable… Ambassador Usama bin Laden.”
As the evil bin Laden takes the podium, we cut quickly to some other members of the UN, including France, Canada, Spain and Germany, who are all grinning and exulting. The guy from Germany looks particularly disturbing. Stupid non-Americans…
Bin Laden (who in reality would never have set foot anywhere near the United Nations) begins to speak, thanking Secretary General Jaques Chirac (Zing! Take that, French guy who didn’t support us in the Iraq War!), Vice President Michael Moore (Zing! Take that, fat documentarian who made an anti-George W. Bush movie!) and of course President Chelsea Clinton (Zing! Take that, person who is the daughter of a politician Mike Mackey doesn’t like!) for their
spineless capitulation assistance in peace negotiations.
For you see, Ambassador bin Laden is here on a mission of peace. He intends to publicly apologize for what he (and the rest of the UN/Liberal-dominated world) refers to as the “misunderstanding” of 9/11. He will, he claims apologize on the 20th anniversary of the event.
Of course, being Usama bin Laden, he can’t be trusted and as we all know, he’s carrying a suitcase nuke and plans to destroy New York. Only the most naive, innocent and politically brain-dead moron could possible believe…
Oh, right. It’s the world of Liberality for All, and all us libruls blamed the US for 9/11 and desperately want to sing Kumbaya with the terrorists. I almost forgot.
“How forceful,” our still-unidentified narrator opines, “will the slap to our collective face need to be in order to bring us back to our senses?”
Pretty hard for some, I guess, but not for the pair outside the building who are busy defacing pro-UN propaganda posters. A handsome young man in a jeans vest with an embroidered eagle and the proud word “PATRIOT” and a hot, leggy redhead in a short skirt and a halter top emblazoned “Liberty Belles” (I love how no matter what a comic book’s politics are, some things never change) add “DO NOT” before the inspiring words “Support the UN”. With intellectual counterpropaganda like that, America will be free of foreign domination in no time, I guess.
The handsome couple’s date is cut short by the appearance of the police, clad in blue uniforms, with blue berets, who spout phrases like “Stop that! You Kriminell!” and “Sacre bleu; that’s just up the rue!” to show how non-American they are. Yes, the United Nations is now America’s police force, just like all us liberals wanted.
As the cute redhead is being dragged off she shouts, “Let me go, you blue pig!” Which brings up an interesting conundrum — why is it that a war protester who refers to the police as “pigs” is a traitor, while a hot redhead right-winger who uses the same language is a freedom fighter? What? Because when libs do something it’s wrong and when conservatives do exactly the same thing, it’s okay? Wait, you’re confusing me…
While this goes on, an overhead video screen broadcasts news such as, “… the capture of Michelle Malkin…” and “… has elevated Matt Drudge to the FBI’s number one most wanted criminal…”
(Keep an eye out here… Mackey drops a lot of names familiar to fans of right-wing blogs and talk shows. Whenever it’s a conservative, he or she is a martyr to freedom, while whenever it’s a liberal, he or she is a leader saying or doing something anti-American. Mackey’s satire is about as subtle and nuanced as a falling anvil.)
Never fear, true Americans… salvation is at hand, for nearby is the secret broadcast van of the cybernetic hero of freedom, Sean Hannity. When the UN goons realize that their arch-nemesis is nearby, they release the couple, who run of singing a little ditty, “Let freedom ringgg!!!, (sic) Let the white doves singggg!!! Let the whooole world know that this is a day of reckoninggggg!!!!” Apparently Ted Nugent is still alive and writing lyrics.
In his red-lit lair, Hannity (who STILL looks nothing like the real Hannity) begins his pirate broadcast while the diabolical forces of world government frantically try to triangulate on his signal.
“Folks, we fast approach the 20th anniversary of the Sean Hannity show. Many things have changed in the past two decades. But one thing that’s the same is, I am still here speaking for those who can’t.”
(Btw, when the hell did Hannity ever speak “for those who can’t”? My impression was that he spoke for those who couldn’t fucking shut up, but that’s just my opinion, and I clearly hate America.)
UN troops, under the command on one Gerhart Higgler (get it? He’s FOREIGN. From the U.N. That’s why he’s speaking a FOREIGN language and isn’t AMERICAN), close in on Sean’s van, and it looks as Liberality for All is going to end at Issue One, but don’t count a Fox News commentator out so quickly.
“And regarding the U.N. enforced FCC hate speech legislation?” Sean continues, “I’ll say it again! I will never obey any of the ‘Coulter Laws’!”
