Sarah Palin will never go away. There’s simply something too intriguing and terrible about the former Alaska governor to keep people away. It’s very much like watching a car crash. And Richard Tenorio, a Malden-born political cartoonist, is rubbernecking. His new comic book, The Devil and Sarah Palin, was a huge hit at last month’s Boston Comic Con, and now it’s flying off the shelves.
“I have her glasses, and her hairdo I always draw with a ponytail,” he says. “I don’t know why she has a ponytail, she just always has a touch of informality about her. … It took some time to develop an image of her that I was comfortable with.”
In his one-off comic, he first has Lucifer make a Faustian deal with a voter, encouraging them to vote for Palin. Once Palin fails, however, the tables have turned and Lucifer is then in Palin’s ear. “He tries to counsel her,” says Tenorio, “to focus on her state-of-the-state address and the Alaskan pipeline. I think the book touches on some of the things the mainstream media misses, like all the biblical imagery she uses.”
Like much of his other cartoons, the Columbia School of Journalism graduate stays away from outright characterization, letting the plot of this deal with the devil make the most of the message. Though his Palin is simple, it’s not without a keen resemblance. “It just came from all the times I’ve looked at her,” he says. Which, like all of us, is one time too many.
[The Devil and Sarah Palin release party, Sun 11.15.09. Hub Comics, 19 Bow St., Union Sq., Somerville, MA. 617.718.0987. 4pm-6pm/free. hubcomics.com]