Donald and His Imaginary Publicist Prepare for a Debate

Originally published at:

Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH Calvinist Donald and his Hobbesian publicist John Miller prepare for a debate in a cartoon world of their own making.


The Dilbert and Pepe cameos were a nice touch.




“[I don’t pay taxes] because I was smart enough to lose a billion dollars!” is the most concise takedown of Donald’s supposed business acumen I’ve seen yet.


I do appreciate the peek into his 3 AM thought process – his tweets make sense now.


that was good :laughing:


As much as I admire this strip, which is consistently great, and as much as I think Bill Watterson would agree with the sentiment, I don’t think it is good form to use his Calvin and Hobbes style without his consent (I am assuming none was given, as Mr. Watterson fiercely protects this strip from being cheapened by merchandise, spin-offs, etc) Sorry to be a wet blanket.

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It’s fair use (parody) isn’t it? Does good form belong in a comic about Trump? Trump is the peasants coming to the castle with torches and pitchforks – not very good form, in castle terms, anyway.


I believe he was being sarcastic. Watterson seems to have done nothing to stop the (mis)use of his characters by various groups:

Watterson actually has expressed frustration at various groups stealing his art for those kinds of things, especially people who make money selling unauthorized Calvin & Hobbes merchandise. He’s just powerless to do much about it.

I think this comic is a completely different situation though. Ruben didn’t steal Watterson’s artwork or even his characters, he created new artwork in a parody that pays homage to Watterson’s comic.


I didn’t say it was illegal, I said it was rude. What does Trump’s behaviour have to do with respect among artists for a well-loved and well-respected peer?

Is this distinction between ‘legal’ and ‘decent, ethical, honorable’ something only Americans obsess over? This has been a pet peeve of mine lately (in politics, banking, businesses externalizing costs, political lobbying), I’m not just picking on you specifically (once something begins to irritate you, of course you start to notice it a lot more).

You are not wrong (although he did appropriate the characters). Personally though, I feel that Watterson’s work is a special case, and it would just be the honorable thing to do to ask him first since he has expressed unambiguously how he feels publicly. Regarding homage, that’s a tricky beast and a subjective interpretation. My entirely subjective feeling about the strip was that it wasn’t homage as much as a convenient vehicle to express what he wanted to express in the strip. There is nothing in the strip that appears to me to honor Watterson or Calvin and Hobbes aside from the art style and imaginary friend mechanic.

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I’m curious what you think Watterson could have done to prevent literally hundreds, if not thousands, of Chinese and American junk manufacturers and head shops from exploiting his work…

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In this case, selling out (even a little) would have helped.

By refusing ANY merchandising or licensing beyond reproduction for authorized collections, Bill Watterson not only retains a huge amount of (ostensible) control over the characters, he also retains the huge number of responsibilities with regard to copyright. Plenty of popular characters are subject to misappropriation, but if the onus of hunting them down is not spread among various interested parties, then the original creator gets to shoulder the entire burden.

Would you rather be under siege by yourself, or share the cost of defense among others who benefit by assisting you?

BTW, @thirdworldtaxi - Sorry about misinterpreting the intent of your original post.

Not to attack you at all, because I’m sure you didn’t mean to imply this, but… it just kind of struck me how that’s a pretty good analogy for victim blaming: He wouldn’t have gotten into this mess, if he’d just forsaken his self-respect and let other parties have control of a piece of him?

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You could try to call it victim blaming, or you could see it for what it is: risk resulting from a business decision made by the owner of an intellectual property.

Kind of like the risks of Trump’s shitty decisions that he’s trying to spin into an example of business acumen being satirized by appropriating Watterson’s style.

I would like to propose a shift of topic, from hand-wringing about Watterson to snickering about Adams.


Plus, where are all of you when Bil Keane gets victimized by Bolling on a regular basis?

Hanging out here.

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Victimized? Family Circus, in my personal opinion, has always needed some touching up in order to make it readable.