(Remember what I said? Now Anne Coulter’s name is dropped, because of course us liberals all want to censor and silence conservative speech, and we’ll name our censorious laws after her. Mind you, I’m still trying to find the speech where Al Gore advocated repealing the First Amendment. Keep those anvils falling, Mike!)
So Sean’s format hasn’t changed too much — he’s still taking calls from listeners, and the first is from a “Lib” named Jeff. Uh-oh, Sean says sarcastically, I used the “L” word — guess I’m in trouble now… haw, haw, haw.
Needless to say Jeff is another deluded naif who has been blinded by the treachery of the mainstream media. “Ambassador bin Laden has become a man of peace,” he insists pathetically. “We should do like the UN says and trust that the truce will bring a peaceful future.”
Super-Sean is having none of it of course. He replies, “TRUST? Like America trusted Chelsea, Michael Moore and the lunatic liberal lefties? Bin Laden is speaking at the 20th anniversary of 9/11, for heaven’s sake. Look, Jeffie — you may have forgotten, President Chelsea and her unshaven miscreant of a vice president may have forgotten, but I will never forget what the terrorists did to me… and what the liberal left has done to our country… Our nation’s once mighty military conscripted into UN troops (sic)! God taken off our money and out of the Pledge of Allegiance [fun facts about America kids... the Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1898 by a Christian socialist named Francis Bellamy and was not adopted nationally until 1942; the words "under God" were only added to the pledge in 1954 at the insistence of the Knights of Columbus -- AP] not that anyone should swear allegiance to what the ‘new’ American flag represents!” (As one might expect, btw, the stars on the “old” American flag have been replaced by a UN logo, just like all us liberals have wanted for years.)
Sean hangs up in disgust and talks to his next caller, a “freedom fighter with the patriots” named Reagan (clang! Another anvil falls). How, as a freedom-loving REAL American, young Reagan asks, can he help out FOIL in its battle against UN tyranny? Why, by doing just what you’re doing, Super-Sean replies.
“The Freedom of Information League is not just composed of the few vocal conservatives left in America,” he continues, “FOIL represents all those who realize that America has fallen asleep and entered a nightmare. With each voice of reason shouting together, America can be awakened from its slumber. Reagan, you and your friends keep up the good fight; you’re a great American.”
“Thank you, sir,” replies young Reagan as he hangs up. “We will.”
Oh my GOD — Reagan is the guy who almost got busted for spray-painting the UN poster! The irony! And while I’m on the subject, where’s the cute right-wing chick in the short skirt and the halter top? I want to see more of her.
All this time, the UN thugs are closing in on Cyber-Sean, but he’s not worried. He closes his broadcast (which must have lasted all of three minutes) with the inspiring words, “Remember, FOIL is here for you folks, and let not your hearts be troubled; the true America will return!”
I also forgot to mention that the talky captions have continued through all of this, with our still-unnamed narrator blathering on and on. The captions are sprinkled at random across numerous panels, interfering with the action and flow of the story, and their commentary is so disjointed that it’s all but impossible to figure out what they’re actually saying. I’ll include his entire spiel here, but you really don’t have to read more than the first couple of sentences:
“What will it take for all of us to listen for that voice in the wilderness? Once upon a time, Americans understood the meaning of sacrifice. The benefactors of all we held precious volunteered to be targets in war after war, and if they survived, they said, ‘I was just doing my duty… Just doing my job.’ [Unless of course they were John Kerry, in which case he faked his injuries and wasn't a real hero like Glenn Beck or Anne Coulter or Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh... Oh, wait... None of them served in the military? Never mind -- AP] Such honor is a concept that many who grew up in their shadow fail to comprehend or appreciate. They became an ignorant generation which failed to separate their benefactors’ heroism from humility. However, there were a few who understood. But the ignorant majority said, ‘They were just doing their duty… Doing their jobs.’ The generation I grew up in felt entitled to freedom and rights which they did not earn. Without paying the price of their own blood, many felt, by providence or design, that they somehow deserved the rewards they were born with… Or worse, having never fought or sacrificed, these rewards seemed as abundant and invisible as the air around them. And like that air, it was only missed when its precious supply was taken away. That which is given and not earned is seldom appreciated. Like spoiled children, we squandered our fortune of freedom and liberty and were shocked when it was gone. Now that generation of fools stands on the shoulders of giants and, with outstretched arms laden with wanton (sic) bowls of entitlement, unashamedly asks… ‘Please, sir, I want some more.’ Those who fought for our rights etched, then eroded, a path of destiny for this country to plow. The turbulent current that boldly swept this country through time… has been diverted by poor leadership. The flow of freedom that welled forth from our nation’s capitol has stagnated into the dank swamp of its geologically historic roots. Many liberties have been lost there, pulled down to the murky depths. But America can rise forth (sic) and return to her greatness again. It will take bravery, ingenuity and the right heroes, determined to make it happen.”
