Circulating the internet, TEA PARTY COMICS. A blatant rip of many of America's beloved superheroes taking on a supervillian, President Barack Obama.
In what could be a sign of what is brewing in the conservative movement is a potentially damaging comic book that depicts the president in blackface.
The author of the comic is unknown, but the gripes that the comics present are the same talking points generated by talk radio, Fox News and conservative blogs.
A number of tea party leaders disavowed the comic books last week, claiming that they're an obvious plant by tea party opponents.
Tom Kalb and His Amazingly Racist Tea Party Comics by Dan LinehanAn extremely racist "underground conservative comic" has began making the rounds online after an excited Tea Party member in Corpus Christie apparently sold it to a blog, Comics with Problems, who promptly scanned it in and posted it online for the world to see.
For some time now, the origins of the comic have been indeterminate. No one seemed to want to take credit for the extremely racist series, and Comics with Problems is still describing the underground comic as, "artist and organization unknown, presumably year 2009-2010, each issue forty pages."
What we have known however, was that the creator of the series seemed to have quite an extensive knowledge of comic book history. Many of the illustrations were penned to directly parody classic Superman, Spider-Man, and even DuckTales comic book covers.
After doing some research on eBay, it turns out the comics seem to all be coming from precisely one source: Tom Kalb, the middle-aged owner of a small, strip-mall comic book store named Caveman Comics and Books, in Mesa, AZ. Mr. Kalb had been been producing and distributing the Tea Party Comix series as "underground conservative comics" on his eBay store throughout the last month.
Here are a couple screenshots from the (now expired) auction that Tom was running. He was advertising that he still has "more than 10" first print editions of the comic series available, even after he had made nine first edition sales throughout the month. I wonder how someone would obtain more than twenty first run sets. Mysterious.
Click for full-size images.
Of course, it makes perfect sense that the series was produced by a comic store owner due to the satirical nature of many of the illustrations.
It remains to be seen whether Tom Kalb is really as racist as his Tea Party Comix make him seem to be, or if the series is actually a form of advanced satire aimed at conservatives in general and the Tea Party movement specifically.
While many people are saying that the comics must have been made to mock the Tea Party, mainly based on the logic that no one in their right mind would ever release anything so blatantly racist without it being satirical, I'm not entirely convinced. Judging from Tom's alternating use of uppercase and lowercase sentences on his eBay store, all the wingnut whargarbl indicators are present and accounted for:
I WILL BE ON VACATION STARTING SUNDAY NIGHT, MAY 23rd. The store will be CLOSED for about 5 days (M-F). On MONDAY (the 23rd) I will fill all orders placed and paid for by Monday morning. The store will NOT be accessible for FIVE days, but I will still take emails and payments (for older orders). I WILL NOT BE GOING TO THE POST OFFICE BETWEEN TUESDAY AND FRIDAY!! ...IF YOU HAVE AN OUTSTANDING ORDER OR THERE IS SOME OTHER PROBLEM, DO NOT GO NUTS WITH FEAR! I'm still here. I have not run off to Mexico with your $22.50... THANKS! .................................................................Then again, it is eBay. (A++++++ TOP SELLER!!)
Beyond the grammatical issues, there are also quite a few concepts mentioned in the comics that probably wouldn't make much sense to someone unless they were following right wing politics fairly closely: accusations of free abortions, depictions of Obama printing massive amounts of fiat money, showing the President missing his birth certificate. The comic even goes so far as to engage in some good, ol' fashioned vaccination fear-mongering. These don't seem like issues someone non-partisan would know or care about, but they are right in line with the fears of many right wingers.
If any readers happen to be in Mesa, Arizona, feel free to check out Caveman Comics & Books and see if Tom is still carrying any more first editions of the Tea Party Comix. And while you're there, ask him whether he is really a Tea Party member; we're dying to know.
Caveman Comics & Books
500 West Southern Avenue, Suite 32
Mesa, AZ 85210