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August 15 2007
Item Number One:
COMICS WITH PROBLEMS #19
"GEORGE WALLACE FOR THE BIG JOB" (1960/1961)
Also independently posted at:
Oh man. You'll have to forgive me, but this comic has taken about five years to track down - and even with me knowing about it for this long it's still a Big Delightful Shocker to read and to share with you. What we have here is One of The Big Fish in suppressed and hidden race-related literature. Presenting GEORGE WALLACE FOR THE BIG JOB.
I almost don't want to say anything else. But I guess I have to. First, we're talking about this George Wallace:
Wallace, as Governor, outside University of Alabama, defiantly resisting integration. Wallace is bravely standing as the only man without a gun, hat or helmet.
If we're talking about Wallace you probably know we're talking about one of the most iconic racists in American history.
This comic, produced very early in Wallace's career, raises and answers a few questions:
How does someone get in power in the first place? And how do people initially know who you are and what you stand for? This booklet, produced when Wallace was still relatively unknown, provides a good example of independent publishing as a means of getting your point across, and for having that point stick. And it worked. They found out who he was, or at least how he was representing himself, and elected him. And you know who he is now.
In a previous 1958 election for Governor, Wallace lost to John Patterson. Patterson was an accomplished racist, and even had the endorsement of the KKK. Wallace became famous for saying he would never be "out-niggered again" - and when he ran again for Governor it was this comic that established firmly in full-color and word balloon that he was a staunch segregationist, opponent of the NAACP, anti-communist, christian - and most of all: a defender of states' rights from the attacks of Washington and the North. Voters needed to trust their representatives, and this put it all down for them in writing. The comic has lots of other punchlines, and I won't ruin any more of them here, but it's important for me to stress something: Without this comic, we might not have had George Wallace as the elected Governor of Alabama in 1962. History might have been very different. Civil Rights were important, and its success was just as dependant upon its adversaries. And Wallace put up a hell of a hostile and famous fight.
What's funny, though, is this booklet suggests Wallace didn't even have the integrity to have a unique idea: It should be stated John Patterson had had a comic book himself in 1958. When George Wallace lost, he made the famous "never be out-niggered again" comment, upped his racist tone, and hired his own comic book team. But while Patterson was the more authentic good ol' boy it is Wallace we remember, and the importance of this booklet can not be over-stated. Presented to you here for the first time ever in over 45 years. A tremendous printed example of persuasion in politics.
Like an antonymous counterpart to our 1956/1957 MLK comic (link), we now present the equally important and twice as suppressed 1960/1961 "GEORGE WALLACE FOR THE BIG JOB" comic.
Pick a viewing format:
(in Comics with Problems format)
(in stand-alone format)
Thanks - A Realist Update on September 3rd. Regards, Ethan
P.S. Creepy and extremely disturbing George Wallace postscript found here. Warning Very fucking weird and depressing