Sunday, September 26

A comic book character named Donald Trump: “With him gags often write themselves”


Miguel Nuo makes his debut as an author with ‘Uncle Donald Makes America Great Again’ (Caligrama Editorial), where he recreates the most chiripitiflutic moments of the former president and former tweeter with comic resources and graphic humor

A comic book character named Donald Trump:
  • The Cuban immigrant who portrayed Trump. “You fcil caricaturizar from a complete idiot as I”

“It has been four incredible years,” Donald Trump acknowledged to his followers at the Andrews Air Base, moments before getting on the Air Force One heading to Florida. Although before disappearing down the ladder, he warned: “We will be back somehow“So the feeling of relief that the former president and former tweeter has left with his dismissal is only relative, momentary. What if it reappears in 2024?

Trump and Trumpism have a present and a future. He is a survivor who has been in the collective memory of Americans since the 1970s and for many, he is still associated with the powerful image of the winner. With the judicial horizon he has, he cannot afford the luxury of losing influence “, scrutinizes the scriptwriter and cartoonist Miguel Nuo that what if so much the taste of the speculative comic of parallel universes. “It would be a mistake to underestimate him again and think that he is not capable of doing it“, he adds, remembering what happened when his bangs appeared for the first time as a presidential candidate.

With him, until recently, the world’s most powerful man relaxed playing golf at Mar-a-Lago and temporarily away from the spotlight awaiting Joe Biden’s stumble, it’s time to take stock. Nuo analyzes his time at the White House in Uncle Donald Makes America Great Again, the newspaper fake in which he recreates Trump’s most chiripitiflutic moments and reflects on radical populism with a language halfway between the comic and the graphic joke. It is the premiere as an author of Nuo, a professional in visualization and journalistic infographics who for almost 13 years was part of the editorial team of EL MUNDO. The cartoonist Ricardo Martnez stamps his signature on the prologue.

“I understand that it was a natural step,” he says about his debut and the choice of the protagonist. “I consider myself a visual communicator. In addition, I have also been a popularizer of comic culture for a long time and from writing so much about the work of authors that I admire a lot, I felt the need to take this somersault. Trump? He seems to me a grotesque with a lot of magnetism. I see it as a mix of Mick Jagger, Jess Gil, with touches of villain from James Bond movies from the classical times of Sean Connery or Roger Moore. Can an extremist populist, with racist, xenophobic and sexist tics, become president of the United States? In 2016 we were able to verify that it is “.

Why have you published this visual chronicle now? Do you want to offer a global vision of his entire mandate?
Really, the difficulties to publish and a black swan called Covid-19 have chosen the moment for me. Being my first work as a comic book author, it has cost me a lot to carry it out, I have been collecting noes along the way. My initial idea was to launch it in the middle of Trump’s term and, perhaps, a second part at the end, but I did not get an editorial. I do believe that the series of delays have greatly improved the result and, as you say, have allowed me to give a complete vision of his passage through the Oval Office. It has been hard, but very enriching. I am learning a lot with this project.
What interests you most about the parody side of Trump?
Without a doubt, his ability as a communicator. Has been able to pass over the establishment mediation in the United States, set the pace of the political agenda and influence public opinion directly, without any kind of intermediaries, through his Twitter account. I believe that the one who has best defined his way of communicating throughout these four brutal years has been the journalist Ramon Lobo when he writes: “The technique carried out by Trump consists of the permanent denial of reality-real and the exaltation of a reality- virtual simultaneous in which the problems do not exist, or are the fault of others “.
Cover of 'Uncle Donald'.
Cover of ‘Uncle Donald’.

Trump napping in his chair in the Oval Office, oblivious to the spread of the coronavirus; Trump brandishing the Bible in reaction to the demonstrations in protest of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Police; Trump boasting of having emerged unscathed from the impeachment; Trump unleashing a tariff (and geopolitical) war with China; Trump shrugging off criticism for separating immigrant children from their parents; Trump almost literally levitating after pulling the US out of the Paris Accords against climate change; Trump insisting with the Mexican wall and the machacn ITSELF; and above all, Trump chaining tweet after tweet after tweet after tweet, an image with which Nuo makes visible the importance of the blue bird social network in decision-making and communication policy of the agent / employer.

Paradoxically, and in opposition to the chatter of the networks, the author of Uncle Donald (Caligrama Editorial) only uses a few words to contextualize each of these situations, leaving the reader to fill in the blanks. Something very similar to what the Cuban cartoonist Edel Rodríguez sought and achieved in the many silent covers that he signed for magazines such as Time O The mirror with one protagonist: Trump.

Can you portray almost without words someone who has made compulsive tweeting and language speech their main communication tool? What is the challenge of trying something like this?

“Yes, you can visualize any idea and comedy is for me the ideal vehicle to address certain topics that with another register will be little digestible”, explains the author. “In the case of Uncle Donald It has not been too difficult for me to try to portray such an excessive and histrinic character as Trump. His compulsive tweeting has been a source of ideas for the script; gags are often written practically on their own. His gestures, his volume and, of course, his hair have allowed me to add expressiveness to the drawing. I understand the comic as a game of balancing the script, drawing, composition, sequencing … That is why, in many pages of the book, the drawing, without words, speaks for itself.

Nuo has worked since leaving EL MUNDO as a visual communicator freelance, developing pieces of storytelling in different branches of the communication sector, both online and offline. He has also taught journalistic and visual infographics classes. He confesses that his idea is to continue working on projects of comics and sequential art and that he has started to write and draw a visual chronicle of political give and take in the Community of Madrid since the health crisis broke out.

In addition, he has almost finished the script and has begun to draw a graphic novel of nonfiction, of black genre and with a realistic graphic style, “about one of the most famous crimes committed in Spain in the 20th century“.

The mainstream media in the United States have been missing Trump from the first minute he left the White House, because his audiences have plummeted. Is it better to live against him than without him?
The American media, I’m afraid, yes. Most of the rest of the mortals hope not. Trump in the White House was an ongoing sinister spectacle.

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