Freaks N Squeaks has always had a political vibe to it. It began in the second story when Al was introduced.
Men in suits with sunglasses; if that doesn’t say Government Agents, what does? Of course, from there, Al went on to meet Tex, the Prez.
Tex was a very thinly veiled George W. Bush stand-in. The year was 2002, and we were nearly 1 year removed from 9-11. Everyone was very “Rah Rah! America! Do your duty!” But, then things got a little weird, as history showed. The Daily Show became a very big deal, and politics was all the rage.
I think it’s very easy to see writing-wise that FNS’s very first influences were Doonesbury and Bloom County. I always liked comics with large casts and soap operatic elements that also commented on pop culture and politics. I liked how Doonesbury would use icons for real people, while Bloom County would dabble in the absurd. I tried to split the difference, with mice having similar name to real people.
I would always draw Tex both squinting and with a cowboy hat. While he primarily was “the villain” at some point I started to humanize him. Even if I didn’t agree with Dubya, I never really believed he was evil. But, I think the easiest route to go with Tex was writing him like an earnest, but stupid, child.
It was said by some that my portrayal of the 2004 election was both vicious and fair. I appreciated that.
For some reason, Tex served primarily as the foil for Al. Even in his retirement…
I always though that George W. Bush would make an awesome next door neighbor. (I even do a bit about it in my standup.) When it turned out that in his retirement he was also painting… well, as an artist, how could I not riff on that?
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