Obama, McCain in comic book mode

As comic books continue to gain more respect as teaching tools, it should surprise no one that they now aspire to interest young readers in the political process.

As the Monitor's Kendra Nordin noted in her blog earlier this summer, Idea & Design Works in San Diego, Calif., is coming out with Barack Obama and John McCain comic books. Phoenix, Ariz.-based Atomic Comics has now announced that the books will go on sale as of Oct. 8.

The books, which will sell for $3.99 a piece, have 32 full-color pages each and both seem to tell their stories respectfully. (Sample pages can be seen online at the Atomic Comics website.) "Presidential Material: Barack Obama" details Obama's rise from "humble beginnings" to the Democratic nomination for the presidency. "Presidential Material: John McCain" tells the story of his experiences as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and his entrance into politics.

The Obama book even includes passages from his stirring "Audacity of Hope" 2004 address at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

If you're not yet sure which candidate you back, you can buy the "flip" book for $7.99 – Obama on the front cover, McCain on the back. When you finish with one candidate, just flip it upside down and start reading about the other.

The books are already available for pre-order (with a discount being offered to schools and educators) and according to the Arizona Republic, in Phoenix John McCain is running slightly ahead, with 51 orders for his comic book to only 50 for the Obama book.

There is one surprise, however. Bill Mitchell, president of purchasing for Atomic Comics, told the Arizona Republic that he didn't think there would be either a Sarah Palin or a Joe Biden book. It seems to me that if there ever was a golden opportunity to make a killing with a political comic book, that would be it right there.

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