OKAY, I GET THE MESSAGE BUT HOLY CHRIST WILL YOU PLEASE SHUT THE FUCK UP????
While the narrator is busy demonstrating the meaning of the word “logorrhea”, Sean is preparing for the assault of the UN lackeys, and communicating with his friends, Oscar and G-Man. When the blue-beret clad troops burst through the doors of his van, Sean doesn’t waste any time, lashing out with his gleaming cyber-arm, grabbing one of their (clearly European-designed) automatic rifles, then zapping them with a charge of incapacitating, red, white and blue energy, generated by GOOD OLD AMERICAN HYDROELECTRIC POWER!
He then escapes by ripping through the roof of his own broadcast van (hopefully he has a large number of replacements in storage), shouting “IT’S CRUNCH TIME!” (Sorry, Sean — I knew Ben Grimm. Ben Grimm was a friend of mine. And you’re no Ben Grimm.)
Now the action and writing get extremely confusing, but I think I know what happens next. While a shadowy figure on a motorcycle leaps from an adjoining building, Sean downloads the “deactivation codes” for the UN guards rifles (you see, since the UN made us register all our firearms, they also implanted chips that allow the authorities to deactivate weapons, and also — gasp — chips that prevent anyone but a weapon’s authorized user from firing it… The horrors of UN tyranny once more rear their ugly heads), then calmly stands while the wicked UN troops place him under arrest (“for violations of FCC hate crime legislation and crimes against the United Nations government” of course) and his motorcycle-riding friend lands on the roof of his van.
Sean hands his bald and moustacioed buddy a rifle he took from a guard. The savage UN guy below (who looks kind of like Richard O’Brien from Rocky Horror) tells him “Put down the gun, Herr Liddy.”
Yup, it’s conservative hero, G. Gordon Liddy, who once did dirty work for president Richard M. Nixon, organized and led a series of burglaries targeting Democratic party locations, and served 52 months in prison for burglary, conspiracy and refusal to testify. If ever there was a freedom-loving defender of liberty, it was this man, people.
(And I know it’s petty of me, but in the year 2021, G. Gordon Liddy will be 90 years old. Of course, Mike Mackey has an answer for that, and I’ll get to it later. And one more thing — Lin’s art makes Liddy’s forehead appear to be about a foot tall.)
GGL accepts the gun and scans it with his amazing cybernetic implants.
“The XM-9,” he muses, bravely oblivious to the UN goons who now surround him. “You know, I evaluated the XM-8 for the NRA. Before the organazation was officially disbanded. So many cold, dead hands.” CLANG! Anvils are falling like rain. “It shoots fine, but I hate all this electronic gun control junk.”
Of course you hate it, G. Gordon — because you’re a REAL AMERICAN!
“I’ve always found the best gun control,” he finishes puckishly, “was by (sic) using two hands!”
Well, the UN goons are all foreigners, so they have no appreciation for such subtle American humor (and are probably confused by Liddy’s fucked-up grammar), so the commander tells Liddy, “We both know you can not even load a round if you are not the gun’s authorized user.”
Of course, this is nonsense, as G. Gordon quickly tells them. Those nasty liberal user-control chips are very easy to reprogram, and also to remotely deactivate (if you have cybernetically-implanted head lasers, of course, which the ancient but surprisingly spry G. Gordon has), and finally…
“It’s not a gun!” he triumphantly declares. “It’s called a weapon or rifle. You should respect it. Even if it’s made in France.”
ZING! Score! Take that, snail-eating Gallic George W. Bush non-supporters!
Stung by Liddy’s bold taunting, the UN troops allow their quarry to escape, leaping from the back of the van and onto the freedom-loving streets of New York (well, only freedom-loving if they have a Republican mayor, which they DON’T). As they drive away, the Richard O’Brien-looking German guy pulls what looks like a Luger and fires, hitting Cyber-Sean in his cyber-arm.
As the Freedom Duo flees, Sean manages to get his arm working long enough to fire off a massive EMP pulse (“THOOM” — was ACC paying Jack Kirby’s estate royalties for the sound effects, I wonder?) that knocks out all the UN’s pursuit vehicles and provides our heroes with a clean getaway.
