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By Patrick

I became aware of Politics because of a comic book.

I grew up voraciously reading comic books of all kinds and I still do. I discovered a comic book about a teenage president from DC comics in 1973 called ‘ PREZ ‘ created by writer Joe Simon and artist Jerry Grandenetti.

The premise of the comic book was that a Constitutional amendment had passed lowering the age limit which then lead to ‘Prez’ Richard being elected. After he was elected he immediately put friends and family in the positions of Vice President, and other cabinet positions sweeping away the old school thought of who had been in those cabinet positions. He then went on to have fantastic adventures and the comic book was cut short after four issues. The character has over time reappeared in other comic book titles over the past few years and has been recently revived in a reimagined modern comic book.

It was very influential to me at the time. I became aware of American Politics then and I started to read up on politics. Since I was very young when Watergate happened (bragging)  I really didn’t understand the impact of what had happened and it was only when I became older did I get the full grasp of Watergate.

But I Identified greatly with Prez Richards. Here was someone who was a little older than me, didn’t have super powers, his adventures took place in the same age and time as I was growing up in. I was becoming a person starting to become more and more aware of his world around him. Prez struck a cord with me because of that.

Granted his adventures had him fighting against vampires and evil militia types and evil chess players (you just have to read the comics to understand). The stories also touched on gun control, and corruption in politics with a villain called “Boss Smiley”.

The comics were fun and were greatly ahead of their time. They attempted to address the impact of the youth culture of that generation but didn’t have enough time to do so. The comic lasted only four issues.

images-1Since the canceling of the original run the character bounced around different comic books over the years. Those titles attempted to address different things such as continuity since Dc Comics had a multiverse to work with, they sometimes attributed Prez Richards existence to other Earth versions in the multiverses such as Supergirl #10 (1974) by  Cary Bates, then much later in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman #54, and then later in the Vertigo line on shot “Vertigo Visions” (1995) by Ed Brubaker and Eric Shanower. In Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Strikes Again Lex Luthor creates a Holographic image as President with the name of Rick Richard even though some think Miller had been taking a satirical jab at G.W. Bush. That’s up to the reader to decide.

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After some other incarnations of the character a new version was introduced in a 12 issue series in ‘ PREZ ‘June 2015. Now the character lives on in 2036, and is female called Beth Ross and was elected by votes from twitter. Rick Richard is now Preston Richard and is her Vice President.

 

 

 

 

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Prez old and new versions were not the first nor will they be the last to include politics in their stories or worlds. Several presidents have appeared in all manners in comic books.

Weird Western Tales #53

 

 

 

 

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Comic books address several topical and controversial subjects all the time and so they should. They are mirrors of the current society they are dealing with. This gives the spotlight on those issues and a platform to discuss them. Even comic strips have done that. Some very early in the history of comics and then later on with POGO dealing with pollution, politics and other social issues.. Walt Kelly’s POGO had such great writing wonderful artwork and said so much with so little in such a way that few have been able to do since. One such  comic strip is Doonesbury.

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Doonesbury came out in 1974 and has become a force into itself. The strip has won awards, has angered others, irritated Washington DC, but only good writing can only do that.

 

 

 

 

But I digress.

Comic Books teach, inform, entertain sometimes all at once. Prez opened a world I had not known about until I read those issues. It is amazing that I live in a country that allows free thinking, allows all point of views and allows their residents to be able to express those ideas be it a comic book, comic strip, books, articles or in art of any kind. I have concerns about this freedom.

I have encountered so many people, many recently that are not going to vote this very important election that is around the corner here in the United States. They have several reasons not to vote. A common factor with many is that is out of protest. This is another freedom we are allowed here. We can choose to give their voice and we can choose not to.

I have encountered so many people, many recently that are not going to vote in this very important election that is around the corner here in the United States. They have several reasons not to vote. A common factor with many is that is out of protest. This is another freedom we are allowed here. We can choose to give their voice and we can choose not to.

We here at GeekCulture.online do not take a stand with any political party except for one important stance. VOTE.

I want everyone to still be able to have public opinions, to be able to write, paint, sing, and dance their opinions. But that can’t happen if you don’t vote.

This country was built on the voices of the people so not voting is not the answer. Vote is your voice expressing your concerns.

If you want to keep these wonderful things like freedom expression in this country. We need free expression more than ever. Look at what is happening with the ND pipeline and the protests going on with those wonderful people protesting the pipeline.

But freedom of expression will only continue if you get up, go stand in line this cold November morning, go in that tiny little booth and vote. Get the sticker saying you voted and wear that proudly. Both Prez Richard and Beth Ross would be proud of you. I will vote early and I will post my sticker right here.

Some Sources to check out:

https://www.rockthevote.com/

https://www.comixology.com

http://www.history.com/topics/Watergate

http://marvel.com/

http://www.dccomics.com/

http://www.gocomics.com/

http://www.randomhistory.com/1-50/033comic.html