Devil’s Due produced the Barack Obama comics Barack The Barbarian: No F**ks Left To Give and they have Talk Bernie To Me! The Bernie Sanders Special & AOC Surprise upcoming but nothing has caused as much buzz as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force: New Party Who Dis?
Devil’s Due publisher Josh Blaylock was nice enough to stop by First Comics News to talk about the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez comic.
First Comics News: Does Devil’s Due see themselves as a Progressive/Liberal publisher?
Josh Blaylock: If I did see the company or myself that way “officially,” the second I did then I’m sure some of my other views would be seen to be the opposite. What I consistently have been most of my life, is someone who questions things that don’t seem to make sense, and never accepted “because that’s how it’s done” as an answer. I’ve been pretty critical of the Democratic establishment, even when we did the Obama comics, for example. Ironically much of what I like about the policies AOC and Bernie Sanders are championing are those I’ve only seen more conservative writers, pundits, and bloggers raising concerns about for the last decade. Much of this I’ve written about in the Bitcoin Comic Handbook, which gets pretty deep into the subject and monetary history, how the banking system works, and the Federal Reserve’s role in it all.
1st: It says “Partial proceeds benefit Veteran & Immigrant Charities”. What percentage of the cover price and which charities are supported?
Josh: The charities are RaicesTexas.org, which is covering legal fees for people stuck at the border.
The money I’ve charged for signatures (not something I usually do) has been for charity, and we’re hoping to put a good chunk of the wholesale sales towards it. Several thousand dollars we’re happy to say.
1st: It says “Printed on recycled unpaid medical bills”. Can you guarantee they were all unpaid?
Josh: Haha, no, I guess we’ll have to take everyone’s word for it.
1st: There have been a lot of political comics over the years, what made Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the right choice?
Josh: First was that it was something I could personally get behind, and second, the excitement I saw surrounding her that just felt, at a gut level, would translate over into a large enough audience to support the comic book.
1st: Is there any involvement with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?
Josh: No, she nor any other politicians have any involvement in it, other than constantly being asked about it. We DO hope she liked the final product.
1st: Who are The Freshman Force?
Josh: It represents the collection of a new swath of Democratic congress members elected in the last election. Many of whom ousted incumbent politicians using the opportunity of voting in primaries, which sent a message that this new crop is here to make a difference. Many of them gaining a rapid rise in popularity, and instant attention for being the most ethnically diverse Congress in history, with more women elected than ever before. A much more equal mix of people a better representative of America as a whole, and one that reflects my personal life.
1st: Who are the creators working on this comic?
Josh: Dean Haspiel, Shawn DePasquale, Pat Shand, Tim Seeley, Hoyt Silva, Jill Thompson, Jose Garibaldi, K. Lynn Smith and myself with a few others.
1st: Is there any biographical information or is this all over the top comedy?
Josh: There’s a little bit of everything. That’s the beauty of anthologies!
1st: How many stories are there in this anthology?
Josh: Offhand, I’m not sure. Ten or so?
1st: What are they about?
Josh: Some are over the top absurd comedy. Some are cathartic, sarcastic and venting. Some are sweet. I personally did a strip that’s almost like an info graph. It’s a very mixed group of stories.
1st: Has Devil’s Due ever seen this level of retailer support?
Josh: Oh, the retailer support, while blowing away anything in the last few years, still is nowhere near a mainstream success or what we were doing in the licensed title days. We did break the record for variant covers, which was fantastic, and so fun to see as the art was coming in. It’s definitely a sign of the times that mostly it was our response online and at conventions has been unlike anything we’ve seen before.
1st: How many retailer exclusive covers are there for the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez comic?
1st: Will there be any creator signing or release parties for the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez comic?
Josh: We don’t have any planned, but I believe several retailers are planning events across the country. Some were getting behind the idea of female retail staff wearing all white in homage to all of the congresswomen who wore white to the state of the union (yet another homage to the suffrage movement – Homageception!)
1st: This has clearly done well before it has reached the comic shops. Any plans for a second issue?
Josh: We’re going right into Talk Bernie to Me: The Bernie Sanders Special and AOC Surprise and are in the middle of considering next steps after that.