So that’s about it for issue one. Cyber-Sean and Cyber-G. Gordon escape to a weirdly-shaped submarine that apparently cruises around under the Hudson River, then arrive at their secret underwater base, where Oscar (the guy who built their implants, I guess) waits along with Sean’s lovable pooch Marty, a super-computer complex and a number of super-minions, who tell our heroes that — yes — the evil and treacherous bin Laden’s brought a suitcase nuke to NYC.
I think I made Issue One of Liberality for All sound a hell of a lot more complex than it actually was. In the end, it’s a typical self-published comic — the writing is poor, the narrative is hard to follow, the action is fragmented, the art is at best passable, and the grammar is appalling. At least all the words appear to be spelled correctly.
We end up with a letters column, which since this is Issue One, is either made up, or taken from e-mails.
The lead-off letter notes that LfA is getting all sorts of mainstream media attention, and wonders why it the comic industry isn’t paying attention. This of course gives Mike Mackey a chance to spout off, suggesting that there is a liberal conspiracy in the comic industry to keep people from reading or collecting his book.
(A possible answer might be because the mainstream media doesn’t know shit from shinola, and are reporting on LfA because it’s controversial, not because it’s a good comic. The industry might be ignoring LfA for the same reason it routinely ignores other indie comics — either because a) they’re indie comics, not produced by major publishers, or b) because they suck donkey dicks. In the case of Liberality for All, I think both reasons are a very real possibility.)
Mackey then takes on his liberal critics, and boy does he mop the floor with them. Like me, the first wonders whether LfA is serious or a work of satire, saying “Either you are a brilliant mind, knowing that dumb*** conservatives will buy this so they can have their persecution fantasies stoked, while liberals will buy it for the hilarity… or, you yourself are the aforementioned conservative mind and need serious help.”
That’s pretty much what I thought when I first heard of the book, but Mike Mackey’s insightful reply quickly slashes his first liberal foe to ribbons.
“Yes,” he replies. “I need serious help. Won’t someone… Please… Help me?”
Well played, sir! This battle of wits is over!
Mackey’s next ultra-liberal critic says, “I was struck by the broad assumptions you have made. You assume that a liberal government is Orwellian when in fact traits from 1984 exist today in the Bush administration. (For the sake of brevity I will summarize the gist of his other 200 word commentary (sic), to a mere 9… Bush is a liar, Hallburton, no WMD’s, Abu Ghraib)”
The parenthesized section is Mackey, of course, since there is at least one glaring grammatical error. His reply to this laughably sad critic is pure Mike Mackey gold:
Ah! Go hug a tree, ya bleedin heart!
We get letters from a couple more fans and a couple more critics, along with more of Mackey’s insightful wit and biting sarcasm. To round out the book we get a couple pages of color art, one portraying Cyber-Sean (at least I THINK it’s cyber-Sean… once more I can’t quite recognize the character because I’m looking at him through rose-colored hippy glasses while eating my granola and presiding over a gay marriage ceremony) throttling Osama with his cyber-arm, and the other showing 90-year old, but oh-so-sexy hunk G. Gordon Liddy riding his hot, manly motorcycle and riposting with his hot, manly fencing foil (FOIL, get it?). I wonder at a comic that promotes conservative values, yet portrays one of its characters in such a starkly homoerotic fashion, but no matter.
From the get-go, Liberality for All comes across like a propaganda magazine produced at a barbed-wire enclosed compound deep in the Idaho panhandle. Its satire is inept and ham-handed, its art is at best high school level, and it approaches its subject matter with a ludicrously self-important level of deadly seriousness, as if Liberality for All is one of the most important documents in the history of American political thought. In the end, it comes down to a simple message — liberals bad, conservatives good (“Oh yeah?” I hear Mike Mackey bellowing. “What’s so wrong with that?”)
And oh, yeah… the whole 90-year-old G. Gordon Liddy problem? In an interview, Mackey mentions this and informs the interviewer that Liddy, Hannity and the still-unseen Oliver North have all been given regenerative nanite treatments that keep them young. In fact, he tells us, G. Gordon Liddy is actually immortal! Perhaps this also explains Liddy’s grotesquely oversized melon-like cranium…
So in the end, the most diabolical villains that Mackey could come up with among American liberals were Chelsea Clinton and Michael Moore (no, seriously — Michael fucking Moore… Does anyone even pay attention to that guy anymore?), and the only hope that America has is an immortal, invincible, cybernetically-enhanced convicted criminal G. Gordon Liddy (a figure whose real political career ended decades ago), a partisan and demagogic TV news commentator and another convicted criminal (Ollie North). If they’re the best we have, I guess the terrorists really did win.
More next post. Stay tuned for the exciting Issue Two!