In His Own Words: Super-Champion Writer Jakob Free on Making Fascism Lame Again

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In His Own Words: <i>Super-Champion</i> Writer Jakob Free on Making Fascism Lame Again

Update (10/26/2018): Following allegations against artist J.D. Faith, Jakob Free has suspended this campaign. Learn more on the Kickstarter page. In the interest of transparency, we will leave this essay up.

As part of Paste Comics’ ongoing efforts to spotlight worthy Kickstarter projects, we’ve invited writer and former Paste contributor Jakob Free to contribute a guest essay to mark the launch of his campaign for the first issue of The Redemption of Super-Champion Barron Drumpf , his new project co-created with JD Faith and inspired by the grand tradition of political comics.

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The Redemption of Super-Champion Barron Drumpf Cover Art by JD Faith & Ben Wilsonham

My grandfather was a sonar operator in World War II. Or the mail guy. Depends on who you ask. And how much they’ve had to drink. Regardless of what he did, my grandfather participated—in some small way—in winning WWII. But he wasn’t the kind of guy to take credit for things like that. He rarely even talked about his time in the Navy. I never once heard him refer to himself as a veteran.

By the time I was old enough to even think about joining the armed forces, it had become a less glorious sort of endeavor. The truth is, I wouldn’t have done it under most circumstances. It just wasn’t something a nice, (literally) small Jewish boy from Long Island did. Or so I thought.

But my grandfather was a nice, small Jewish boy from Long Island. He did his part. And I often wonder why.

It’s probably because, in 1941, Americans were experiencing a kind of national unity that’s hard to imagine in the 21st century. We were facing down an existential threat. We were facing down Nazis. And by god, we were going to fight them together!

But in 2018, I’m no longer certain that we’re all on the same page about Nazis. Or anything really. Now there’s a lot of talk about the importance of free speech. The marketplace of ideas. We shouldn’t punch Nazis. We should let them parade around town, spewing their virulent nonsense, and somehow our good ideas will beat their bad ideas into submission. Goodbye Nazism!

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The Redemption of Super-Champion Barron Drumpf Interior Art by JD Faith & Ben Wilsonham

You can see how I might be frustrated by this type of thinking. So was JD Faith. We decided to make a comic book about it, called The Redemption of Super-Champion Barron Drumpf. Ben Wilsonham colored it, and the folks at AndWorld Design designed it. Giannis Milonogiannis and David Lafuente even did some pinups in it. Now, we’re running a Kickstarter campaign to get it printed.

Super-Champion is a long-form political cartoon dressed up in the guise of state-issued propaganda. It concerns the adventures of Barron Drumpf, the genetically engineered and hypnotically trained son of Supreme Leader Donald Drumpf. Barron started his life as a loyal soldier, but after being betrayed by his father, he begins to question his role in the atrocities committed by the American Empire.

JD and I believe that by making Super-Champion, we’re taking part in a grand tradition of creators who put politics front and center in their comics. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon’s Captain America didn’t just punch any old Nazi. He punched the Nazi. That’s a kind of political statement that the members of ComicsGate or the Alt-Right can never diminish, no matter how much they twist history to fit their ridiculous agenda.

But at the end of the day, if JD and I succeed, all we’ll have is a box of comic books. And comic books, even great ones, aren’t the best tools with which to face down existential threats. Which is why we’re printing the book on really thick paper stock, so if you actually do see a Nazi on the street, all you have to do it roll up your copy of Super-Champion, and—at the very least—whack that Nazi over the head with it. My late grandfather would’ve really appreciated it.

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The Redemption of Super-Champion Barron Drumpf Interior Art by JD Faith & Ben Wilsonham

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The Redemption of Super-Champion Barron Drumpf Interior Art by JD Faith & Ben Wilsonham

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The Redemption of Super-Champion Barron Drumpf Pinup Art by Giannis Milonogiannis

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The Redemption of Super-Champion Barron Drumpf Pinup Art by David Lafuente

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