So a couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to set up shop at Politicon, a Comic-Con of sorts for political junkies. Sarah Palin, James Carville, Ann Coulter, Rosario Dawson and bunch of other pundits and political figures were there hosting panels and participating in debates. Not that I saw any of that. I, along with my friend Ted Mills, spent both days parked in the Democracy Village – a marketplace, forum and art gallery for folks to peruse between presentations.
I had no idea what to expect what it would be like. I feared that I would be crammed in the corner, next to the anti-circumcision stall, getting snarled at by stark raving Trump supporters. But I was pleasantly surprised.
There was some surprisingly good political art there. From prints of that famous nude of Trump to the original Shepard Fairey Obama “Hope” poster. One genius made a Trump University vending machine where diplomas can be had for a mere 15k. Trump was a frequent punch line here. Along side my usual spread of art prints, I also sold Trump toilet paper, designed by my friend Dan Levin. Those sold like hotcakes.
I got a great location, right on a corner of two aisles almost spitting distance from the book-signing table. It helped that one of the coordinators was a big Veeptopus fan.
And the crowd was generally speaking open and good-humored, filled with socially-minded college kids, aging hippies, Bernie Bros, and one sweaty guy in a cowboy who tried to sell me the bumper stickers he had balled up in his fist. But hands down my favorite person I saw there was a budding politician – maybe fifteen, accompanied by his mother – who was dressed in a brown suit, a bowtie and a bouquet of Ted Cruz buttons on his lapel. With the same of studied polish of a pro, he shook my hand and called my art “positively joy sparking.” I wish I caught his name. I’ll probably be voting again him in a couple decades. In spite of sharp, intolerant divisions we can see on cable news and social media, Politicon left me with a sense that we aren’t quite so divided after all and that there is still general faith in the American idea.
I also left with a pile of cash in my pocket. That was nice too.