Required Reading is DoomRocket’s love chest, where each week one of our contributors goes crazy over a book they just can’t seem to get enough of. This week, Matthew assesses the collected edition of Shannon Wheeler’s ‘Shit My President Says’, available now from IDW Publishing and Top Shelf Productions.
By Matthew C. Brown. Shannon Wheeler has done something important, remarkable, and truly horrible to all of us with this book. One might call it irresponsible not to put a hazard warning sign on the cover of Shit My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump. I would love to say that this collection is equal parts funny and stupid, but as you read through this book, your stomach starts to hurt, and then your brain, and then you find yourself huddled in the fetal position, wishing you had developed a case of spontaneous blindness just to make it stop.
This, of course, has nothing to do with the brilliant cartoons that shine a spotlight on the petty child at the magma center of our Mount Doom of a President. It does have everything to do with the written content. Guys, regardless of political affiliation, Donald J. Trump’s tweets are insanity.
Living in our world today, with its twenty-four-hour news cycles and its most social of media, it is almost impossible to rid yourself of the constant bombardment of surreality coming from the White House and Washington, DC. Somehow, I had at least been able to keep most of @realDonaldTrump’s tweets at bay because I am not on Twitter very often, and I don’t follow the POTUS on Twitter. Though, of course, we hear about his tweets anyway, like they’re decrees written on scrolls and read aloud from a stone balcony to a court of teaming peasants.
This is a very different thing. When you read these tweets, all collected together in one place and coupled with illustrations that literally make Trump look like an insolent, terrified child, you see something larger at work. This is not a narrative piece, and it has no elements of fantasy in its aesthetic, yet a story inevitably unfolds as you read along.
It is the story of a megalomaniacal boy king who bravely, and with great humility, goes out on a quest to slay the mighty dragon, Barack, in his secret cave at the heart of his kingdom, ‘Murica. After a long and treacherous journey during which the boy king is put in great personal peril, he returns to his castle to see his daughter has been mistreated, giant windmills have been erected that can only be defeated with coal projectiles, the town crier has been spreading lies about him in his absence, and Robert Pattinson still hasn’t broken up with Kristen Stewart. Sad! Hey, but at least there’s snow, so no Global Warming.
This narrative is not at all what is depicted in Shannon Wheeler’s illustrations, but having seen all of Trump’s tweets put together, it is very easy to believe that this is the kind of fantasy Trump has woven to pull down over his eyes. Shannon Wheeler has provided a glimpse into Trump’s mind that is invaluable and essential to understanding the insecure, frightened little boy inside Trump who would like nothing better than to pull the covers up over his eyes and wait until dawn. Books like this rightly act like monsters under the bed and should be lauded for doing so. After all, the news is fake and the satirists are haters and losers who can’t afford suits. So, I’m sure if Trump closes his eyes the monsters will all go away. We won’t be able to see him.
IDW Publishing/Top Shelf Productions/$9.99
Art by Shannon Wheeler (@MuchCoffee)
Tweets by Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)