Decision 2012: Barack Obama #1 (Boom! Studios)
by Anonymous & Damian Couceiro
As an outside observer of American politics, I had some mild interest in this biographical. The writer — who’s apparently chosen to go uncredited for the work and remain anonymous — offers up a fairly matter-of-fact script. The earlier parts of the book, detailing the president’s youth, reads like an encyclopaedia entry. It’s informative but dry. As one makes one’s way further into the biography, it begins to read more like a political resume, focusing on Obama’s achievements but ignoring some of his more controversial decisions, especially since taking power. While I wouldn’t describe the information here as a puff piece, it’s definitely a little sugar-coated. I can only assume forthcoming Decision 2012 comics featuring Republican candidates will be similarly glowing. I found some of the information here interesting and even a little surprising (Obama has two Grammy Awards?!), but I’m not sure what it might contribute to the actual “Decision 2012” process.
Damian Couceiro’s artwork is clearly taking a number of cues from photos, but neither does it look like he’s outright traced or lightboxed the reference material. His work here reminds me of Cliff (Buffy) Richards’ sometimes airy style. He crafts some decent likenesses, but his efforts here don’t really represent sequential storytelling as we’re used to in comics. Each panel is a different moment in history, a visual to accompany the factoid(s) on which the narration focuses. 5/10