Trump After Trump #49 (Sunday)

Trump After Trump Comic Strip 4-panel strip

Pence Issues Trump a Parting Challenge

Does anyone call Trump “Don” or “Donald”? It’s hard to imagine. Trump is on record as loving when people call him “sir” or “mister president,” so I don’t see why he should change his mind just because he’s no longer president.

Now that it is Inauguration Day in this comic strip, we can bid farewell to the lame duck period. Mike “Bible Mike” Pence is going his own way to preach his message of hope and comfort to the masses. What’s next for Trump?

One answer to that question could be “nothing.” Drawing 49 comics from one storyline has been a great experience for me, and I am happy with the product. That said, I don’t know how much time I want to spend thinking about and drawing Trump, and it’s not like Trump After Trump has blown up to a point where people would be sad to see it go.

For now, I’m writing and drawing, working toward closure. But, as my friend Sean advised, I’ll be sure not to kill Trump off just in case I find that y’all want more Trump After Trump.

See all comics in orderWatch the video

Trump After Trump #48

Trump After Trump Comic Strip 4-panel strip

Trump Is Under Stress and Could Use a Healing Message

I hope this comic strip doesn’t set up an expectation that something is going to happen with the box. I drew it to symbolize that Trump is heading out of office soon, now that it’s January 21 in Trump After Trump world.

If the document box is, in fact, a gun in the first act that fails to fire by the final act, at least it jumps off the table in the last panel.

As for the content of this comic, I love using Trump as a vessel for all that I find distasteful about the excessive pursuit of profit. And I think I’ll leave it there. Cheers!

See all comics in orderWatch the video

Trump After Trump #47

Trump After Trump Comic Strip 4-panel strip

Trump Understands His White, Evangelical Christian Supporters

My Trump loves the letter “T”, and – regardless of what he learns about the cross and its symbolic power – he prefers to see the letter “T” when he encounters crosses as necklaces, tattoos, car stickers, etc.

Pence will soon be moving on to his post-politics life; so, without him as a Christian foil in the comic strip, I look forward to moving on to writing about Trump’s shortcomings as a leader rather than playing in the gulf between Trump as a public figure and his Great White Wall of support from American evangelical Christians.

See all comics in orderWatch the video

Trump After Trump #46

Trump After Trump Comic Strip 4-panel strip

Trump Gives Pence a “T” to Wear Around His Neck

One of my favorite experiences raising a secular family is when my daughter was little and pointed out the window as we were driving through suburban Las Vegas. “Look! That building has a “T” on top of it!” That is not a direct quote, but I hope the paraphrasing captures her excitement at seeing a letter of her recently-mastered alphabet perched on top of a big building.

And that was the day that she learned what a cross was and what it meant.

So, I return to the fertile cartooning ground of making fun of the gap between Trump and his evangelical base. For someone as egomaniacal and apparently unreligious (at least in his public behavior) as Trump, I wouldn’t be surprised if he recognized his supporters’ crosses as the “T” that indicates Trump enthusiasm.

I hope there is a broad and public reckoning over white Christian support for someone who personifies the opposite of their professed values over the years of the Religious Right.

In the meantime I will make cartoon jokes about that contradiction and hope I’m not the only one laughing.

See all comics in orderWatch the video

Trump After Trump #45

Trump After Trump Comic Strip 4-panel strip

Trump, Pence and Don-Don Toast 2020, an Unforgettable Year

I am committed to pre-celebration.

Trump After Trump started as a way for me to do a sort of visualization therapy: I imagined the end of the Trump presidency and watched him withdraw from the public eye during the lame duck period, which is not exactly in character, so I tried to keep his need for control and his narcissism on full display.

I still hope very much that he does, in fact, withdraw from the public, but I am not optimistic. We’ll see.

In any case, I have enjoyed spending the past 4 months in a future, fictional lame duck period. And now, with this comic, I am dispatching 2020 early, and moving into 2021. The memes have been declaring 2020 a year that we definitely won’t miss, so lets just get it over with!

See all comics in orderWatch the video

Trump After Trump #44

Trump After Trump Comic Strip 4-panel strip

Another Christmas Episode: Pence Gives Don-Don His Gift

It was a revelation to invent Don-Don, the little, stuffed version of Trump with yellow yarn hair and a perpetual yell on his face. And, because of how much fun I have with Don-Don, it’s hard not to just make little toy versions of everyone, but today I make an exception.

Wouldn’t it be cool to make fabric doll versions of each of the nine Supreme Court justices? I don’t want to go there in real life, but I like the results in ink.

Today’s comic speaks for itself, I think. I get feedback from time to time that suggests that my comics are not delivering the meaning that I think I’m crafting; but that is a big part of why I’m drawing Trump After Trump: I want to get better at the unique and super-fun language of cartooning.

See all comics in orderWatch the video

Trump After Trump #43

Trump After Trump Comic Strip 4-panel strip

Introducing Father Michael, the Reinvented Mike Pence

Saul had his moment of transformation on the road to Damascus. Anakin was christened Darth Vader by Emperor Palpatine, who himself is also known as Darth Sidious. Natalie dumps Scott Pilgrim and soon emerges as the Clash at Demonhead frontwoman Envy Adams.

Renaming a character is often part of a greater physical and spiritual transformation. When Mike Pence retires from politics and relaxes for the first time in decades, he grows a spontaneous, full, bushy white beard and seems to be stepping into a new role as an ancient prophet.

I drew and inked this on Election Night 2020 in the United States. Biden has gone to bed and told us to keep the faith. Trump is about to step out and speak to supporters. There is no outcome to this election yet, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have some fun with the Pence and Trump characters that I’ve been exploring for the past, like, five months.

In fact, the kind of political stress we are feeling at this moment is the reason I started this comic in the first place. This comic is a fictional road map for the actual Donald Trump to conduct himself in the event of a loss. And here are the steps:

  1. accept defeat
  2. make a nice concession call to Joe Biden
  3. spend the lame duck period being self-centered instead of sowing confusion, doubt and resistance
  4. move on

Whether Trump wins or loses this election, I nurture a hope that he might one day – the sooner the better – recede from public life and move on to other interests that don’t include whipping Americans into a divisive, partisan frenzy.

So, let the story roll on!

See all comics in orderWatch the video

Trump After Trump #42 (Sunday)

Trump After Trump Comic Strip 4-panel strip - full-color Sunday comic

Merry Christmas, and the Reason for the Season

I am writing this on October 31, 2020, on a physically-distant Halloween. On this day of candy, horror films and minimal trick-or-treaters expected, it’s funny to have spent the last week in the headspace of Christmas in a fictional Oval Office, where apparently Trump and Mike Pence spend the morning exclusively in each other’s company. But, comic universes are sometimes compressed for simplicity.

Today’s strip plays around some more with Mike Pence’s Christian identity and public image. It’s also fun to exploit what I see as the large gap between white Christian support of Trump and his words and behaviors which are not Christian in any way that I’m familiar with from my upbringing.

Also, if we have a heavily-bearded Pence now, why not just go all in and make him one of those Sunday School worksheet Bible men!

Did you know that these Sunday, full-color strips take me as much time and energy as it takes to make the 6 preceding black-and-white, four-panel strips? I wonder if I need to streamline, and make the Sunday edition smaller. It’s worth pondering. Every three weeks, I spend about seven days worth of mornings, evenings and weekends making these colorful monsters. I hope they appear easy and fun to you, and that I’ve left not a trace of the labor it takes to put one of these together.

Happy Halloween and Merry Christmas to all y’all!

See all comics in orderWatch the video