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.
I feel like Don-Don may soon be Trump’s closest companion – in this strip – replacing Mike Pence for the time being. I think Pence might be moving on to the next chapter of his life, soon.
Also, it’s strange writing a comic strip about Trump set in the near future. In the real world, we’ve just lived through the strange week of Trump coming down with COVID, getting VIP treatment for it, and returning to public activity with an ostentatious show of strength.
Meanwhile, in Trump After Trump, Trump is still waiting out the lame duck period and has never had COVID-19. I don’t know if he’s going to get it in this story or not. He has been very isolated. The only other characters to appear in this strip are:
Biden, over the phone
Don-Don, the stuffed doll
So, as opposed to real life, Trump’s social circle here is very narrow. At this point, he’s not looking like someone who’s going to get the ‘Rona.
But, I still have near infinite opportunities to explore narcissism and all the other flavors of his character!
Trump and His Best Bud Don-Don Say Their Night-Night Prayers
I wrote this comic to explore more of the gap between Pence’s Christian faith and Trump’s amoral narcissism. But, when I started drawing, Trump needed to look more like he was ready for bed time.
I dressed him in gold silk, T-covered pajamas, then considered having him hold a stuffed elephant. Trump has never been a big party loyalist – his biggest loyalty being to himself – so Don-Don the stuffed, little Donald Trump doll just emerged from my pencil. I started laughing, and the strip immediately was at risk of being completely hijacked by this little orange guy with yellow yarn hair!
I’m going to enjoy seeing how Don-Don adds to this world. Frankly, he is much needed: thinking about Donald Trump every day for this comic strip is taking a toll on me, so a little toy Trump should help open up the world a bit.