Comics Time: Wiegle for Tarzan

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Wiegle for Tarzan

Matt Wiegle, writer/artist

Partyka, April 2010

12 pages

$1

Buy it from Partyka, most likely

Today’s installment of Insurmountable Conflict of Interest Theater is brought to you by my friend and collaborator Matt Wiegle’s latest one-dollar humor minicomic. This one’s campaign literature, essentially, as Wiegle announces his intention to run for the neglected but pivotal office of New York’s official State Tarzan. The key image is Matt wearing nothing but a necktie and a leopard-skin loincloth, which is as far as you might expect this gag to go. But his strength as a humor cartoonist has been his off-angle take on his simple concepts–the foodie specificity of the beast-based dishes in Monsters and Condiments, for example. So here, instead of just the basic idea of Tarzan existing alongside Governor and Attorney General and County Executive as a political office, you have the position’s origins following the Hobson Shirt Company’s “Loose Lion Incident” of 1919; you have the career-politician behavior of the incumbent, who “has barely touched a vine in 20 years!”; you have “ill-equipped” first responders like mustachioed firefighters handling “Tarzan-related crises” like an attack by anthropomorphized ant-people; you have “social networking” listed as one of Wiegle’s proposed transformational goals for the office, as depicted by a man tweeting for help as he gets sucked into quicksand, and so on. I’m spoiling gag after gag, I know, but I’ve read this thing a few times now and I’m still chuckling out loud, so you ought to be alright. At any rate, they all click harder thanks to his art, honed at this point through countless panels drawn for adapting literary greats for Barnes & Noble’s SparkNotes to a really sturdy combination of realism and cartoony brio, perhaps best exemplified here by the dead-eyed stare of a necktie-clad giant-cobra lobbyist. Wiegle gets my vote, that’s all I’m saying.

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