Last week a group of Marvel and DC collaborators and artists accomplished a pretty powerful feat. They bumped The Killing Joke, the origin story of the Joker, off the number one spot in the New York Times bestsellers list of hardcover graphic novels. That villain’s story was replaced by a story of two more – Bill and Hillary Clinton. That’s right, the graphic novel adaption of Clinton Cash is now the top graphic novel on the New York Times bestseller list.
The book was adapted by Brett R. Smith and this week’s Dozen interviewee, Chuck Dixon. Dixon has more than 25 years of experience in the graphic novel field as an editor, writer and publisher. He has contributed to well over a thousand scripts to publishers like DC Comics, Marvel, Dark Horse, Hyperion and others featuring a range of characters from Batman to the Simpsons. His comic book adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit continues to be an international bestseller.
Clinton Cash re-unites him with Graham Nolan, his co-creator of the Batman foe, Bane. This team of A-list comic book collaborators and artists are accustomed to portraying some of the most treacherous villains. There is no better team – or book – to educate people on real-life villains Bill and Hillary Clinton. If Americans can stop the Clintons in 2016, then they’ll be the superheroes.
The De Pasquale's Dozen asks political figures and free market-minded writers and entertainers to take a break from politics and talk about their pop culture obsessions.
1. What's your favorite movie line and who would you like to say it to?
Most of them are from Caddyshack. The one I use often was the line Chevy Chase uses. “People don’t say that about you. (pause) As far as you know.” I often throw in the pause and “As far as you know” after I’ve said something that sounded sincere or reassuring. You have to work the pause just right. I never failed to get a laugh from Archie Goodwin with it. Archie left us way too soon. I hope to use it on him again someday.
2. Tell me about your favorite teacher and how he or she influenced your life.
Junior year of high school. Mr. Nichols in American History. He looked like Richard Nixon and he, unlike most of my teachers, was dedicated 100% to his subject. He didn’t need notes. He just packed each class with facts and anecdotes and tried his damnedest to get us to see the corollaries in past events and how it was important to know about them. He was a tough teacher. He gave me a hard time because he knew I was a lazy student who could pass most history and English classes without studying. Not HIS class. He made me bear down on the books. And you know what? All of his students loved him. Every one. WE knew he was giving us his all and actually cared that we left his class smarter than when we walked in.
3. What's your best survival tip?
It’s better to have a gun and not need it than need a gun and not have it.
4. What canceled show would you put back on the air?
I’d love to see how The Riches was supposed to end. Other than that, I’m afraid of what time and political correctness would do to most of my favorite shows. Lucas McCain would probably be a frontier anger management therapist. And the gang on McHale’s Navy would hunt for Japanese whaling ships.
5. What's your current “guilty pleasure” television show?
I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If I like it, damn it, I like it. But in that category I’d have to say a show from the UK called Trollied about a supermarket outside Manchester. It’s silly and often perverse and the characters are well defined.
6. What’s the best present you ever received as a child?
Toy soldiers. Any toy soldiers. I was a big advocate of playing war in the dirt. Give me a bag of good guys and bad guys and I was transported. And the obsession remains.
7. What’s the best present you ever gave?
That’s for the recipient to decide, isn’t it? And if that’s true I’d have to say a stack of vintage EC war comics I gave to Argentine artist Ricardo Villagran. We were working together on a few projects and he was generous with giving me these amazing pieces of original art he’d worked on. Somehow buying him dinner now and then didn’t seem enough in return. But he always talked about Frontline Combat and Two-Fisted Tales comics he’d read as a kid down in Buenos Aires and how they helped him learn English. So, I showed up with a stack of ten or so and told him I wanted him to have them. He started crying. I guess it’s safe to say that was a good present.
8. What advice do you remember your mother or father giving you? Did you take it?
I never listened to my mom and it was always a disaster. The poor woman. She knew she was right but I always thought I knew better. What a moron. Now, my dad’s word I took as gospel and his favorite saying was “I don’t get mad, I get even.”
9. Along with yourself, who would be on the perfect Red Eye with Tom Shillue panel?
Patty Ann Brown, Brian Kilmeade and any comedian they could send a cab for.
10. What books did you read this summer?
The Bridge at Dong Ha about USMC John Ripley’s courageous action to stop the advance of two divisions of NVA back in Vietnam in 1972. That guy was the real deal. I re-read for the umpteenth time The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse and a bunch of 1970s western paperbacks by the greatest action western writer who ever lived, Ben Haas.
11. What would you like tomorrow's headline to say?
“Hillary Clinton Imprisoned, Barack Obama Flees Country”
In the features section:
“Pizza Found To Reduce Risks of Cancer”
12. Tell me about the moment you decided to become more vocal about your political beliefs.
There was never a conscious decision. The way I see it, this is America, not the Third Reich (for now) and we’re free to say what we want. I’ve never been careful of what I say and anyone I know knows where I stand.