Exclusive: What Obama’s Comic Obsession Says About Our Future Prez


According to Joe Swaine’s recent article for the Daily Telegraph, Barack Obama “collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics” — a fact that has most geeks more excited than a freshly leaked trailer for Watchmen.

After the jump, Gabriel Fowler, owner of Williamsburg indie comic shop Desert Island, gives us his expert analysis of what Obama’s fanboy picks reveal about our future President.

“Unlike previous teen super heroes, Spider-Man did not benefit from adult mentors like Captain America and Batman. He was his own man, and had to learn for himself that ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. Perhaps Mr. Obama identifies with Peter Parker’s lone-wolf outlook?

“Conan the Barbarian is known as a warrior, but uses his brain as well as his brawn. He is a talented fighter, but his travels have given him vast experience in other trades. He is also a talented commander, tactician and strategist, as well as a born leader. In addition, Conan speaks many languages, including advanced reading and writing abilities: in certain stories, he is able to recognize, or even decipher, certain ancient or secret signs and writings. Apart from the obvious entertainment value of the Conan adventure stories, perhaps Mr. Obama finds inspiration in the problem-solving abilities of Conan, and his tendency to emerge victorious against a wide range of enemies.

“He’s clearly interested in science fiction and fantasy, so I would suggest related works with a contemporary twist. Black Hole by Charles Burns, is a meticulously rendered suburban surrealist noir, which follows two teenagers as they develop a sexually transmitted disease in ’70s Seattle. Y the Last Man by Brian Vaughn, in which the sole Y-chromosomed character is an amiable, headstrong young man, the son of a U.S. congresswoman and, as it happens, an amateur escape artist.”