My Daily Reminder We are in BizzaroLand

Who can look at a decrepit cheeseburger-sucking lardass with bone spurs and dementia and see, within that shambling wreckage, a powerful bringer of violent revenge?

The Punisher is schlock from the same evolutionary line that brought us, back in the 70s, Mack Bolan (volumes 1-201,993) – thoughtless and lazy war-porn in which paranoid, disempowered white males took violent revenge on convenient cardboard cut-outs of “bad guys” who stepped up by providing a thin justification for getting killed in horrible ways. In The Punisher as in Mack Bolan, the Marquis De Sade would have immediately recognized his hobby-horse: shocking anti-establishment violence that is transgressive, sexualized, and politicized. The clowns that wear these were not even born when Mack Bolan blazed his way across the annals of bad fiction, but they seem to have grown up on comic books. Not the thought-provoking ones, more like the thought-dampening sort.

But how could anyone mistake Trump for a violent archetype? He could maybe run someone over with his golf-cart but one solid punch and he’d be curled up, crying and begging the secret service detail to rescue him.

Not only is it stupid, it’s so badly made you can tell it’s a cheap thermal print that will peel after the second or third washing. In that way, it is Trumpian. It’s also a great example of bad graphics. From a distance it looks like the guy has some kind of shitty weird clown-nose and smiley face drawn on.

Oh, right, it’s a piece of shit but it says “made in USA.”

Someone could probably make money by photoshopping Donald Trump onto Mack Bolan covers and selling them as limited edition art prints. No, really. The idea makes every artistic instinct in my want to cringe and hide in a pile of dirty underwear.


  1. says

    Direct quote from a 1987 interview with Gerry Conway, the writer who created the Punisher back in 1973-4:

    I was fascinated by the Don Pendleton Executioner character, which was fairly popular at the time, and I wanted to do something that was inspired by that, although not to my mind a copy of it.”

    So basically, the Punisher is a direct ripoff of the Executioner, with enough tweaks to ward off a plagiarism lawsuit from Pendleton’s publisher(s). Not just “the same evolutionary line”, but more of a direct next-generation descendant.

  2. brucegee1962 says

    I won’t say it’s the moment America started going downhill, because I’m not sure when we were ever uphill, but it certainly felt like some kind of turning point in American culture when the Punisher changed from being a villain to being a hero in the comics without changing his methods.

  3. Dunc says

    I guess there really is a sucker born every minute. Or possibly even more often…

  4. Ridana says

    QAnon (or one of their acolytes) has been using the Punisher logo since at least Oct of 2018. I recall a police car somewhere that had the logo on it as well. I think they were forced to remove it, but I’m not sure.

    We Hunted the Mammoth had a gallery of their hilarious Red October art using the logo. I guess the classics never die.

  5. sonofrojblake says

    ” it’s a cheap thermal print that will peel after the second or third washing”

    LOL at the idea that the kind of people who buy this wash their clothes.

  6. Ridana says

    Who can look at a decrepit cheeseburger-sucking lardass with bone spurs and dementia and see, within that shambling wreckage, a powerful bringer of violent revenge?

    Apparently there are a lot of such fools. I noticed this other gallery of art while looking up the one in the previous post. Talk about macho-goggles.

    Btw, that flag on his hat is in black and white instead of red, white and blue. Does that make it a tactical flag?

  7. Pierce R. Butler says

    A really weird pistol in that second image – a single-shot? Had the artist ever seen a real handgun?

    And such a clean alley & trashcans!

  8. springa73 says

    I often suspect that hardcore Trump supporters live in a different mental universe from most other people. They certainly live in a different mental universe from me.

  9. says

    The Executioner series is still running, although these days they’re digital only. The books conspicuously ignore that Bolan is in his early 70s with even a very lenient interpretation of his service in the Vietnam War.(In the first few books he was actually a Korean War vet as well, but that was dropped presumably that made him too old even in the early ’70s.)

  10. Jazzlet says

    Forget the logo, the mask looks like it’s made out of the thinnest t-shirting, it won’t stop much of anything.

    The little girl being ‘saved’ by the Punisher looks as if she’s just been caught trying to sneak a look a her presents, not as if she’s in any kind of danger.

  11. voyager says

    The only thing that mask will protect is other people who avoid the person wearing it.

  12. lorn says

    Pro-Trump art is complicated for me.

    It is blatantly childish and naive. Trump is the antithesis of a superhero. But he isn’t consistent, effective, or smart enough to be an anti-hero. All of it I’ve seen is bad art. It is artistic the way drawings used to sell underwear and tires are art.

    It is said that Trump wears his relative wealth the way a romantic destitute who has never been around real wealth thinks about wealth. It is a gaudy, tasteless and ostentatious display, as they say, a mile wide and a millimeter thick. (shouldn’t that be kilometer wide to be consistent? Consistency … bah.) The gold is cheap spray paint poorly applied. The imported Italian marble is discount isle cheap and incompetently installed.

    Everything about Trump is characterized by him being a pitchman. Always over-promised and under-delivered. He is all about selling the ‘sizzle’. The Punisher metaphor is, if you think about it in the wider context, apt. The Punisher is a comic book hero. He is a character in movies. Movies about a guy done wrong getting revenge. But it is all make believe. As far as I know nobody on a Punisher set had been killed. Possibly not even seriously injured. It is all a revenge fantasy. All sizzle and no steak. Very Trumpian that.

    This mask looks to be an under-performing Trumpianism also. And it is very proud of this … also very like Trump.

  13. bmiller says

    “Who can look at a decrepit cheeseburger-sucking lardass with bone spurs and dementia and see, within that shambling wreckage, a powerful bringer of violent revenge?

    According to a stat from the Sunday Chronicle, 45% of the American people are Magiots. That makes me shudder,.

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