Thursday, February 28, 2008

Those Were the Days: Illustrated Clintoniana

In these waning weeks of the 2008 Democratic primary season, many are discussing Hillary’s fade and what may have been the former president’s role in that process, especially his verbal spasms in South Carolina.

Ten years ago, I was at work on a weekly illustrated satire that ran in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on the Saturday Opinion page. The feature was called Metro Trap for the first 40 weeks or so, when we changed it to Sam the Dog, the name of the central character. It’s a marvel that they ran it, really. I have been thinking that I might republish some of these in this forum…

The feature was a mixture of local and national satire. There were surreal aspects to it, one of which was the figure of B.O. Lincoln (that is, Bust Of), Sam the Dog’s foster father. Early in the series, Sam runs away from home and takes a job in a gleaming money-laundering firm out in affluent West County. After Sam is framed for murder, he flees back downtown and seeks the counsel of Lincoln. Lincoln meets him in the derelict Opera House.

As is plain from these episodes, B.O. Lincoln morphed into my Bill Clinton vehicle.

Alas, I was not producing such a weekly featured during the Bush years, which would have been a gold mine, but I did my best with the late 90s.

Above, Lincoln and Sam meet up at the Opera House. Below, the ensuing conversation goes downhill.

And a Bust of Lincoln Reverie, below:

Images: D.B. Dowd, Sam the Dog Episode 51, “Slapstick,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 23, 1998; Episode 52, “The Disillusionment,” May 30, 1998; Episode 68, “Standup Guy,” September 17, 1998.

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